Archive for August, 2011

Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners – Applications

August 7, 2011

Good Morning Friends,

Today I would like to discuss the most popular application for ductless air conditioners.

Most of the requests we get for ductless air conditioners are for the 3rd floor lofts. Typically, there is a small landing at the top of the stairs with a bedroom on each side. My customers ask me to install a unit in the landing area that they hope will cool both bedrooms.

I want to point out an area of concern to avoid. I am often called on by major manufacturers of ductless air conditioners to fix problems with the installations of other contractors. Recently I was asked to replace a unit that had its compressor burn out 2 times in 2 years.

I found a large ductless unit installed in a tiny landing area that was short cycling because it was cooling the small area too quickly. This on and off cycling of the compressor is very harsh on the compressor and caused it to burn out.

When installing these units, contractors must be very careful not to oversize the units and try to cool the whole house because the unit will burn out.

As with any heating and cooling equipment, do not buy any unit before a complete heat loss/gain study is performed on your home to determine your exact heat gain or loss.

I would also recommend using an inverter unit which allows the unit to reduce its capacity rather than cycle on and off.

Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners

August 2, 2011

Good Morning Friends,

Today I would like to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of ductless air conditioners. Ductless air conditioners were designed to provide cooling where there are no air ducts available to deliver adequate cooling. The following are examples of homes that could benefit from ductless air conditioners.

  1. Homes that are heated with a boiler and perimeter radiators or in-floor radiant heat.
  2. Homes that are heated with electric baseboard heat.
  3. Homes with rooms that are not getting enough cool air from the existing air conditioning system.
  4. Third floor rooms that are always too warm in the summer.
  5. Rooms with unusually high loads such as offices with computers, kitchens or sun rooms.

All of these rooms would benefit from the great cooling and dehumidification capabilities of a ductless air conditioner.

Ductless units have the following advantages:

  1. They cool exceptionally well where standard ducted systems cannot.
  2. They are great at removing the humidity making the home feel dry in addition to cool.
  3. They can also be a source of heat. This saves a lot of money when you are currently using electric baseboard heat.
  4. They allow for independent temperature control of the rooms that they service.

The disadvantages are:

  1. There is a visible unit mounted in the treated room. Please see the videos below that feature some very nice looking units that can blend in to any decor.
  2. They cannot be controlled by a conventional 7-Day programmable thermostat. They use a wireless remote.
  3. Many unprofessional contractors install these units, often incorrectly, causing much grief and equipment failure. Buyer BEWARE when selecting a contractor to install a ductless mini-split.

Technology has advanced and now ductless units are available with completely concealed units. They also make some very nice looking units. Please see the 2 videos below. You can leave a comment for me with any questions or applications and I will be happy to help you pick a unit that will work best for you.