Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners For Open Plan Homes: 4 Positioning Tips

Ductless mini-split air conditioners have many advantages over conventional, ducted system, especially when it comes to flexibility. Their indoor units, which are responsible for producing cool air, are much smaller than standard air conditioning ducts, so you have a lot more choice when it comes to placing and positioning the units.

This flexibility can be particularly useful if your home has an open floor plan. Large, airy spaces can make your home feel spacious and airy, but they can also be more difficult and expensive to cool than smaller rooms. Choosing the right positions for your new system's indoor units can help to keeping energy consumption and running costs as low as possible.

Here are four useful tips to keep in mind when choosing locations for your indoor units:

Take The High Ground

Indoor units can distribute cool air across a wider area if they are positioned high on your walls. Cold air sinks through warm air, so cool air from a high-mounted indoor unit will travel further into your room before it sinks to ground level.

Ideally, you should install the indoor units of your new system as close to the ceiling as possible. This will allow cooled air to reach the center of large, open plan rooms, and prevent hot spots from forming there.

Alternatively, you can choose a ductless mini-split system that uses ceiling cassettes or suspended ceiling units. These units are attached directly to the ceilings of your rooms, and can distribute cool air over an even wider area. Because they are not attached to your walls, they can also be installed closer to the center of large rooms.

Ceiling cassettes have unidirectional vents that blow cool air in all directions at once. However, they are designed to be installed in recessed spaces, so they are only compatible with false or suspended ceilings. Suspended ceiling units are used with solid, drywall ceilings, but most models only blow cool air in a single direction.

(Don't) Go Into The Light

Many purpose-built open plan homes have large picture windows, which help to maximize natural light. However, indoor units should never be installed in areas that receive intense sunlight for long periods.

The heat gain caused by prolonged sunlight can heat up the thermostats built into the indoor units, making them think the room is hotter than it really is. The overheated indoor units will run for longer than they need to, increasing energy consumption and making your home uncomfortably chilly. 

Keep It Short

Your system will also include an outdoor unit, which supply the indoor units with the refrigerant liquids they use to create cool air. These liquids are funneled to and from the indoor units through conduit pipes.

If the conduits are too long, the refrigerant will warm up slightly before it reaches the indoor units, reducing efficiency. Installing long conduits across your home can also make installation considerably more expensive.

In open plan homes, you should balance efficient indoor unit positioning with trying to keep their conduits as short as possible. This is especially true if you choose ceiling-mounted indoor units, which will usually be further from the outdoor unit than wall-mounted units. 

Listen To The Experts

With all these considerations in mind, it can be tough to find the best positions for your indoor units yourself. An experienced air conditioning installation service will be able to recommend the best positions for your indoor units, keeping your system's running costs as low as possible.