It took me a while to understand that a refrigerator, dehumidifier and air conditioner were actually all pretty much the same thing. I remember trying to stay out of the kitchen in the summer time because it was so hot even when we weren’t cooking. I figured it was just the motor doing something.
Indeed it was. That something was driving a compressor and when you compress the gas stored in the coil in a refrigerator or any of these appliances, cool stuff happens literally.
The controlled compressing and expansion of gasses help keep our food cold, cool our rooms with air conditioners and dehumidify them too. Because there are always two sides to a coin the heat released by the condenser can be used to your advantage.
A ductless or mini split system can change directions in the cooling process and provide heat. There’s no ductwork as the name suggests, and the split has to do with the two components that work together: an outdoor condenser and an indoor air handler.
These units can be a good option if you need a bit of both cooling and heating in a space. Depending on the climate you live in they may be all that you need to address cooling and heating needs. Certainly it is a wonderful option on the shoulder seasons where you may just need to take a bit of the chill out of the air in a particular room. And if you have hot water (or steam) heating—radiators, baseboard, or radiant—ductless mini splits provide a great, efficient, retrofit for air-conditioning.
Remember, as with all heating and cooling systems, this is only part of the whole picture. If you are uncomfortable in your home it may be time to look at how it is working or not working. Assessing common household problems especially insulation, air sealing as well as the HVAC systems are important and that is best done with a certified energy advisor.
image from www.mitsubishicomfort.com