You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

Ductless Air 101: The New Wave in Home Cooling

Approximately three-quarters of the homes in the United States have air conditioning, and many of them are central AC units. But did you know that ductless air systems are just as effective? These flexible, cost-effective units offer an alternative to traditional air. 

But how does ductless AC work? Well, in this informative guide, we'll unlock the secrets of ductless AC systems and show you how they can revolutionize your cooling experience. So, say goodbye to sweaty summers and hello to relaxing comfort. Read on to learn more! 

How Does Ductless AC Work? 

Ductless AC systems transfer heat from the inside to the outside. Unlike traditional central air conditioning units, ductless systems consist of outdoor and indoor components. 

The outdoor unit contains a compressor and condenser. It's responsible for extracting heat from the indoor air and releasing it. The indoor unit, however, consists of an evaporator coil and a fan. It's installed in individual rooms and connects to the outdoor unit through refrigerant lines. 

When a ductless air conditioner is turned on, the compressor in the outdoor component circulates the refrigerant through the lines to the indoor units. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air as it passes through the evaporator coil. 

The fan in the indoor component then blows the cooled air back into the room. You can continue this process until the desired temperature is reached. 

The Pros of Ductless AC Systems 

Ductless AC systems come with a wide range of advantages that make them an attractive choice. Here are some of the key benefits of ductless systems: 

Energy Efficiency 

Ductless AC systems are highly energy-efficient. Since they provide targeted air conditioning for individual rooms, there's no electricity wasted on cooling unoccupied spaces. 

Also, ductless systems use inverter technology. This technology allows them to adjust the compressor speed based on the cooling needs, resulting in lower energy consumption. 

Flexible Installation 

The installation of a ductless AC unit is much simpler than a traditional HVAC system. Since there is no need for ductwork, you can avoid the hassle of tearing down walls or ceilings to accommodate the ducts. Indoor units can be mounted on walls, which provides flexibility. 

Customized Comfort 

With ductless home AC, you can control the temperature in individual rooms. Therefore, everyone can enjoy their preferred level of comfort without compromising on energy efficiency.  

Quiet Operation 

Ductless AC systems are known for their quiet operation. The indoor units are designed to minimize noise, ensuring a peaceful environment. This is particularly beneficial for bedrooms, offices, or any space where noise can be a disturbance. 

Improved Indoor Air Quality 

Since traditional HVAC systems rely on ductwork to distribute air, they accumulate dust and allergens. Ductless systems, on the other hand, don't have this issue. 

By directly delivering filtered air into each room, ductless AC improves indoor air quality. As a result, it creates a healthier living environment. 

The Cons of Ductless AC Systems 

While ductless AC systems come with numerous advantages, there are a few drawbacks. Here are some cons to keep in mind: 

Upfront Cost 

Ductless systems are sometimes more expensive to install. The cost of the outdoor unit, indoor units, refrigerant lines, and installation can add up. This is especially true if you have multiple rooms or zones to cool.  

However, the long-term energy savings offered by ductless systems offset the initial cost. 


Although ductless AC systems offer flexibility in terms of installation, the presence of indoor units on the walls is unappealing for some people. But compared to energy efficiency and improved air quality, the aesthetics aren't very important. 

Limited Cooling Capacity 

Ductless systems aren't suitable for chilling large spaces or entire homes. They're typically designed to provide targeted AC for individual rooms. If you have a big house or require constant air conditioning throughout the entire space, a traditional HVAC system is the better option. 

Regular Maintenance 

Like any other cooling system, ductless AC systems require regular maintenance. This includes cleaning or replacing air filters, checking refrigerant levels, and inspecting the system for potential issues. 

While the maintenance tasks are relatively simple, they should not be overlooked. Otherwise, there could be bigger problems down the line. 

How Many BTUs Does My Space Need? 

Determining the appropriate size of a ductless AC system is vital for ensuring optimal performance. The size is typically measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). 

