Ductless Air Conditioners (also referred to as Ductless Mini Splits) do not require any outside venting. Ductless air conditioners and heat pumps circulate indoor air only and produce no exhaust gases or fumes like fossil-burning furnaces that need to be vented to the outdoors. To remove the by-products of combustion, fossil burning furnaces that burn natural gas, propane, heating oil, or other fossil fuels require outdoor venting.

How Do Ductless Air Conditioners Work?

Ductless air conditioning systems (also called mini-splits) combine individual room units with an outside compressor via a duct.

The evaporator coils in the indoor unit are cooled with refrigerant.

Warm air from the space is blown over and absorbed by the coils, cooling the air. The cooled air is then returned to the room.

The compressor pushes the refrigerant through the coils to complete the cooling process.

The outdoor unit also contains a fan that circulates the refrigerant and helps cool the outdoor air.

Related: Which Type of Air Conditioner is the Quietest?

Mini Split Indoor Head

That’s the beauty of a ductless mini-split in action. Whether it’s an air conditioner or a heat pump, this wall-mounted heat pump head unit may be placed on an inside or outside wall, and it doesn’t require any ventilation since there are no emissions.

In terms of efficiency, the Heat Pump splits heat into two separate streams: heating and cooling.

Most split systems are available in either straight air conditioning that just cools or heat pump versions that both heat and cool.

The best buy is the heat pump unless you live in a region where there is no need for heating.

Mini-split systems are among the most energy-efficient systems accessible today. If you’re interested in learning more about the cost of a ductless whole-house heating system, take a moment to breathe.

When you add additional heads, the pricing rises considerably.

Most of my customers utilize a mini-split for the main space, such as a living room, and then use a less expensive window unit for bedrooms.

Do Ductless Air Conditioners Have Filters?

You may be wondering how well ductless heat pumps and air conditioners filter the air after you know they don’t require venting.

They aren’t ideal, but the filters they employ are superior to nothing.

If you reside in a dusty environment or have numerous pets, you may need to clean more than the filters to keep these units operating smoothly.

How Are Ductless Air Conditioners Installed?

The installation process for ductless air conditioners is similar to that of any other type of AC unit.

A contractor will come to your home and assess the best place to put the outdoor unit, which is usually on an exterior wall near where you want the indoor unit installed.

They’ll also measure the space to make sure the indoor unit will fit and determine the best place to put it.

Once the placement of the units is decided, the contractor will drill holes through the wall and run refrigerant lines between the indoor and outdoor units.

They’ll also install a drain line for the condensation that is produced by the unit.

After the installation is complete, the contractor will test the unit to make sure it’s working properly.

Related: How Much Does A Heat Pump Cost To Install And Run


How do ductless air conditioners drain?

Mini-splits do require a drain connection. Condensate water must be discharged from the indoor unit to the closest plumbing line through a flexible drain pipe, which is supplied with the equipment.

Can I install a ductless air conditioner myself?

While it’s technically possible to install a ductless system yourself, we don’t recommend it. The installation process is complicated and requires special tools and training. It’s best to leave it.

Do mini-splits provide ventilation?

Yes, a ductless mini-split is beneficial to the indoor air quality and ventilation in your home. Ductless mini-splits are more than simply air conditioners. They’re also purifiers and dehumidifiers. A filter inside each indoor air-handling unit removes any harmful particles from the air.

Do ductless air conditioners bring in outside air?

Ductless mini-splits circulate existing air rather than introducing fresh air from the outside, but they do make for quiet, efficient, and pleasant air conditioning and heating. They simply exchange the current air in your house with that of a conventional HVAC system.
If you’re interested in a ductless mini-split that also provides ventilation, we recommend looking into a heat-recovery ventilator (HRV).
An HRV system is similar to a ductless mini-split in that it has an outdoor unit and one or more indoor units. The big difference is that an HRV also brings in fresh air from outside and exhausts stale air to the outdoors.

Is a concealed ductless air conditioner right for me?

A concealed ductless air conditioner is a great choice if you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing way to cool and heat your home. Since they’re installed high on the wall, they take up very little space and blend in nicely with your décor.

Is an exhaust hose required for a ductless air conditioner?

No, an exhaust hose is not required for a ductless air conditioner. The units are designed to work without one.

Do all ductless air conditioners come with a remote?

Yes, most ductless air conditioners come with remote control. The remote allows you to adjust the temperature, set the timer, change the mode, and more.

Do I need to get my ductless air conditioner serviced?

Yes, it’s a good idea to have your ductless air conditioner serviced by a professional every year. During a service call, the technician will clean the unit, check the refrigerant levels, and make sure everything is working properly. This will help to keep your unit running smoothly and prevent any future problems.

Is a wall-mounted ductless air conditioner right for me?

A wall-mounted ductless air conditioner is a great choice if you’re looking for an efficient and space-saving way to cool and heat your home. Wall-mounted units are easy to install and can be done by a professional in a few hours.

Are portable ductless air conditioners vented?

Yes, because venting a portable air conditioner’s hose outside is the most common option in nearly every scenario. If the heat from the exhaust fan can return to your air conditioner’s intake, you’re wasting money.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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