August 18, 2012|By Mike McClintock, Special to Tribune Newspapers
With ductless air conditioning there’s no central system with a maze of ducts in the attic. You could install a ductless system during construction, say, in a new addition that your existing central air can’t handle. But it also installs in homes without disturbing finished surfaces or framing.
Ductless AC, introduced in the U.S. in 1981 by Mitsubishi Electric, offers unobtrusive cooling for the 35 million U.S. homes without central air.
How it works
Ductless systems made by Carrier, Mitsubishi and others use conventional AC technology but rearrange the components. Gas confined in tubes is compressed and expanded in a cycle creating cold temperatures in pipes facing inside and hot temperatures in pipes facing outside. In portables, the two sets of pipes come in one package. In central systems they’re separated: hot coils in their own unit outside; cold coils inside where a large blower pushes air over them and into ducts.