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How Does Ductless Work

A ductless heat pump delivers highly targeted cooling and heating comfort when a traditional central air conditioning unit is just too costly or too impractical to install. Used extensively in Europe and Southeast Asia, ductless technology is gaining attention in the United States as more consumers and businesses seek energy- and cost-efficient alternatives to window units and central AC systems.

The Ductless Heat Pump: How it Works

Like any other heat pump, ductless heat pumps are based on a reversible cooling cycle. In a standard air conditioner, liquid refrigerant chemicals absorb heat at the evaporator coil, become gaseous, travel to the condenser coil and release that stored heat as they become liquid again. The cycle literally pumps heat out of the home. Heat pumps use the same cycle, but they can run in either direction to pump heat into or out of the house as needed. The result is efficient heating and cooling throughout the year.

How Well Does Ductless AC Work?

Ductless air conditioners and heat pumps use the same basic cycle as standard air conditioners and heat pumps, but they offer several key advantages. When doing a ductless AC vs. central AC vs. window unit comparison, keep these factors in mind:

  • Duct Leaks: Central air conditioners can lose up to 30 percent of their cooling power to leaks in the duct systems. Much like window units, ductless units avoid this issue by delivering their cooling power straight to living spaces.
  • Compressor Speeds: Both central air conditioners and window units use single- or dual-speed compressors, which means they have to cycle on and off periodically throughout the day. Ductless systems use variable speed compressors to adjust to your home's cooling needs in real time, saving energy and improving comfort.
  • Unobtrusiveness: Central air conditioners are bulky systems that can make a lot of noise, and window units, besides being bulky themselves, inconveniently block windows. Ductless systems sit high and out of sight on interior walls, and they're nearly silent.

How Much Does a Ductless AC Cost?

The up-front cost of going ductless does tend to be a little higher than the cost of central air. However, the energy savings alone are enough to offset that cost over time. Ductless systems are particularly worthwhile for smaller homes, apartments and condominiums, and because there's no need to extend the duct system to accommodate the unit, they're often the most cost-effective option for new additions.

If you're looking to upgrade your St. Louis home with a Mitsubishi Electric air conditioner, we'll connect you with a ductless installation expert who can help you choose the right system and get it up and running in your house.

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