A ductless air conditioner is an HVAC system that provides cool air without the need for ductwork. In fact, mini splits have few installation requirements, making them a great choice for practically any home in the areas of Lenox and West Chicago. You can install a mini split to provide AC to a particular space, such as a basement or detached garage, or configure it to provide cooled air throughout an entire home.

Outdoor Unit

All ductless air conditioning systems have at least one outdoor unit, which is also known as the condenser unit. One condenser unit is typical, but multiple outdoor units in a series are an option for larger homes. The outdoor unit houses the primary refrigerant system, a compressor, a condenser coil, and a condenser fan.

Indoor Unit

All ductless air conditioning systems have at least one indoor unit. The indoor unit is typically installed on a wall, but ceiling and floor installations are an option. It houses a thermostat, a refrigerant line, an evaporator coil, and an air handler. Most modern systems have an LCD display and integrated controls, including temperature adjustment.

Heads and Zones

A single-zone ductless AC supports a single head. A multi-zone ductless AC supports multiple heads. Each head provides cooling to a dedicated zone. You may see terms like dual-zone, tri-zone, and quad-zone. These mean that the system comes with two, three, and four heads, respectively. The upper head limit for residential mini-split systems is typically eight. You’d likely need to install a second condenser unit if you need more than eight heads.

Remote Control

Most modern ductless ACs come with a remote control. This allows you to adjust the temperature or turn the system on or off without getting up. Most remotes have temperature control and features like fan speed, airflow direction, sleep timer, etc.

Each head has its own dedicated remote. The downside is that you must be in proximity to the head to control it. Modern systems overcome this limitation with a Wi-Fi mode. When in Wi-Fi mode, you can use any remote to access all the heads throughout the home. Some brands also offer an app so that you can use your smartphone or other device rather than a remote.

AC Cycle

Each head cycles on and off based on your desired temperature. When a head is on, the compressor in the condenser unit pumps refrigerant in liquid form. The air handler in the head draws air in and blows it out through the front vents. On the supply side, air passes over the evaporator coils, which transfers heat energy from the air to the refrigerant.

Some dehumidification is a byproduct of this process. A drip pan collects that condensation, and the moisture exits the home via a condensate drain line. As the refrigerant heats up, it transforms from a liquid to a gas. The compressor then pumps it back to the condenser unit. Once there, the system runs it through the condenser coil. The condenser coil pressurizes the refrigerant. This causes the heat energy in the refrigerant to transfer to the ambient air. It also causes the refrigerant to return to liquid form. It is now ready for the compressor to pump it back to the head to begin the cycle anew.

Other Features

You can expect the operation discussed so far from any ductless AC on the market. There are also additional features, depending on the make and model. Some units have an integrated dehumidifier, which allows for more precise humidity control. The dehumidifier removes moisture before the air reaches the evaporator coil.

Other common features include automatic airflow adjusters with sensors that can detect people. This allows for a mode in which the ductless AC automatically blows air away from people rather than right on them. You can also set it to do the opposite. This is useful, for instance, when exercising.

Ductless Air Conditioners in Lenox and West Chicago

Zark Heating & Cooling has installed ductless air conditioners and heat pumps throughout Lenox and West Chicago for more than 15 years. Our NATE-certified technicians also install and service boilers, radiant heating, and ducted systems, including furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners. We sell, install, and program smart thermostats. Our team also features indoor air quality specialists who install air purifiers, UV lamps, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers. Call us today or contact us online with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

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