For most Edmonton homeowners sweltering away in the summer heat, installing a window air conditioner is not only an added relief, it’s almost a necessity as the temperatures reach triple-digits. Of course in some instances the window units are not feasible, either because their apartment windows don’t accommodate one or the room they want to cool doesn’t have windows at all. In this case a ductless AC system is an ideal route to take… but what exactly are they?
A Combination of Window AC’s and Central Air Units
Ductless AC works in a very unique way that combines the efficiency of a central air conditioner with the convenience of a window unit. Much like a central air the ductless air conditioner power source is located outside the home. A large compressor and condenser unit sits outside of the home and cools air for delivery inside the house. Cooling lines run through a 3-1/2” hole in the home and routes to up to four different rooms. This is the same type of system that is found in a central air conditioner but without all the intrusive ductwork.
The second part of a ductless AC is the component that actually blows out the cool air, a small and sleek unit that more closely resembles how a window air conditioner works. The actual air conditioning blower unit is placed in each of the up to 4 rooms that it cools, often in an out of the way area to be discreet.
Installs In Rooms Without Windows
One of the main benefits of a ductless AC is the fact that it can be placed in a room without windows but also doesn’t require extensive HVAC routing. For this reason the ductless AC is very popular for home dens and interior rooms as well as small scale office buildings. Prior to the advent of these ductless systems individuals in these locations had to install a central air unit or cool the room with the tacky fan.
Most of the ductless wall-mount units need only a 2” clearance to the ceiling meaning they can be discreetly installed without drawing attention to themselves. It’s important to remember that each ductless AC operates on its own remote control so even if it is installed high on the wall, it can be easily operated.
Zone Cooling Abilities
What makes ductless ac units so energy-efficient is their trademark zone cooling attributes. For instance the compressor forms an independent connection with each of the wall mounts meaning you can cool different rooms at different temperatures at different times of the day. You’d need four different window wall mounts to accomplish that task and for the most part a central air unit is controlled by a main thermostat.
The ability for zone cooling from one central compressor is nice for certain instances. Say for example one side of the house faces the sun at its peak time in the afternoon whereas another room on the opposite side is completely encapsulated in shade trees. If two different people are occupying these dwellings their options are to either cover up in blankets and sweaters in the shade room or sweat like a stuffed pig in the sunny room. With zone cooling every room can be comfortable without driving up the utility bills.
Quiet and Energy Efficient
Expanding on the energy efficiency, any of the 4 different wall mounts can be manually turned off at any time while the others stay running or programmed to be off during unoccupied times of the day. Compare that to simply shutting the vents in an empty room with central air conditioning, the system is still running just as hard it’s simply not delivering air to that room. The compressor of a ductless a/c operates as needed and doesn’t waste its resources creating cold air that goes unused.
A window air conditioner is convenient but often very loud running. Conversely a central air system is quiet but not very efficient. The ductless ac solves both of those problems by having a wall mount that can be put almost anywhere in a room but with a compressor that is stored outside the home.
Different Mounting Options
While the ductless a/c is convenient for rooms that don’t have windows, there are still some mounting problems that may arise. Luckily the system comes in a variety of different options for placement in a room including:
- Wall Mounted & Ductless – The most common type of mounting option for the ductless a/c is the standard wall option that needs just a 2” clearing between the ceiling. These are the kind of units that can hook up from the compressor in four different areas and are all individually controlled and regulated.
- Ceiling Casette – Is able to mount in drop ceilings to keep walls clear or in cubicle offices where a flush mount is desired.
- Concealed Duct – Can be installed in a ceiling with minimal reveal. Can be used in a single zone setup or mixed with wall mount units.
- Suspended From Ceiling – For larger units a suspended ceiling mount is available for when mounting on the walls also isn’t an option.
- Larger Wall Mount – Another bigger capacity cooling system alternative is the larger units that are mounted near the bottom of the wall, similar to what one might find in a hotel setting.
All the high-tech conveniences that a user might be accustomed to in a high-end central air system are available in the ductless ac. Programmable thermostats increase energy efficiency so that the air conditioner runs minimally in off hours. Likewise the ductless ac uses inverter technology so that the air stays cooler to the idling point rather than making big temperature spikes that raise energy bills.
A ductless ac is if anything giving consumers an option reaching beyond the standard window mount and central air units.
Here are other articles you may enjoy…