How Do Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Work?

No one likes a home or business with inconsistent heating and cooling. From cold and hot spots to too much or too little humidity, a building’s heating and cooling system is typically to blame. With ductless heating and cooling, however, temperature and humidity control has never been easier – or more cost-effective. How do ductless heating and cooling systems work? Here’s everything you need to know about the underlying mechanics of a mini-split in northwest Washington, and what it means for you. 

What is Ductless Heating and Cooling?

A ductless heating and cooling system (otherwise known as a mini-split), is a multi-zoned temperature control system. Rather than relying on ductwork to push air around, the system has an outdoor compressor and a single ductless indoor unit for each ‘zone’. 

Because mini-split heat pumps treat individual zones, they are suitable for many different applications, including in: 

  • Renovations and new additions (Garage apartments, finishing basements, sun rooms, man caves, etc.) 
  • Downsizing efforts (Only heating or cooling the rooms you’ll be in)
  • Rooms with hot and cold spots
  • Homes without existing ductwork

Mini-splits are a great addition to a home or business’s heating and cooling efforts, as they provide unmatched energy efficiency. But, how do ductless heating and cooling systems work? 

How Does Ductless Cooling Work?

As mentioned, a ductless heating and cooling system consists of an outdoor compressor and one or multiple ductless indoor units. The system uses refrigerant (just as what’s used in your refrigerator) to treat the air in each ‘zone.’ The main principle to remember when it comes to refrigerant is that warmth moves toward cold areas.

Here’s a step-by-step process for how a ductless unit works to provide cooling to your home or business: 

  1. The ductless indoor unit’s sensor monitors the temperature of the room. When the temperature in the room is higher than the set temperature, it calculates the amount of cooling to reach the set temperature. 
  2. Using a fan, the ductless indoor unit pulls in warm air from the room. 
  3. The warm air blows through the evaporator within the ductless indoor unit – inside of which is boiling refrigerant.
  4. The heat energy from the air transfers to the system’s refrigerant.  
  5. The refrigerant pumps the heat energy to the outdoor compressor, after which it is released to the outdoors.
  6. The ductless indoor unit’s fan blows the now-cool air back into the room. 

In summary, when you’re trying to cool your indoor air, your ductless unit transfers the heat out of the air so that what remains is cooler air.  

How Does Ductless Heating Work?

Ductless heating works similarly to ductless cooling, only that the process is reversed and refrigerant is now boiling in the outdoor compressor. Here’s a step-by-step process for how a ductless unit works to provide heating to your home or business:

  1. The ductless unit’s sensor monitors the temperature of the room. When the temperature of the room is cooler than what it is set to be, it switches to heating mode and calculates how much heating is needed.
  2. Using a fan, the ductless indoor unit sucks in the cool air from the room. 
  3. The cool air blows through the evaporator within the ductless indoor unit. Because the refrigerant is now boiling in the outdoor unit, the heat energy is under pressure and transfers from the outdoor compressor to the indoor evaporator. 
  4. The heat energy from the evaporator warms the air blowing over the evaporator. 
  5. The ductless indoor unit’s fan blows the now-warm air back into the room. 

In summary, when you’re trying to warm your indoor air, your ductless unit transfers heat from the outdoor compressor to your indoor unit so that the air is warmer. 

Why Ductless?

The way ductless mini-splits operate provide a new level of energy efficiency and quiet operation that is bound to get home and business owners excited. Here are a few other key benefits of ductless heating and cooling: 

  • Inconspicuous heating and cooling: The whisper-quiet system heats and cools your house with minimal noise. You won’t detract from the tranquility of your home. Our technician can install indoor systems above the line of sight for you to enjoy ambient temperatures without distraction.
  • Environment friendly: The heating and cooling units use less energy than other traditional AC systems, which is better for the environment.
  • Cost-effective: Energy bills are a significant concern the ductless system addresses. Compared to traditional heating and cooling solutions, ductless systems reduce energy consumption by up to 50%, saving you on your monthly electricity bills.
  • Seamless installation: Ductless systems are fairly simple to install. Professional ductless installers complete the installation within a few hours. 
  • Simplified Control: You don’t need to be an expert to control a ductless system. Each ductless indoor unit comes with a remote control to adjust the temperature. Therefore, you won’t have thermostat squabbles with your family members.

Get In Touch with a Professional Today

We believe comfort shouldn’t be costly. Want to know more about ductless heating and cooling? Reach out to us to keep your heating and cooling bills to a minimum using our ductless heating and cooling systems. Give us a call at (360) 615-2740 to request a quote.  

For more information about ductless heating and cooling systems, check out our Complete Guide to Ductless Systems.


You may also like