ductless air conditioner example

What are Ductless Air Conditioning Systems? Everything You Need to Know in 2022

What are Ductless Air Conditioning Systems? Everything You Need to Know in 2022

There are many different types of air conditioning systems on the market, so which is the right fit for your home? Today we will discuss the ductless system and its benefits and drawbacks to help you select the right system.

What is a ductless air conditioning system? 

A ductless AC system is an AC system that is designed to control temperatures in individual rooms or small spaces. The ductless comprises two main components-an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor evaporator. A conduit that houses power cables, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain links the outdoor and indoor units. There are four types of ductless: single-zone, pre-charged single zone, hyper heat single-zone, and multi-zone.

The benefits of ductless air conditioning systems

ductless air conditioning provides a few benefits to your home, mainly better temperature controls. Their size also provides a greater deal of flexibility for AC installation, especially when you don’t have a large home to cool.

More efficient temperature control

Compared to central air, a ductless is much more efficient at controlling temperatures in a singular area. So if your space is small, a ductless is the best choice.

Built-in zoning

The size of a ductless system allows for creating different zones in your home, differentiating temperatures as opposed to central air with only one uniform temperature. 

Does not require existing ductwork

A ductless’s design means that it doesn’t need existing ductwork to operate as opposed to central air that requires ductwork to function, which can take up a large amount of space. 

Flexible install

A ductless’s smaller size allows it to be installed in any home, regardless of size.

The disadvantages of ductless air conditioning systems

While a ductless offers your home many great benefits, it also comes with a few negatives as well. The primary disadvantage is that its fans are less powerful due to their small size, its fans are less powerful, making it more difficult when it comes to temperature control in a large space.

Poor filtration

With a weaker fan, a ductless has worse filtration when compared to a central air unit.

More maintenance

Ductless are much smaller units and need their filters cleaned once a month. Its important that the air conditioning system receive consistent maintenance.

Poor aesthetic

A ductless unit cannot be hidden, so it will just appear in your household, which can clash with your aesthetic. 

Costly initial price

A ductless is much more expensive upfront than a central air system. 

What are Ductless Air Conditioning Systems? Everything You Need to Know in 2022

 How ductless air conditioning systems work

Ductless AC units can be complicated systems to understand. Here is how the system functions and how you get cold air in your home:

  1. A compressed refrigerant in liquid form flows from the outdoor unit to the indoor unit through refrigeration lines
  2. When liquid refrigerant arrives in the evaporator coils, it expands and turns from liquid to gas. 
  3. The indoor air blower sucks in warm indoor air and pushes it to cold coils, cooling the air and removing the humidity. This cool, dry air is circulated through the house and is what we experience as cool air
  4. The gaseous refrigerant now travels back to the outdoor unit 
  5. Refrigerant is compressed in the outdoor unit and turned back into a liquid, removing the heat.
  6. Once the refrigerant is liquid again, it travels back into the indoor unit
  7. The cycle begins again

Factors to consider in a ductless air conditioning system

Please consider these factors when deciding on a ductless system. 

  • Rooms and Sizing
  • Heating and cooling zones
  • BTU
  • Placement
  • Energy Requirements

Ideal setup for ductless configuration

  • Small rooms; Garage, apartments, sunrooms-Small rooms can utilize a ductless system perfectly as it won’t steal air from other rooms or overload your existing system
  • Downsizing for larger home-You can reduce your utility bill by incorporating more ductless units to add individual temperature controls and reducing the usage of a central air system.
  • Serving multiple needs under one roof-Central air is great for providing temperature control to a large space, but individuals have different needs. A ductless system allows for individual temperature changes, so everyone is happy.
  • Adding AC to a home without ductwork- A ductless system provides AC temperature control without needing existing ductwork to be set up.

Zones Configuration

A ductless system can be configured with either a single zone setup or a multi-zone setup. 

One zone

Provides cooling and heating to a singular area with one condenser and a controller unit. A single zone is ideal for small rooms, garages, or small apartments. They are designed to be easy to use and do not require additional setup.


Provides cooling and heating to multiple areas with one condenser and multiple controller units. Multi-zone systems are ideal for larger spaces and homes with multiple occupants. 

The general cost of a ductless air conditioning system

A ductless system can be very expensive for the unit and the installation.

What are Ductless Air Conditioning Systems? Everything You Need to Know in 2022


Here is how much a ductless will cost:

The outdoor condenser will cost anywhere from $1,000-7,000. The indoor wall-mounted unit will cost anywhere from $400-1,000, and the ceiling-mounted unit will run $700-2,000. The refrigerant line is around $5-6 per foot. An accessory kit will run $300-500. Labor costs will run anywhere from $300-1500 and can be installed within 10 hours. Finally, you will need a permit to install a ductless system, especially if it’s multi-zoned, which will cost you another $200-400. On average, you are looking at around $5000-8000 per zone, and with multi-zoned units, expect to pay around 15-20,000 or more. 

Is it difficult to install?

Yes, a multi-split unit is quite complicated, and many individual parts can be damaged if mishandled. Hire a professional to install your ductless system.

Common brands to consider

When it comes to choosing your ductless system, there are many noteworthy brands to choose from. Here are the most popular brands on the market today:

  • Mitsubishi 
  • Daikin
  • Greer
  • Carrier
  • Toshiba
  • Fujistu 
  • LG

Ductless systems provide a wide array of benefits to any home, namely greater temperature control and reduced utility bills. However, that benefit comes with some steep initial price tags, so consider that carefully before purchasing one for your home. 



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