Introduction to Ductless Mini Split Systems

We often get asked: “What is a ductless mini split system?” It’s a great question, and one that deserves a thorough explanation. In part one of this multi-part series we’ll introduce you to this unique HVAC option, and in subsequent posts we’ll explain the many advantages of ductless mini-split systems.

What is a ductless mini split system?

As with traditional central air conditioning systems, ductless mini splits have an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor handling unit. However, unlike central air systems, mini splits do not require sprawling duct work to function. This makes them extremely flexible, easy to install and highly efficient.

Technically speaking, mini-split systems come in two varieties — there’s the “split system”, where one indoor unit is connected to one outdoor unit and the “multi-split system,” that has numerous indoor units connected to one outdoor unit. Split systems are generally used for providing cooling on heating to one area, and multi-split systems are used for cooling and heating of up to eight rooms (See photo below).

ductless mini split

Shown on the left is a “split” system. On the right is a multi-split system. Photo courtesy of Daikin.

How ductless mini split systems are installed

Very simply, the indoor unit is placed in the most ideal location; refrigerant and electrical lines are connected to the outdoor unit, and a drain line runs from the indoor unit to the outside — that’s basically it — there’s no ductwork to install and no giant air handlers to place into the attic or basement.

Who makes ductless mini split systems?

All major manufacturers make a wide variety of ductless mini split systems, and leading innovators such as Daikin, LG and Mitsubishi are constantly refining their systems to make them more flexible and efficient.

Ductless mini split systems have a wealth of advantages over traditional air conditioning systems and in our next set of posts, we’ll explore some of these advantages.

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