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No Ducts? No Problem. Your Options For Ductless Air Conditioning

Having ductwork seems like a natural prerequisite to having an effective air conditioning system. But not every home is able to accommodate the ductwork needed for a typical central air conditioner. Fortunately, there are several other options you can pursue when it comes to maintaining your home's cooling comfort. You can talk with a professional, like Pell City Heating & Cooling Inc, about the following alternatives.

Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

Window-mounted air conditioners are the proven go-to when it comes to central air conditioning alternatives. As their namesake suggests, these units are mounted on your window, with the rearmost portion containing the condenser coil and compressor hanging out of the window. The controls are usually located on the front of the unit, with some units using remote controls for remote operation.

Window-mounted units are well known for being relatively easy to install and inexpensive to buy. However, these units tend to be noisier than other air conditioning systems. Having the compressor and condenser packaged tightly together does little for performance and energy efficiency. As a result, these units also tend to be less energy efficient than other air conditioners.

Ductless Mini-Split System

If your cooling needs are more than a window-mounted unit can handle, you may want to consider a ductless mini-split system. These units are similar to central air conditioners, except they use a number of wall-mounted air handlers connected to a single outdoor condenser unit. This way, you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of having a central air conditioner without the ductwork that's normally needed.

Each air handler can also be used in a zoned system to provide precise cooling comfort for improved energy efficiency. The only downside is that a typical ductless mini-split system can cost twice as much as a window-mounted air conditioner.

Mini-Duct Air Conditioner

Yes, this last option uses ducts, but they're not like the large ducts commonly used with traditional central heating and cooling systems. These units rely on a combination of small diameter, flexible tubing and a high-velocity air handler to deliver conditioned air throughout your home. Unlike conventional ducts, the flexible tubing can be run through walls, floors, and ceilings with very little modification.

Mini-duct units let you enjoy the benefits of having a central air conditioner without need for large ducts. Although they offer reasonable cooling performance, they're not as adept at managing indoor humidity as their ductless counterparts. In addition, the initial purchase price of these units tends to be much higher than that of a standard HVAC system.