If you’ve considered upgrading your existing system or adding air conditioning to your home, you’ve probably realized there’s a large gap in the available options for home cooling. At one end of the spectrum are the small, relatively inexpensive window air conditioners that seem to have moved along noisily with few advances in technology since they entered the mainstream market in the 1940s. At the other end are large, quiet (as long as you’re inside) central systems designed to hook into existing central ventilation ducts.
What do you do if you want something in between? What’s available for houses that have no ducting? Isn’t there a more efficient way to cool your home?
Positioned between the extremes of window-mounted units and central systems is an air-conditioning technology that’s still new to most Canadians. Ductless air-conditioners, also called mini-split systems, are a newer approach to air conditioning developed in Japan, which use a type of heat pump technology to efficiently deliver cooling action to independently controlled zones in your home.
Ductless air-conditioners are called mini-splits because the two main halves of the equipment are separated by distance. One half is the compressor, which sits outdoors all the time, just like the compressor on a central air-conditioner. The other half of the ductless system, the indoor air-handling unit, is wall-mounted and connected to the compressor via a pair of hidden pipes. This is the unique feature of the mini-split approach.