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Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Work Well in Several Different Places

Where air ducts require design space and special considerations for project viability, ductless heating and cooling systems can accommodate practically any interior design plans (including historical Virginia homes), potentially increasing the amount of usable square footage for new home construction, additions and remodels. When you consider the plethora of locations ideal for ductless system installations, ductless heating and cooling may accommodate your home-improvement project and perhaps inspire new plans that were impractical with other system options.

Locations Ideal For Ductless System Installation

One of the elementary considerations for a home remodeling project or new home design is how it will be heated and cooled in a manner that satisfies comfort, design aesthetics, energy efficiency and the pocketbook. For a growing number of home and business owners, ductless systems top the list in all of these categories. Considering the following locations ideal for ductless system installation and the simple step-by-step installation process involved, it's easy to see why that is.

  • Space heating and cooling - The traditional methods for space heating and cooling, such as a window unit or space heater, are not always the most efficient or desirable options, especially when compared with the efficiency ductless mini splits offer and the space-saving air-handling units (AHU) that are conveniently mounted in any location inside a room, or may be concealed "behind the scenes" inside the ceiling, wall or floor.
  • Remodels - Converting unconditioned areas in the home to livable space, such as an attic, basement or a garage conversion, often boosts home value and the standard of home living, and might be necessary to accommodate a growing household. Extending ducts is not always feasible, and it increases the current system’s heating and cooling load, which hinders the ability to maintain comfortable temperatures in other rooms and areas. A single-zoned ductless system is ideal for this scenario, and maintains optimal comfort levels in traditionally difficult to heat and cool spaces (e.g. a damp basement or hot attic, due to the fact that heat energy rises).
  • Existing homes with no duct system – Many older and historical homes were constructed with no ductwork system. Installing ductwork in such homes often requires encroaching upon living-space square footage, and may exhaust too much of the project’s budget or may not be feasible at all, especially in historic homes. Ductless systems offer heating and cooling solutions to all of these design and project inhibitors.
  • System replacements – Sooner or later, all heating and cooling systems need to be replaced. In addition to versatile design options, ductless systems deliver exceptional value to the homeowner for monthly energy savings, resulting in a nice return on investment, durable components, and zoned temperature control for maximum comfort. If it's time for a system replacement, whether you're replacing a forced-air system, baseboard heating or other unit, ductless heating and cooling may fit the bill and budget nicely.
  • New home design - More homeowners are going “green” by designing Energy Star-certified new homes. Ductless systems help achieve the goal of an energy-efficient new home, and may actually cut the HVAC installation budget compared to the expense and space reservations required of installing a forced-air hard-ducted system. Ductless systems are configurable and modular, which literally opens up more space for grander interior design ideas.
  • Guest rooms - If you're concerned about wasting energy by heating and cooling unoccupied rooms in your home, such as guest rooms and unused bonus rooms, a single-zoned ductless mini split may be installed as a point-of-use system in these areas, so you're only heating and cooling these spaces as needed. (Stay-over guests also will appreciate the perk of independent temperature control adjustable to their liking.)
  • Outbuildings - Pool houses, workshops and guest houses can be a challenge to keep comfortable. These are all projects and locations ideal for ductless system solutions.
  • Seasonal homes - Take the comforts of home with you on vacation by going ductless at your cabin by the lake, the seashore, condo or other seasonal dwelling. Ductless systems offer reliable performance, durable construction and easy maintenance which is convenient for occasional or sporadic occupancy, making these systems a practical solution for heating and cooling at a moment's notice and at the touch of a button.

Mitsubishi Electric Innovation

Ductless systems were born out of necessity, developed in Asia by Mitsubishi Electric during the 1970s to answer the demand for practical and efficient heating and cooling in commercial buildings and homes with limited space - locations ideal for ductless system solutions. Hard-ducted forced-air systems occupied too much valuable square footage, and unsightly window units blocked sunlight, were noisy, and performance was less than desirable.

Ductless systems provide heating and cooling by conventional heat pump principles of leveraging the natural movement of heat energy from a warmer location to a cooler location. The same compression and coil heat-exchange technology is used to manipulate refrigerant to extract, move and release heat energy when placed under temperature and pressure changes. These are the basic components that drive ductless technology:

  • Indoor AHU(s) – The indoor AHUs house a heat-exchange coil, a multi-speed fan, electronic sensors (for system components and zone-temperature scanning) and indoor air quality components. The refrigerant inside the heat-exchange coil is either evaporated (cooling cycle) or condensed (heating cycle), which extracts or releases heat energy to the zoned room or area.
  • Outside unit(s) - Mitsubishi Electric ductless systems offer outside cabinets with a small footprint for versatile installation on a concrete slab, or with mounting brackets to affix the unit to the exterior wall or flat roof of the home. The cabinets are durably constructed to stand the test of time, withstanding the harshest elements year after year. Inside the cabinet are the compressor, a second heat-exchange coil and multi-speed fan, a reversing valve (which makes possible heating and cooling), and various electronics to monitor system functions and performance.
  • Piping - The piping of Mitsubishi Electric ductless systems range from the simple and straightforward conduit containing the power source and refrigerant and drainage lines, to a sophisticated two-piping configuration that delivers simultaneous heating and cooling in multiple zones. The conduit and piping systems typically only require a small hole in the home exterior to connect to one or more indoor AHUs, traversing concealed spaces inside walls, attic and crawl space for more than 50 feet, if needed, for versatile location of each indoor AHU and the outdoor unit.

Accommodating Design Options

Whether your project calls for simple space heating and cooling, a multi-zoned system or a whole-home configuration, the sleek and compact components of Mitsubishi Electric systems make easy work of accommodating locations ideal for ductless system design and mounting options. The following ductless configurations are custom sized at each AHU to match the heating and cooling requirements in each zone.

  • Mini split classic – Space heating and cooling is delivered comfortably, efficiently and quietly with the original single-zoned ductless mini split configuration.
  • Multi-zoned - Ductless systems may be configured to utilize up to eight indoor AHUs to one outdoor unit. Each AHU of the multi-zoned system delivers separate heating and cooling, which may be programmed for convenience and greater energy savings.
  • Flex-zoned - With Mitsubishi Electric's two-piping system, the AHUs of one or more multi-zoned configurations share heat energy to provide exceptional energy efficiency and comfort for multiple rooms or a full system replacement or new installation for a high-efficiency new home design.

The installation locations ideal for ductless systems are left entirely in your hands and design plans. Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Contractors are specially trained and certified to install ductless systems for optimal performance, meeting the design specifications for practically any project where other systems fall short. These are the mounting and design options.

  • Universal mounting - The AHU in a universal design option is mounted to a ceiling, high or low on a wall, or as a stand-alone floor console. The ceiling and floor models are best suited with Mitsubishi Electric's airflow enhancements for optimal heating and cooling.
  • Recessed mounting – In a recessed installation, the AHU is recessed into the lower or higher portion of a wall, or hung flush in a drop ceiling panel.
  • Slim duct - The AHUs may also be completely concealed in a slim-duct configuration, with the grill(s) mounted flush to the ceiling, wall or floor. These installations work well with flex-zoned systems for multiple spaces and rooms sharing one AHU. It’s advisable to include the optional self-cleaning indoor-air quality components in this type of ductless design since the AHUs are not easily accessible.

If you would like to discuss in more detail locations ideal for ductless system installation for your new home design or home-improvement project, give us a call today to connect with a Virginia Mitsubishi Electric Contractor in your area.

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