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How Do Those Wall-Mounted ACs Work?

ductless-system-sending-out-snowflakesThis is a question we often hear. People look at an object mounted on a wall that’s sending out cool air and which looks like a slimmer window AC. But it’s only hanging from the wall, it doesn’t actually go through it. If you understand the basics of air conditioning, you’ll know that an AC has to exhaust heat outside or it can’t work. So how is that unit on the wall doing the job of sending out powerful cooling? 

Those wall-mounted ACs are part of a system known as a ductless mini split heat pump, and they’ve become more and more popular for households over the last two decades. If you’re interested in using a wall-mounted AC in Burlington, VT, either as an addition to your current HVAC system or to provide comfort to your entire house, our technicians are happy to talk to you about them and answer all your questions.

The Basics of Ductless Mini Split Heat Pumps

You probably won’t notice it, but those wall-mounted air conditioners do have an outdoor component. The unit you see on the wall connects to it through a hole drilled in the back of the wall. Refrigerant, condensate, and power lines inside a conduit travel outdoors to connect to what looks like the condenser cabinet of a standard air conditioner or heat pump. This is how the wall unit is able to provide cooling.

The unit contains a fan and refrigerant coil. Cold refrigerant sent from the outdoor unit flows through the coil and the blower sends warm air across it to cool down. The cooled air then travels into the room. The heated refrigerant travels to the outdoor unit where it releases the heat it absorbed from indoors. 

Because these wall-mounted units are usually high on a wall and out of easy reach, they’re controlled with remotes.

The Benefits of This Type of System

There are two important facts you need to know about these wall-mounted units that make them extremely appealing for homes and businesses.

  1. They’re heat pumps. A heat pump works similarly to a standard air conditioner, except it can change the direction refrigerant flows so it also functions as a heating system. That wall-mounted AC can turn into a wall-mounted heater with a simple adjustment.
  2. They can have up to eight wall-mounted units each. This allows a ductless mini split heat pump to deliver comfort to an entire house and essentially replace a standard ducted system. As a special bonus, each wall-mounted unit can be controlled separately from the others so only rooms that need heating/cooling receive it.

Installing a Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump

Although ductless mini split heat pumps aren’t ideal for all homes, they’re useful in several applications, such as older homes without the space for ducts or new home construction looking to save space. They can function as an addition to a pre-existing HVAC system to target hard-to-cool-and-heat spots or to provide comfort for an add-on room or converted garage or attic. 

Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York. Call us today to learn more about ductless mini split heat pumps.

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