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How Does a Ductless Split System Work in Your Virginia Home?

Ductless systems offer true zoned heating and cooling.Ductless split system A/Cs and heat pumps are making their way into more homes these days, and there's been a lot of chatter about ductless performance and capabilities. Read on to learn the facts about ductless performance and efficiency, and you may find that a ductless split system works perfectly for your Virginia home.

The Skinny on Ductless Split Systems

Ductless systems are split-system air source A/Cs and heat pumps, however, ductless technologies stray far from the conventional. The following summarizes Mitsubishi ductless benefits and facts:

  • The outdoor cabinet offers a much smaller footprint than the conventional.
  • A thin piping system traverses walls and inconspicuous areas to connect the outdoor and indoor units. 
  • The indoor AHUs offer multiple mounting options and independent temperature control.
  • One to eight AHUs may be installed for each outside unit.
  • Super-heat and super-cool technologies provide ample cooling on the hottest Virginia days, and ample heating down to frigid single digit temperatures outside.
  • Advanced air filtration components last up to 10 years.

Ductless Split Systems at Work

Like their larger central split system cousins, ductless split systems use refrigerant to transfer heat energy into and out of the home for energy efficient heating and cooling. Following are ductless operation basics:

  • Airflow is pulled through the air filtration components where airborne allergens, odors and contaminants are removed. Removing contaminants also helps protect the coil and other components and boosts heat exchange by keeping them clean.
  • The airflow helps super-heat the refrigerant (heat mode) inside the indoor evaporator coil and absorbs heat energy from the hot coil at precise temperatures for heating continuous comfort in the zone.
  • The refrigerant flows to the compressor/condenser unit outside the home and absorbs heat energy from outside air.
  • An inverter-driven compressor regulates the amount of refrigerant pumped through the system with variable-speed capacity, which uses substantially less electricity than standard central systems.
  • This process is extremely efficient, allowing ductless split system A/Cs and heat pumps to provide smooth and continuous temperatures much more efficiently than the typical central system, even during times of extreme outdoor weather.

Multiple Mounting Options

The versatile mounting options offered by ductless split system’s AHUs are more reasons ductless cooling and heating may fit right in your home, accommodating the interior design and available space of any room. The outside half of the split system offers a smaller footprint, which means versatile installation options, especially when its compared with a more cumbersome central split system.

Consider these mounting options and locations, and you may even mix and match to serve your interior and exterior design specifications:

  • Universal - The most common mounting option is the universal wall- or ceiling-mounted AHU.
  • Short duct recessed - This mounting option is a low-profile concealed installation that places the AHU inside the wall, ceiling or floor, and uses a short duct run for the air intake and air supply grilles. The grilles are the only visible components from the living spaces and offer the same smooth finish as a central system.
  • Recessed - This popular low-profile option borrows from the universal and concealed mountings in that the AHU is recessed into the wall or ceiling for better aesthetics, but the air filters and other components are still accessible for cleaning and maintenance from inside the living spaces.
  • Drop ceiling - If you're planning to install a drop ceiling in retrofitted space, such as a converted attic or basement, a low-profile concealed installation is ideal. The AHU is concealed above a panel of the drop ceiling, with only the grille visible. This installation is ideal for business and commercial purposes, too.
  • Floor - A floor mounting kit and airflow enhancements are available for a floor-mounted AHU.
  • Outdoor mounting - The outdoor cabinet needs a stable footing, which could be a small concrete slab or level bricks or paver stones. For smaller ductless split systems, the outdoor cabinet may be mounted to the home shell opposite the indoor AHU for superior energy efficiency.

Zoned Comfort and Efficiency

Zoned temperature control is an exceptional benefit for comfort and energy savings completely sized and tailored to the conditioning demands and lifestyle of occupants in each AHU zone. Conventional central A/Cs and heat pumps deliver conditioned air to the entire home regardless of actual demand in each zone. An air distribution system of this sort works in millions of homes, however, it wastes energy, which is a growing and daily concern for many and creates discomforts due to unbalanced airflow.

