For homeowners who want efficient and effective cooling and heating, there is a singular option that is growing in popularity: the ductless system. Rather than operating through ductwork connected to an indoor air handler and evaporator unit, a ductless mini-split breaks up the indoor unit and blower fans to independently distribute conditioned air into each room. Small air handlers are mounted—typically high up on the walls—and each one can be set to a specific temperature.
Perhaps you’ve seen these types of systems. They’re often found in newer office buildings, doctors’ offices, and hotels. There are several advantages to going ductless, including increased efficiency—especially during the cooler months. But if not installed properly, the unique needs of a ductless AC system could leave you needing repairs or even replacement. Read on to learn more!
“Wait, Are There Disadvantages to Going Ductless?”
No, not necessarily! Ductless systems aren’t the right choice for every home, and our technicians can help you decide on your specific needs. But if you find out a ductless system is right for your home, it’s worth considering.
But the main reason you want to be aware of the unique needs of such a system is so that you’ll understand why it’s important that you have a professionally trained technician do the installation and follow-up services. So what are these needs?
Broken Air Handlers
Let’s start with this one, since this isn’t entirely a bad thing. No, you never want a part of your air conditioner or heating system to be broken. But, if a single air handler breaks down or starts malfunctioning due to a failed motor or some other issue, you still have the remaining air handlers throughout your home to keep you cool (or warm).
The only portion of your home that will lose out on conditioned air is the room with the broken air handler. You still want to call us for repairs ASAP, but fortunately you don’t need to worry about the whole home losing out on conditioned air while you wait for the technician to arrive.
Water Leaks Behind the Air Handlers
Each of the wall-mounted air handler units has a series of connections attached to it. These connections are routed through a hole that we drill into your drywall and are housed in a conduit. The connections include a power line, refrigerant line, and condensate line. The condensate line removes water moisture from the cooling process so it doesn’t enter your living space.
It’s possible for the condensate line could develop a leak, or even the refrigerant line, which we’ll touch on in a moment. When either water or fluid starts to build up between the back of the air handler and the wall, the wall material will weaken until the air handler rips away and falls off—resulting in property damage (and a broken air handler)!
Refrigerant leaks aren’t unique to ductless systems. They can happen in any central air conditioner or heat pump. When they do, they lead to a loss of cooling and eventually a total HVAC system breakdown. But in a ductless system, since the refrigerant line runs behind drywall, it can introduce this chemical fluid or gas into your home, leading to property damage among other concerns.