When you begin looking for air conditioning contractors, you might come across the term ductless air conditioning. This is a new method of heating and cooling homes, although most homeowners use ductless air conditioners for cooling only. The system is lightweight and very easy to install, plus it claims to be very energy-efficient. If you decide to try ductless air conditioning, here is what you should expect.
You Need One Open Wall Space in Every Room
Unlike window air conditioners, central air, and/or heat pumps, which remove warm air and replace it with cooler air throughout the house, ductless air conditioners need a good-sized chunk of bare wall in every room you want to cool. The units are typically about three feet long, six to eight inches high, and about four to six inches deep, depending on the model and brand. They need to be mounted on a wall so that the electrical wiring and refrigerant hose can easily run into each wall unit. There are some makes and models that produce free-standing console units for use in places where wall space is at a premium, but then you have to commit to one of those brands because all of your wall units have to be operated by the same outdoor compressor.
You Will Need a Two-Foot Space Outside
The condenser delivers power and refrigerant to up to nine indoor wall units. The condenser is installed outside the home, along a wall where it will comfortably fit. From the condenser unit, wiring, and refrigerant hosing runs through a quarter-sized hole in the wall to all of the wall units.
That is all the HVAC contractor needs to do to install this system. No ductwork or duct connections are needed, and no connections to your forced air system or existing furnace are needed either. The condenser itself is wired into your home's electrical system so that it can send power to all of the wall units, and none of the wall units are hardwired into your home's electrical system.
The Inside Units Are Hung Like Heavy Picture Frames
Additionally, each wall unit is hung like a heavy picture frame. A few tiny, reinforced drywall nails or screws is all that is needed to get each wall unit up on a wall. The minute all of the wall units are hung and connected to the condenser, you can turn the whole system on and let the cooling begin.