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Air Excellence, Inc.
Air Excellence, Inc.

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Ductless AC 101

Ductless AC System
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If you're interested in learning more about ductless air conditioning, you're in the right place. Ductless AC is a modern solution to home cooling issues, as it offers energy efficiency, quiet operation, easy installation and more. Let's dive into how this cooling system works and explore the advantages of having ductless AC installed in your Richmond, Virginia, home.

How Ductless AC Works

A ductless AC is a mini-split system that consists of two main components. An indoor wall-mounted unit called an air handler contains an evaporator, thermostat and metering device. An outdoor unit consists of the compressor, condensing coils, and fan. The two units are connected by small cables and a refrigerant line through a wall. They work together to cool a specific zone of a home, like an attic, a bedroom or a sunroom. Ductless AC is also called a single-zone ductless system.

Refrigeration Cycle

Ductless AC uses a refrigeration cycle to cool your home. The cycle is a closed system, which means it has a special fluid called refrigerant that continuously circulates through the system. Refrigerant has unique thermodynamic properties that allow it to release heat from your home outside.

What Happens Outside

The compressor in the outdoor unit compresses the refrigerant when you turn on your ductless AC. Compression increases the refrigerant's pressure and temperature until it's warmer than the outdoor air. It then releases the heat to the outdoor environment. The gas starts to cool and eventually condenses into a liquid. This high-pressure refrigerant liquid travels back inside your home through an insulated tube and enters the air handler in the indoor unit.

What Happens Inside

The high-pressure liquid refrigerant converts into a low-pressure liquid by a metering device, and the temperature drops below room temperature. The refrigerant is now a cold low-pressure liquid and passes through the evaporator coils. A fan blows air from inside your home across the coils where the relatively warm air in your home transfers heat into the refrigerant. The refrigerant in the coils evaporates, and the air passing over the coils cools down. The system releases chilled air through the vents on the wall unit and cools your room.

The heated evaporated gas travels back to the compressor outside to expel the heat drawn from your home to the outdoors. This refrigeration cycle repeats until the temperature in the room matches the desired temperature on the thermostat. If you need to cool more than one room, consider a multi-zone ductless system that allows you to connect up to five indoor units to one compressor.

Advantages of Ductless AC

Ductless systems have a lot of advantages when compared to traditional ductwork AC:

  • Easy to install: This system is much easier to install in your home because there's no ductwork. A small hole is all that you need to connect the indoor and outdoor components. A professional can install a single-zone ductless system within a few hours.
  • Saves you money: Since there's no need for major demolition, installation and reconstruction, you save on labor time and costs.
  • Energy efficient: When conditioned air passes through ductwork from a central air conditioner to rooms in your home, you lose about 20-30 percent of the cooled air due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts. You eliminate this loss with a ductless AC system and reduce energy usage. As a result, you save money on your monthly energy bills.

Ductless air conditioners are the perfect solution for new additions and rooms that don't get cool enough with your current system. These systems operate quickly and quietly to cool any room and increase the comfort level of your home. And lastly, you can use ductless systems throughout the year because they provide both heating and air conditioning.

Do you want to learn more about ductless systems or to schedule an air conditioning installation today? Call Air Excellence, Inc. at 804-885-3888.

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