How Do Ductless Mini-Split Systems Work?

ductless mini-split systems Twin Cities MN

How Do Ductless Mini Split Systems Work? 

A ductless mini-split air conditioner functions similarly to a standard central air conditioner but without the ducts. How is this even possible? How do ductless mini-split systems work? In the article below, our HVAC contractors in Minneapolis, MN, share the must-knows of mini-split A/C systems. 

How do Ductless Mini-Split Systems Work?

Warm air from your home is blown over cold evaporator coils by the indoor unit. A/C refrigerant that circulates through these coils absorbs heat from the air and transports it to. The outside unit is where the refrigerant dumps all of the heat it has extracted from the air in your house. The indoor unit of a traditional split system air conditioner is now housed in the attic or closet. Ducts transport air from your home to this central location, where it is cooled and then returned to your home via additional ducts.

However, in a mini-split ductless system, the unit isn’t located outside. It’s located in the space that’s being cooled. The presence of the indoor device in the space removes the need for air ducts. The indoor device actually draws warm air from the space it is in and blows cold air back into it.

ductless mini-split systems Twin Cities MN

Can a Ductless Mini Split System Cool a Whole Home?

Many Twin Cities residents ask if ductless mini-split systems can cool the entire home. Our A/C contractors are happy to share that these A/C systems can cool your whole home. Additionally, it’s recommended that customers have multiple indoor units that are linked to a single unit. 

Benefits of a Ductless Mini Split

A ductless mini-split air conditioner has many benefits over a conventional central air conditioner. Here are the following advantages of installing a ductless mini-split system

Installation Made Easy

One of the biggest advantages of ductless mini-splits is easy installation. If you’re adding air conditioning to your space or home that doesn’t already have ducts, mini-split systems can be a perfect alternative to the cost of building a lot of ductwork.

Can Be Used for Heating & Cooling

The majority of ductless mini-split systems are heat pumps. That is, they can both heat and cool your house, removing the need for a separate heater. Want to learn more about heat pumps? Contact our heating and cooling company in Minneapolis for more information. 


Since these types of A/C systems do not need ducts, you’ll also get the benefit of zoning. Each area of your home will have its own indoor unit. So, you’ll be able to adjust the temperatures of each room separately. In contrast, traditional air conditioners will cool your entire home, whether you’re using that space or not.

Improved Energy Efficiency

When you choose to have a ductless mini-split system installed, you won’t have to worry about any air escaping in the vents or ducts. Our friends at Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing, an air conditioning company in Sacramento, agree that you’ll have more cold air, and you’ll be saving energy since your system will cool your space faster. According to Energy Star, anywhere from 20-30% of airflow is lost within the home’s duct system due to gaps or leaks. 

HVAC coupons

Are There Disadvantages to Ductless Mini Splits? 

Sure thing. Ductless systems are typically around 30% more costly than central air conditioners—but keep in mind that doesn’t include ducts. Some people don’t like the appearance of ductless min splits. HVAC contractors recommend weighing out the pros and cons before getting an air conditioning replacement

For professional HVAC services in Twin Cities, contact McQuillan Bros. Our air conditioning technicians are happy to provide you with an A/C estimate and recommend the best solution for your home. We also offer high-velocity HVAC systems, if that’s something you’re considering. Call McQuillan Bros to learn more. 

Contact an expert

We Can't Wait To Serve You!

Complete the form below and one of our team members will give you a call to help get you scheduled. If you have an urgent need please call us at
(651) 243-4002

Pros and Cons of Ductless AC Systems

pros and cons of ductless ac systems - McQuillan Bros

Pros and Cons of Ductless AC Systems

Are you considering a ductless mini-split system to cool your home or business premises? The air conditioning experts at McQuillan Bros in St. Paul MN say the suitability of these systems varies from person to person. So, the HVAC experts at McQuillan Bros explore the pros and cons of ductless AC systems to help you make an informed decision.

The Pros of Ductless AC Systems

Energy Efficiency

Homes with ducted central air conditioning systems lose about 25% of the energy they use to inefficiencies in the network of ducts. Heat loss may be due to limited insulation, duct leaks, etc.
Additionally, further energy efficiency stems from the way ductless ACs regulate the working of their compressors. These components slow down or speed up based on the present need, unlike the compressors of central air conditioning systems that cycle on and off, thereby using a lot of energy during the startup phase of the unit.

Easy to Install

Since ductless AC units don’t require a network of ducts, it is a lot easier to install these systems in homes and business premises. For example, your ac technician may only need to drill a small hole through an exterior wall. This work can be completed in a few hours, unlike a central air conditioning system that requires a week or more to install.

Less Noisy

Another key benefit of having a ductless air conditioning system in your home is that the days of a noisy AC will be no more. The advanced features and compact design of ductless ACs make them with barely a sound. The unit will also be less visible than your old central AC unit.

Longer System Life

We mentioned earlier that ductless air conditioning units work by slowing down or speeding up the compressor as conditions change in your home. This mode of operation doesn’t wear out the system in the same way as the stop-start-stop cycling. This longer service life means that you will get even more value from your investment in the system.

The Cons of Ductless Air Conditioning Systems

High Upfront Cost

One of the biggest possible drawbacks of ductless air conditioning systems is the high upfront cost a customer has to incur to acquire a unit. For example, air conditioning St. Paul technicians say that it isn’t uncommon for a homeowner to spend double or even triple on a ductless system for the entire home in comparison to what a similarly sized central air conditioning system would have cost.
However, the superior efficiency of ductless systems means that you will save more on energy bills. So, the upfront cost shouldn’t really put you off unless your technician from McQuillan Bros recommends otherwise.

Strict Maintenance Requirements

Although all HVAC units need to follow maintenance recommendations in order to ensure the longevity of the unit, ductless mini splits require a little more maintenance.
The Sacramento HVAC professionals at Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing add that it is required that you clean the air filters on a monthly basis. This is because ductless ACs are less forgiving when this basic task is neglected. The high cost of correcting the defects which may result when proper maintenance isn’t done can put off some potential customers.

Limited Design Options

Some people may also find fault with the limited color options (beige or white) in which these units come. However, as more manufacturers come on board, air conditioning replacement MN experts say variety will follow and each customer will find what suits them.

When Are Ductless AC Systems Highly Recommended?

Ductless air conditioning units are the clear favorites in the following circumstances:

  • Home additions, such as when you build an extra bedroom or sunroom on your home.
  • When you downsize the AC system, for example when you want to cut the air conditioning to rooms that are no longer in use (once kids go to college, for example).
  • Addressing conflicting/multiple needs within the home. For instance, if one person prefers less cooling at night while other people want the temperature really low, a ductless system can effortlessly address those zoning needs.
  • Retrofitting ACs in buildings without existing ductwork.
  • Addressing cooling or heating shortcomings in particular sections of a property (one hot room)

Everyone’s heating and colling preferences are different, which is why you should contact McQuillan Bros for professional HVAC advice. Our HVAC techs will access your HVAC needs and recommend the best HVAC systems for your Twin Peaks or St. Paul MN home. Interested in saving on the best HVAC services in Minneapolis, check out our Home Care Club.