As the name implies, ductless air conditioning systems are those that do not rely on ductwork to deliver cool air. A ductless air conditioning system consists of two major parts: a small indoor air delivery unit and a larger outdoor compressor unit. On the inside of a room, the indoor component is installed near the ceiling on an exterior wall. Holes must be made through the wall to the outside, and refrigerant lines must be fed through these holes. The refrigerant lines connect to the outdoor compressor, which typically sits on a level concrete slab on the ground. The outdoor compressor is connected to a source of electricity.
When a ductless air conditioning system is turned on, the compressor and refrigerant stored in the outdoor unit begin working together to create cool air. Cooled air and electricity are then pumped out of the outdoor unit, along a series of refrigerant lines, into the indoor unit. The electricity delivered to the indoor unit powers a fan, which blows and distributes the cooled air throughout the room in which the system is installed. Hot air inside the room is also pumped out through the indoor units and refrigerant lines, as well as condensation that collects inside the indoor unit because of the cool air.
Ductless air conditioning offers the best balance of efficiency, cooling power and value for homes that do not have existing ductwork. Many homes built before the development of central climate control were built with thinner walls that cannot accommodate standard ducts. For these homes, there are four air conditioning options; ductwork can be built into the interiors at the expense of living space and décor, flexible pipes can be installed in the walls in place of ducts, window air conditioner units can be used or ductless air conditioners can be installed. Ductless air conditioners are far more powerful, secure and energy efficient that most window units and are far cheaper and easier to install than in-room ductwork or pipe-based central air conditioning.