BTUs indicate the cooling capacity of the unit. To figure out how many your space needs, consider these factors: 

Room Size 

The size of the room you want to cool plays a huge role in determining the BTUs. Larger rooms will require more thermal units to effectively chill the space. Measure the square footage of the room and refer to the manufacturer's guidelines to determine the appropriate BTU rating. 

Insulation and Sun Exposure 

The insulation of the room and the amount of sun exposure it receives can impact the cooling capabilities. Well-insulated spaces don't require as many BTUs compared to poorly insulated rooms. 

Also, rooms that receive direct sunlight for extended periods may require additional BTUs to offset the heat from the sun. 

Ceiling Height 

Rooms with high ceilings will require more BTUs compared to rooms with standard ceilings. The additional height increases the volume of the room, requiring a higher cooling capacity. 

Number of Occupants 

The number of people occupying a space can also influence the BTU requirement. A room with more occupants will generate additional heat, which needs to be accounted for when sizing the ductless AC system. 

Heat-Producing Equipment 

If the room contains heat-producing equipment, such as computers or kitchen appliances, the BTU requirement should be adjusted. The AC unit needs to compensate for the additional heat load. 

Ductless AC Sizes 

Now that you know the factors that'll determine the type of home AC you'll need, you can decide on a specific unit. Here's a generic sizing chart to determine the BTUs you'll need for your space: 

  • Room size: 150-250 sf. (6,000 BTUs) 

  • Room size: 250-300 sf. (7,000 BTUs) 

  • Room size: 300- 350 sf. (8,000 BTUs) 

  • Room size: 350+ sf (10,000-12,000 BTUs) 

It's important to note that under sizing or oversizing a ductless AC system can lead to performance issues. An undersized system may struggle to chill the space adequately. 

On the contrary, an oversized system may frequently cycle on and off, resulting in energy waste. To ensure accurate sizing, it's recommended to consult with a professional HVAC technician. An expert can perform a detailed assessment and provide a precise BTU suggestion for your specific space. 

Ductless AC Components: An In-Depth Look 

Ductless AC systems consist of various parts. Understanding these components can help you better grasp the inner workings of the system. Here are the main elements: 

Outdoor Unit 

The outdoor unit houses the compressor and condenser. As explained above, it extracts heat from the indoor air and releases it outside. The compressor presses the refrigerant, increasing its temperature and pressure. Then, the condenser coil helps the refrigerant dissipate heat to the outdoor air, while the fan helps to expel the heat. 

Indoor Unit 

The indoor unit is installed in the area that you want to cool. It consists of an evaporator coil and a fan. The evaporator coil absorbs heat from the indoor air as the refrigerant passes through it. The fan then blows the chilled air back into the room. 

Refrigerant Lines 

Refrigerant lines connect the outdoor unit to the indoor unit. They carry the refrigerant, allowing it to circulate between the two components. These lines are usually made of copper or aluminum and are insulated to prevent heat loss. 

Control Panel 

The control panel is typically located on the indoor unit or comes in the form of a remote control. It allows you to set the desired temperature, control fan speed, and switch between different modes of operation. 

Condensate Drain 

As the indoor system cools the air, it also removes moisture from the air, resulting in condensation. The condensate drain collects and directs the water away from the indoor unit to prevent water damage. 

Power Supply 

Ductless AC requires an electrical power supply to operate. The power supply connects the outdoor component to the indoor unit. It also provides the necessary electricity for the system to function. 

Essentially, these components work together to provide efficient cooling and comfort in each space. 

Your Source for Home Heating and Cooling 

How does ductless AC work? Well, we hope that we thoroughly answered that question for you. As you can see, there are many benefits to installing a ductless air conditioner. If you're looking for a reliable HVAC contractor, we're it. 

At Parker & Sons, we perform air conditioning services, heating, plumbing, and more. We even provide money-saving offers to make our services more affordable. 

If you have any questions, give us a call at 602-344-9027, or schedule an appointment online. We look forward to serving you! 

Related Reading