Mini-Split Ductless AC Systems

When you think of AC, you think of an outside unit next to your house and ducts and another one inside distributing cool around your home. Now ductless technology gives you amazing flexibility and to learn more about it we’re visiting with Sam McMullan from Bolden Brothers.


Hey, Charlie.

So what’s the difference between the traditional AC system like I just described and these new ductless ones?

Yeah, the new ductless systems, it’s not a new technology. It’s been used in Europe and Asia for a very long period of time. The United States is catching up on it though with its use. It’s a very, very versatile system and very, very energy efficient.

How does it work?

Basically it’s a duct work system inside of a box on your wall. There’s an outdoor unit that comes on and passes the refrigerant through tubes to what we call a head unit inside the house. It can be mounted on the wall, can be mounted in the ceiling, can be mounted on the floor, and then there’s a fan in a coil within that small unit to push cool air into the home.

So the what the thing in the attic or basement, wherever it is in your home, the evaporator is actually sitting right there on the wall.

That’s correct.

And the condenser is in the box outside.

And it’s very small about the size of a large suitcase.

And there’s, my understanding is between them, there’s just a one simple umbilical that runs between them.

Yep. It runs, it carries the refrigerant and the electric all in one little small package.

So this means that, if I understand what you’re saying is we can take a ductless unit and deliver cooling very tactically, like to one room or one area of a house.

Yep, there’s a couple of benefits. You’ll have control of the temperature in a particular room. The efficiencies, some of the base efficiencies on ductless are some of the high end efficiencies on a conventional ducted system.

Is that because they’re not losing the efficiency through the duct system?

That’s correct, Charlie. There’s no duct work to have air losses and leakage and infiltrations so having just those two units makes it much more efficient.

ow, that’s great if I want a cool one room, but what if I want to cool three or four rooms.

That’s what’s great about the new ductless systems, Charlie, some of them have the ability to handle four and five heads now and more with branch boxes.

So we take one condenser unit outside and then you have these different basically evaporator heads and you put one in each room that you want to cool and they all tie to that same unit.

Yep. That’s great. So it does provide a whole house solution without, you having to run duct work. It’s great for older homes. Great for the add ons. Great for the room above the garage.

And I’m just struggling with how can this be more efficient to have all these heads as opposed to having one central unit.

SAM: Yeah. It goes back to the not having duct work where you have leakage and infiltrations of outside air or something not sized correctly. So the efficiencies all recognized because the refrigerant goes from point A to point B in one straight line.

Is it possible, are there systems that enable us to take these ductless systems and meld them with our existing central air units?

Yes. That’s a great new technology that’s coming out now that has the ability to take your conventional ducted system and pull a ductless head for that room above the garage we spoke about earlier or that sunroom that you’ve decided to close in and make a four season room.

You can have a head just in that room cooling just that room off your existing system.

That is correct.

Wow. The technology of ductless is really changing air conditioning and the people at the leading edge of that are right there at Bolden Brothers and Sam and his team can explain to you if a ductless solution is right for you. Sam, thanks a lot.

Thank you, Charlie.

Whether it’s air conditioning or plumbing, electrical or propane, you know, you can depend on Bolden Brothers.

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