Everything You Need to Know About Ductless Air Conditioners

By Beth Krietsch
Modern living room with sofa and air conditioner - 3d rendering

When your home isn’t equipped with central air conditioning, ductless air conditioners can be an excellent way to keep your living space cool on hot days. Also known as mini-split air conditioners, these are a particularly good fit for people who are looking to cool a small space, save on energy costs, and avoid the hefty price burden and work involved in installing central air. The upfront costs can be high, but ductless air conditioners are very energy efficient and pay off in monetary savings over time. Read on to learn everything you need to know about ductless air conditioners.

How do they work?

Ductless air conditioners are commonly known as mini-split air conditioners because they are made up of separate indoor and outdoor pieces, rather than functioning through a single unit. Comprised of an indoor unit mounted to a wall, an outdoor compressor, and drains and cables that connect the two, ductless air conditioners cool the home without ductwork by cooling air as it passes through a condenser, and distributing this cooler air into your home.

Installation

If you’re skilled with repairs and other home projects, you’ll probably be able to install a ductless air conditioner on your own, but most people hire a specialist for the job. An improperly installed unit won’t provide the same benefits and can be problematic and ineffective in the long run.

How much will it cost?

Ductless air conditioners tend to be fairly expensive, typically costing between $1,000 and $7,000, plus the cost of installation. Higher priced options are usually capable of cooling multiple zones or rooms at a time. They can cost two times as much as window air conditioners and are typically 30% more expensive than a central air conditioning system. However, keep in mind that central air also requires duct installation.

Energy efficiency

Because they allow you to cool several targeted areas at a time without losing energy through ducts, ductless air conditioners are the most energy efficient form of air conditioning, capable of cutting cooling costs by around 30%. However, your energy bills will definitely go up if you haven’t been using air conditioning at all. Look for Energy Star labels when shopping to ensure you’re purchasing one of the most efficient units on the market.

Temperature control

Ductless air conditioners are excellent for temperature control because they allow you to cool one room at a time as opposed to central air conditioning, which cools the entire home. These units also provide a ton of flexibility, allowing you to keep different rooms at different temperatures.

Other perks

  • Allergies—Air conditioning ducts tend to accumulate dust, moisture, and debris, which can be problematic for people with allergies. With a ductless air conditioning unit, you rarely need to worry about allergies, as long as you clean the filter as recommended, which is usually about once a month.
  • Heating—Most ductless air conditioners can also be used as heat pumps, making them a functional component of the home throughout the year.
  • Lifespan—Most ductless mini-split air conditioners have a fairly long lifespan of around 12–15 years.

More in Maintenance

Gutters

Best Gutter Guards for Keeping Pests Out

Create gutter protection from pests by limiting access to your gutters and roof with gutter guards. Gutter guards are a valuable addition to your pest prevention plan for protecting against rodents, pests, and much more. Read more about the best gutter guards for keeping pests out in this article.

Maintenance & Renovation

Guide To Installing Halloween Decorations Safely

Halloween is the perfect time to dress your home with bewitching baubles and spine-tingling trinkets. We’ll show you how to install Halloween decorations to make your holiday as safe as it is spooky.

Maintenance & Renovation

10 Fabulous Fall Decorating Ideas

There’s no better way to welcome the fall season than with cheerful, cozy home decor. We’ll show you 10 seasonal decorating ideas to get you through Halloween, Thanksgiving, and everything in between.

Gutters

Do Gutter Guards Make Fall Gutter Cleaning Easier?

Nobody likes cleaning gutters. It’s messy, time-consuming, and, often, icky. This may leave you wondering if installing gutter guards will help you avoid the hassle of cleaning your gutters each fall. Read our article to learn if gutter guards make fall gutter cleaning more manageable.

Gutters

Can Rodents Get Past Your Gutter Guards?

Gutter guards protect your gutters by working like a colander or strainer and limiting access to your gutter and roof. As a result, they help prevent leaves and debris from piling up in your gutters. Gutter guards can also be a valuable addition to your pest control prevention plan, especially when it comes to rodents.

Maintenance & Renovation

Government Programs That Help New Homeowners

Buying your first home can be a monumental task and the most significant investment of your life. Thankfully, these government programs can help take the edge off.

Maintenance & Renovation

How To Extend the Life of Your Refrigerator

A fridge is a necessary kitchen appliance that keeps food fresh. However, it can be a costly home appliance to maintain and replace. To help, we’re sharing our top tips for extending the life of your fridge.

Maintenance & Renovation

How To Extend the Life of Your Heating System

Replacing your heating system is one of the most expensive home maintenance tasks you’ll have to handle during your time as a homeowner. Because of this, we’re sharing our top tips for extending the life of your heating system so you can put off replacing it for as long as possible.

Gutters

Menards Gutter Guards Review (2022)

Do the gutters on your roof constantly get clogged? Click here to learn about the best gutter guards available at Menards in 2022.