The Homeowners’ Guide to Ductless Air Conditioners

While ducted AC has long been a staple, many homeowners are now open to the idea of integrating ductless air conditioning into their homes. Ductless air conditioning does not require ductwork to move air around your house. Instead, a ductless unit blows cooled air directly into your living space, making these units highly effective.

Understanding Ductless Air Conditioning

Ductless air conditioning is a type of AC unit that comes in two parts. The first part is an outdoor compressor or condenser. The second part includes an indoor handler. These two units work together to circulate cool air, and even heat, in your living space.

These components are connected by a conduit that comes with power and refrigerant lines placed throughout the home’s walls. Refrigerant lines are two copper lines that connect the outdoor air conditioning unit to the indoor evaporator coil.

The Basics: How Does Ductless Air Conditioning Work?

A ductless AC works quite differently from a traditional system. Instead of ductwork, ductless AC relies on individual indoor units that are located in specific rooms or areas of the home.

A ductless system does not push or pull air into a central indoor unit. Instead, each room meets its own cooling needs through an individual air handler.

The air handler is connected to the outdoor compressor unit by refrigerant lines. As the air is on its way to the compressor, it becomes cooled and then goes back to the indoor unit that will circulate it in the room.

4 Benefits of Ductless Air Conditioning

If you’re thinking about investing in ductless air conditioning for your home, then you’ll be happy to know that a ductless system includes various benefits that are hard to pass up. Here are some of the greatest advantages of going ductless.

1. High Efficiency

Compared to a ducted AC unit, a ductless system is highly efficient. A ducted system tends to lose air through cracks and holes in the ductwork. This decreases its efficiency. Ductless systems do not have this problem due to the absence of ductwork.

2. Allergy Friendly

Compared to a ducted system, a ductless AC unit is more friendly to people who suffer from allergies. This is because a ducted AC unit is more prone to collecting and spreading allergens due to the buildup of these allergens and dust in the ducts.

Ductless systems do not blow air throughout your entire house via ducts. This helps to minimize the spread of allergens. In addition to this, ductless units require filter changes for individual air handler units. This also reduces the spread of allergens.

3. Customizable

Ductless air conditioners are highly customizable for homeowners. In fact, these systems have excellent capabilities that compete with those of traditional HVAC systems.

When compared to a traditional system, a ductless unit provides just as much comfort, regardless of your home size. Even more, the zoning capabilities of ductless air conditioners make them unmatched when it comes to customization.

For instance, if you would prefer to keep one of your rooms at a certain temperature than a different room, you can use separate air handlers to achieve optimal home comfort.

4. An Advantage for Older Properties

Another excellent benefit of ductless air conditioners is the fact that they work well with older properties.

Homes built before 1970 didn’t include ductwork throughout the home since central air systems weren’t commonplace during this time. This means that many older homes were constructed without ducts.

Luckily, those with older homes don’t have to invest in a huge renovation project. The simple solution is to install ductless air conditioning units in certain areas of your home.

Who Should Get a Ductless AC Unit?

A ductless air conditioner is an excellent option for many homeowners. But there are some homeowners who would specifically benefit from investing in a ductless AC unit for their property.

  • You live in an older home (typically built before 1970), and installing ductwork will affect your home’s structural integrity.
  • Your dwelling is large enough that some areas of your home are warmer, and a ductless unit will help compensate.
  • You’ve expanded your dwelling, and some areas are now too far from the ductwork.
  • You’ve converted your basement or attic into a living space, and you need to increase temperature comfort in these areas.
  • Your energy bill is unusually high.

Types of Ductless Air Conditioning Systems

There are two main types of ductless air conditioning systems: single-zone and multi-zone ductless ac.


A single-zone ductless air conditioner includes a single indoor component that connects to an outdoor AC unit to blow cool air in one area of your home. A single-zone ductless AC is beneficial if you need to cool or heat a garage or you have a new room addition. It’s also a good option if you’re looking for an easy installation process or you want to reduce your carbon footprint.


A multi-zone system allows you to connect multiple indoor air handlers to the outdoor unit. As a result, a multi-zone ductless air conditioner lets you create and control the temperature in multiple zones in your living space.

Multi-zone ductless air conditioners are beneficial because it enables you to personalize your comfort for everyone in your household. These types of ductless air conditioners also offer multi-stage filtration, which reduces the presence of pollutants.

Choose a Quality Contractor

If you’re ready to invest in a single-zone ductless air conditioner or multi-zone air conditioner for your home, be sure to hire a knowledgeable contractor to complete your installation.

Appropriate sizing and installation are critical to take advantage of the full benefits of a ductless air conditioner. Some homeowners choose the DIY route, but this doesn’t always result in the best efficiency. In fact, doing it yourself could result in substantial errors.

Unfortunately, a ductless air conditioner will not work properly if you don’t have the right size, if the wall penetration isn’t sealed correctly, or if the ductless AC is mishandled. The warranty will also be invalidated if you install it yourself, meaning even if the issue is a result of the manufacturing process, it won’t be covered.

However, a quality heating and cooling company with experience in AC installation can provide you with quick and reliable service and a longer lifespan for your ductless AC unit.

Even more, hiring a professional means that you don’t have to worry about unnecessary errors that can cost you more money and time in the long run.

If that’s not enough, investing in professional service means that you can feel confident that your ductless AC operates at optimal efficiency, which can lead to a lower energy bill.

At Meade’s Heating and Air, we pride ourselves on offering quality heating and cooling solutions for homeowners in Northern Virginia and the surrounding area. Investing in a ductless AC unit is certainly a great choice to improve your home’s comfort and increase energy efficiency. At Meade’s Heating and Air, we offer comprehensive heating and cooling services as well as gas line installation, indoor air quality solutions, and more. If you’re ready to invest in ductless air conditioning for you and your family, contact us today.

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