If you were blessed with radiant heating and a boiler or a home with wood heating, there is still hope for you on the hottest, most humid summer days: ductless air conditioners that keep you cool during the heat. Today, thanks to all the advances in air conditioning technology, you don’t need ducts to cool your home during the hot summer months—and you have a few ductless air conditioning options to choose from. Here is the good and bad of modern air conditioners specifically designed for homes without ducts.
Portable Air Conditioners
What they are: Portable air conditioners are floor units with a flexible pipe and attachment that vents outside (through your windows). Portable AC units draw air in, convert it to a liquid and then to a gas again to cool the air which it blows into the home. Warm air is sent back outside.
Pros: Very small, easy to move around your home, very quiet, affordable cost
Cons: Poor energy efficiency, only cools a room or small area
Window Air Conditioner Units
What they are: Window air conditioner units are installed in a window (usually a double hung, though there are some models available for casements). These units draw air in from outside and use refrigerants and blowers to cool and blow cool air into your home and draw warm air outside.
Pros: Easy to install and remove (though they are somewhat heavy), very affordable, doesn’t take up floor space like a portable AC unit
Cons: Poor energy efficiency, can usually only cool one room of a home if you have a lot of square footage
Ductless Mini-Split/Heat Pumps
What they are: Heat pumps (also called mini-splits) draw in the hot or cool air from an exterior unit mounted outside, and the interior unit quietly blows the air into the home. In the summer, the exterior unit pulls cool air in to your home providing air conditioning during our hot, humid Wisconsin summers. During winter, they deliver a warm, comfortable heat even when temperatures are frigid. Because heat pumps don’t require much energy to transfer heat, heat pumps have an extremely low rate of electricity usage.
Pros: Very quiet, incredibly energy efficient, can be used for heating and cooling, usually has thermostat for energy efficiency, installed on the wall so it doesn’t take up square footage in your room
Cons: Most expensive ductless AC option, installation needs to be done by a professional
All three ductless AC options have filters that need to be cleaned out on a regular basis to keep them running efficiently. If you have any other questions about air conditioners designed for homes without ducts, or find out the cost of a ductless mini-split, contact your local professionals to find the ductless cooling answer for your home.