Most people think of central air conditioning systems as consisting of a large compressor, evaporator coil, central fan, and a series of ducts. Indeed, this is a very common central AC setup —but it is not the only form of central air conditioning that exists. There is an alternative, and it is called ductless air conditioning. These systems consist of a main air handler, plus several wall-mounted units that push the cooled air directly into rooms. Why would someone opt for a ductless air conditioning system over a more conventional central air setup? Well, ductless air conditioners do have some advantages.
Ductless systems can be paired with any type of heating system
Installing a ducted central air system really does not make sense unless you already have a forced air furnace. If you have a forced air furnace, you can just run the AC through the same ducts. But if you have a boiler heater, baseboard heat, or pellet stove, you would have to run ducts to install and use ducted AC. That's a lot of work, and it requires disruption of your walls. It's a lot easier for your HVAC contractor to just install a couple of ductless air handlers on the walls than to run ducts.
Ductless systems can be used in older homes
Air conditioning has only been around since the early 1900s. If your home was built before this, it certainly was not built with air conditioning in mind. As such, the wall spaces in these older homes tend to be really narrow. HVAC contractors cannot always fit ducts in these narrow wall spaces. And even if they can run ducts, those ducts may not be wide enough to carry enough cool air to effectively cool your home. Ductless AC systems can be installed in old homes with narrow wall spaces since they don't require wallspace for ducts.
Ductless systems give you zoned control
Your system may have two, three, or even more air handlers, and you can control each one separately. Maybe one day you want to cool the bedrooms, but not the rest of the home. You can just turn on the air handler in the bedroom. Maybe you want to keep your living area at 74 degrees, but your bedrooms at 70 degrees. This is also possible since each air handler has separate controls. Ductless AC is a great choice for anyone who likes to vary the temperature throughout their home.
Talk to an HVAC contractor near you to learn more about air conditioning installation.