A Guide to How Ductless Air Conditioners Work

The basic operation of ductless AC units is no different than other AC units; they use refrigerant to cool your home or business using outside air as the cooling medium. The only difference is that water is used as the cooling medium with a ductless AC unit. All ductless air conditioners use the same basic principles of converting heat from inside your building to outside.

With a standard AC system, you have the heating element and fan on one end of the system, and at the other, you have a vent that connects to your return air ducts (such as an outside wall or ceiling registers). This vent connection creates an area for heat loss in your home or business. With a ductless air conditioner, you remove this vent connection and connect one side of the refrigerant tubing directly to your returns. There are no natural areas for heat loss in your home or business.

Main Hardware Components of a Ductless Air Conditioner

There are three main systems in a ductless air conditioner. Read on to learn more about each and how they work.

Indoor Blower and Evaporator System

The blower is usually installed in the attic or a convenient area for your home, and the evaporator is located where you want to cool. To remove heat from your home or business, ambient cooling from the outside air is pulled through the cooling coils of the evaporator by the cooling fan (called a condenser fan). Inside this evaporator unit, some coils contain refrigerant. As this refrigerant gets hot, it becomes a gas, so it can be expanded through a controlled process to turn that gas into liquid again. The liquid refrigerant is then pumped through the compressor, compressing it to work as a cold reservoir against the heat supply. This refrigerant will cool the air coming into this air conditioning unit to travel to its designated area in your home or office.

Conduit Tube Coil

The indoor blower and the evaporator coil are contained inside the indoor blower. The condenser coil, which is the internal coil of the evaporator, is contained inside a larger tube called a duct. The refrigerant tube coils are located on both sides of your dryer duct, which is outside your home. This refrigerant cools the tube coils as your indoor blower. To maintain a constant temperature in these coils pulls it through them. The tube coil is attached to the outside unit by a refrigerant line which is usually attached directly to your condenser fan. The tube coil passes through holes in your dryer vent duct so that when the cooler air passes through this dryer duct, it will be cooled again. This cool air continues through all of your interior ducts into your rooms and eventually, it is released out of the evaporator again.

Outdoor Condenser System

The outdoor condenser unit is very simple in design; it is the same as any other outdoor AC unit. The blower motor, compressor and condenser are all housed inside the outdoor unit. The installation of this outdoor condenser can be a little more difficult since you will have to run your ducts back to the unit. The easiest way to get all of your ductwork nice and neat is to use return air ducts, which are like the return air vents on your indoor air conditioner. Return air ducts can be used instead of return air vents on an outside unit since they lead into a room or an office space that is not heated or cooled by an AC system. The return air ducts can be connected to the outdoor unit, and this will pull any cool air back out of that room or office space and inside your home or office.

Benefits of Using Ductless Air Conditioner

Ductless air conditioners offer the following benefits.

Cost Efficient

Ductless air conditioner systems have lower replacement costs than traditional systems.

Eliminates Ductwork

Adding ductwork to an add-on or a room that did not contain ducts can be costly and disruptive. With a ductless system, air can be treated in bonus rooms, attics and garages without spending a fortune to reroute your ducts.

For more information on ductless air conditioning services and the next comfort project on your homes, reach out to Variable Comfort Solutions. We also offer a range of standard heating, cooling and air quality services to the Huntington, WV, area.