Ductless split systems are refrigerant distribution systems that condition zone air at the AHU directly inside each individual zone, as desired, according to actual cooling and heating demand zone by zone. This point-of-use cooling and heating capability offers the following benefits:

  • Comfort control - Each occupant of a ductless zone enjoys temperature control of his or her liking. This eliminates disputes over central thermostat settings that don’t satisfy individual comfort differences and hot/cold spots from room to room.
  • Air filtration - Each AHU is outfitted with advanced air filtration components that remove allergens, odors, viruses and other contaminants from the air. The filters are easily removed and cleaned, last for years, which saves money on filter replacements.
  • Energy savings - Ductless split systems are inherently more energy efficient than central split systems due to the energy losses common of ductwork, and the fact that central systems condition the entire home rather than zone by zone as needed.
  • Single or multiple zones - Ductless split systems may be installed to condition one zone, two or more zones or whole-home conditioning (mini split, multi split or modular split system respectively) for a full system replacement or as an important system in new energy-efficient home construction. In fact, ductless systems are very competitive for cost of installation in new home design since there are no air ducts to install.

Far-Reaching Uses

Ever since Mitsubishi Electric introduced ductless split systems in Asia four decades ago, we've been a leader in the industry for cutting-edge technologies. These technologies and advanced components drive performance, comfort and the versatile installation options that make ductless systems practical cooling and heating solutions for a host of applications.

The conduit or piping system that connects the outdoor and indoor cabinets may extend in excess of 200 feet. The thin conduit takes advantage of inconspicuous spaces for its installation, such as through walls, attic space, crawl space and basements. The process takes a fraction of the time and expense it would take to extend or construct ductwork through these same areas.

Flexible, far-reaching and accommodating define Mitsubishi’s ductless technologies and the practical applications which are possible.

  • Supplemental - Home comfort depends on countless variables, including agreement between household members on comfortable temperatures, warmer upstairs, cooler downstairs and more. Ductless split systems can supplement any heating and cooling system for maximum comfort and savings.
  • Additions - Constructing a new addition to the home? Forego ductwork, give your central system a break by reducing its load and save energy with a mini split system.
  • Retrofits - Converting attic, basement and garage spaces to usable living and working spaces makes good sense for many homeowners, and going ductless for heating and cooling converted spaces is even smarter and more practical.
  • Infrequently used rooms - Why heat and cool seldom used rooms in the home? Because you must with a central A/C or heat pump. Your licensed Mitsubishi Electric contractor can install a mini or multi split system to condition seldom used rooms and seal the duct runs to such rooms. The result is better comfort and savings, and better central system performance, too.
  • Outbuildings - With the far-reaching and flexible capabilities of Mitsubishi multi split systems, you may condition an outbuilding, such as a workshop or pool house, and install AHUs inside your home using a single outdoor unit.
  • New home design - Make your new home an energy-efficient one with a whole-house ductless configuration. You'll save square footage and the expense of installing ductwork, and you'll enjoy genuine zoned comfort and nice return on investment in energy savings.
  • Replacement system - Does your entire HVAC system need to be overhauled or scrapped? Going ductless is easy, sensible and beneficial.
  • Historic homes - Many historic homes in Virginia weren't designed with ductwork. This poses a problem for finding a practical way to air condition the home and stay comfortable. Ductless systems may be concealed in walls, attic space and cavities. Ask your Mitsubishi Electric contractor if a ductless split system will work in your historic home.
  • Second homes - Ductless split systems use electricity to power the components. This means simpler upkeep in vacation homes.
  • Rental properties - Tenants are sure to enjoy ductless heating and cooling, while property owners and managers will appreciate simple maintenance and upkeep.
  • Quiet and/or clean indoor environments - Ductless split systems are low-profile systems that work well in practically any building that benefits from quiet and clean operation, whether for residential, office, commercial, medical, church or organization.

To learn more details about the benefits and facts of ductless systems, please contact us to speak to a licensed Mitsubishi Electric contractor near your Virginia home.

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