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Keeping your Phoenix, AZ home cool during the hot months of summer is a challenge at times, especially with temperatures regularly reaching record digits over the last several years. It's also important that you not only keep the home comfortable, but that you do so in the most efficient way possible to ensure that your energy bills aren't so high you can barely manage to pay them. One options we feel is worth a closer look is the ductless or mini split air conditioner.

Q. What Is A Ductless Air Conditioning Unit?

A ductless or mini split air conditioner is designed similarly to central AC units. They have a split design, but lack the numerous ducts that larger HVAC systems involve. There will be one or more units set inside the home and one outside the home in Phoenix, AZ, with small tubes carrying refrigerant from the outside unit (known as the condenser) to the inside units (also called evaporators). Units placed inside can be set on the wall or mounted into the celling, and with this system it is possible to divide the home into zones, with different amounts of cooling power applied to each one. Each indoor unit can be used independently of the others.

Q. What Is A Basic Look At Zones?

Zoning is just what it sounds like. In a single zone system there will only be one unit inside the home. In multiple zone systems there can be two to four indoor units, each one placed in a different room of the home. Temperature controls are operated separately for each zone, letting you keep certain rooms cooler than others or allowing the system to send extra cooling to rooms that are larger and thus harder to keep cool.

Q. What Are The Pros And Cons Of Ductless Splits?

As with any heating and cooling system there are some pros and cons to consider. In terms of price, ductless splits are a much more affordable choice compared to larger HVAC systems and as such are a better choice for those with a smaller budget. There's no need for each unit inside the Phoenix home to vent to the outside, so they are much more convenient and versatile to install than single-unit traditional air conditioners. They also provide improved temperature control since each unit can be set independently. However, for larger homes a single ductless split may not be effective since only about 4 interior units can be connected to a condenser.

Q. How Easy Is Installation Of A Ductless Split?

While they're less complicated and involved to install than large HVAC units, ductless split air conditioning units are far more complex to install than the traditional window units that are so common throughout the country. Lines for coolant, drainage, and electricity need to be ran and each unit inside the home needs to be placed in a location that provides the best efficiency. And the unit also must be charged with refrigerant to keep the system working properly. As such, turning to an HVAC professional in Phoenix, AZ for the installation is an absolute must.

Q. Will The Installation Damage My Phoenix Home?

Installation of the system requires placing a hole in the wall for proper functionality. This hole is normally about 3 inches in diameter.

Q. How Do I Choose My Ductless Split Air Conditioner?

There are a few different things to consider when choosing your ductless split air conditioner including your zoning, BTUs, and the type of installation being used. Here is a quick review of some of the main things to think about.

Zoning

How many rooms do you need to cool? If you only have a single room that is in need of an AC unit, a single zone system is all you will require. But for larger Phoenix homes, multiple zone systems will allow for maximum efficiency and improved comfort throughout the home.

BTUs

Also known as British Thermal Units, BTUs are a measurement of power that are used in heating and cooling jobs. Use a basic BTU calculator found online and take a look at how powerful your system needs to be. The larger the area you have to cool down, the higher the BTU rating of your system will need to be.

Installation

We're referring here primarily to the type of indoor unit installation that your system will require. Indoor units are most commonly mounted on the wall of the room they're cooling, and can be installed in a way that helps them blend into the home more completely - they can look like picture frames, for example. Celling units are also used, but can only be installed in single zone systems. For multiple zone systems, wall units are the only option available.

Q. Will My Ductless System Heat?

Some of today's ductless systems do indeed provide heat as well as cooling. The more efficient models will often work with a heat pump, but electric heaters have been included in many brands of ductless split systems so it's possible you can get this type of heating for your home as well.

Q. Will I Need To Purchase The Tubing?

You'll be required to purchase the tubing used in the installation of your ductless split air conditioner. Tubing sizes will depend upon unit placement, and you may also need tubing to run drainage lines for excess condensation from the indoor units. Your HVAC technician can explain more about the tubing you'll need to use in your system.

Q. Will My System Work In The Winter?

Units will work around the year for the most part, though cooling when the temperature outside falls below 41 degrees will usually involve low ambient operation. Your technician can explain more about which systems work best around the year and which ones are more for summertime use only.