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How Mini Splits Cut Out Ducts From Central Heating and Cooling


A mini split HVAC system is also sometimes called a ductless system. Why? Because it does not require ducts in order to heat and cool your home. How does a mini split eliminate the need for ducts? What are the benefits of going ductless? Can it really provide both AC and heat? We’ll explain everything.

No Ducts Required

Just like any air conditioner or heat pump, this system has an outdoor unit with a compressor and coils that carry refrigerant through that unit and also through the home. The term mini split refers to the way that the refrigerant coils split when they enter the home, dividing the refrigerant to head in different directions.

With a ducted system, all the refrigerant goes to the same single indoor unit, and all the cooled or heated air is created there before being piped throughout the home via ductwork. Ductless systems have multiple air handlers, each creating the cooled or heated air right where it’s needed and blowing it directly out of the vent of that air handler. 

Duct Drawbacks

With this type of system, you can avoid all the many drawbacks of having to use ductwork. 

  • No Ducts: Does your house lack ductwork entirely? Not every home has it. With a mini split, there’s no need to go through the expense and bother of having ductwork installed!
  • Leaky Ducts: Is your ductwork leaky, allowing your precious heated and cooled air to escape to places like your attic where you don’t need it? Probably! Most ductwork is at least somewhat damaged, on average wasting 30% of the energy American homes use to heat and cool. You could have it repaired or replaced, or you could decide to skip the ductwork altogether.
  • Thermal Loss: Even ductwork in perfect condition experiences thermal loss because it has to transport heated or cooled air over long distances. This means that when the air finally gets to the vent, it has already lost some of the heat or coolness you used energy (and spent money) to create. Ductless systems avoid this loss by heating and cooling right at the vent.

Heating and Cooling

It is possible to have a ductless mini split that is only connected to an air conditioner. But for ideal energy savings, you can use a heat pump instead. This provides cooling exactly as an air conditioner does. But it uses the same technology to provide heating, and it can do this while using much less energy than any other type of heating system.

A furnace or boiler has to generate heat in order to warm a home. But a heat pump simply moves heat. It can bring warmth into your home even at surprisingly low temperatures. How can it keep your home at a comfy 68° by bringing heat in from outdoors, where the temperature is only 50°? The outdoor temp only has to be warmer than the super-cooled refrigerant for heat to transfer.

If you want to discuss your options for mini split installation in Tucson, AZ, we’d be delighted to speak with you.

Contact Picture Rocks Cooling, Heating & Plumbing today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

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