One of our customers recently inquired about our air conditioning systems, having heard a little about our line of Fujitsu models. She visited our showroom and asked, “Do I have to run ductwork through my walls for ductless mini-split air conditioning? Is ductless mini-split air conditioning similar to central air conditioning?” Her questions prompted us to come up with this Frequently Asked Questions guide to help homeowners understand these products and how they differ from traditional central air systems.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a ductless mini-split system? – A ductless mini-split system is comprised of an indoor unit called the evaporator and an outdoor unit called the condenser. The evaporator is connected to the condenser by copper tubing and electrical wiring which is passed through a 2 ½” – 3” hole.  Basically, it is a small central air unit with the flexibility of cooling or heating one room or more.

How is a ductless mini-split system different than a central air conditioning system? – A central air conditioning system treats air at a central location (usually through a unit located outside) and distributes it to and from rooms by one or more fans and a series of ducts. Supply ducts and registers carry this cool air from the air conditioner to the rooms. As the air circulates through the home and becomes warmer, it then flows back to the central air conditioner through return ducts and registers.

Unlike central air conditioning, ductless mini-split air conditioners do not require ductwork, making it a convenient cooling option. They can be ideal in older homes that do not have existing ductwork. However, ductless air conditioners are also great for newer homes without a forced-air central heating system. In the winter, the system works in reverse to provide heat for your home. Their compact size allows for greater flexibility in temperature zoning, meaning that the air conditioning (or heating) is limited to the rooms in which the air handlers are located.

What are the advantages of installing a Fujitsu ductless mini-split over a central air system?1. With central air, you must cool an entire home when only one room may need cooling. On the other hand, ductless mini-splits cool only the areas you want and not the areas you don’t, thus lowering your electric costs. 2. A typical central air unit outputs 18,000 BTUs at minimum. With ductless mini-splits, you can use 7,000, 9,000 or 12,000 BTUs. 3. A typical home may not be zoned or may require complex zoning systems, which makes it very expensive to install central air. With ductless mini-splits, you can install multiple evaporators that make zoning as simple as setting a remote control. 4. Energy wasted in long lengths of uninhabited ductwork means higher energy bills. Less than 5 percent cooling loss occurs in insulated refrigerant lines compared to up to 25 percent through ducts. 5. Retrofitting homes requires cutting holes in walls, floors, ceilings or decreasing closet space with ducts. Ductless mini-splits require just a 3” or 4” diameter hole in the outside wall, which means less mess. 6. Ductwork is often inefficient, restrictive, dirty and leaky. 7. Ductless minis tend to run quieter than central air conditioning systems and are easier to install.

Are Fujitsu mini-splits cost effective? – On average, ductless mini-split air conditioners are about half the cost of central air units. Homes without existing ductwork, for instance, often require wall remodeling, painting, wallpapering, fixture replacement and refinishing after a central HVAC installation – not to mention the cost of the ductwork and labor. It’s generally more cost effective for homeowners in this situation to opt for a ductless air conditioner, which only requires a small hole drilled into an exterior wall.

Operating costs vary between the two systems, but mini splits are usually considered more economical because of their ability to cool only the rooms that you’ve chosen.

How energy efficient are Fujitsu Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners? – You already know that ductless units don’t waste energy because there is no ductwork involved, and you are only cooling the rooms you designate. In addition to this, compared to window units, ductless systems are much more energy efficient than even the highest Energy-Star rated window AC. Fujitsu models have SEER ratingsabove the minimum Energy-Star requirement of 15. Our models offer ultra-high SEERs of 18 to 33, whereas window units can have a rating as low as 5, depending on its age. (A system with a higher SEER will consume less energy than a system with a lower SEER.)

Besides great energy efficiency, are they considered “green?” – Beyond the energy considerations, ductless air conditioners require a type of refrigerant that is considered to be the most environmentally-friendly refrigerant currently on the market. Mini-split refrigerant is 100 percent eco-friendly and is non-ozone depleting.

Do ductless ACs come in different styles? – Yes, they do. The wall-mounted units are designed to be sleek and stylish, blending into a room’s surroundings discreetly. They are typically mounted high on an exterior wall (though some models function on interior walls.) Universal floor/ceiling models can mount low on the floor or low on the wall, yet high enough for a vacuum to get under them. A popular application for this model is in hallways where wall space is limited, as they are slim and lightweight. They can also be mounted on the ceiling. Large ceiling models offer larger capacity. Slim-duct models can be installed in ceilings and high on walls, either vertically or horizontally. A built-in drain pump allows for installation of slim duct units in smaller spaces than traditional units. Cassette models are extremely discreet, with only the grill showing in the ceiling.

In short, this is a heating and cooling option that won’t compromise your home’s interior beauty.

How does an AC provide heat? – Fujitsu ductless mini-split air conditioners work in reverse during the colder months, heating your home with the help of the built-in heat pump. When used as an air conditioner, the mini split pumps its refrigerant to the unit(s) in your room(s). In the wintertime, this process works in reverse, and the unit absorbs heat from the outside air in order to bring it inside your home. The inclusion of a reversing valve allows the refrigerant to flow in either direction, which provides both heating and cooling from a single ductless system.

How long has Fujitsu been manufacturing ductless mini-splits? – For over 35 years Fujitsu has been working hard to make the world a more comfortable place. They have produced and shipped millions of air conditioning systems throughout the world, making the hottest places cool and the coolest places more comfortable.

Where can I purchase a Fujitsu mini-split system? Can I purchase directly from Fujitsu? – A consumer can purchase a unit from Mainline Heating & Supply (a Fujitsu authorized contractor), as Fujitsu only sells to distributors.

Can I purchase from an online dealer? –No, Fujitsu doesn’t recommend buying their units online. The warranty becomes null and void for online purchases. Fujitsu General America has enforced a non-retail Internet Sales policy. Fujitsu’s full line of Halcyon ductless mini-split heating and cooling products specifically excludes products purchased through on-line retailers and resellers. Fujitsu does not authorize online retail sales of any of its products.

How can I get a price quote? –Mainline professionals can assist you with selection and size, determine the unit’s strength based on various factors, including how heavily sunlit the room may be, and determine cooling and heating zones. Once we gather this information, we can give you a free, written quote. This is done through a home visit.

What is the warranty? – For a full listing of models and their warranty periods, visit Fujitsu General’s Warranty page.

Can I install a Fujitsu mini-split myself? – No. Only an authorized certified HVAC contractor, such as Mainline Home Energy Services (formerly Mainline Heating & Supply), can install Fujitsu units.

Do I need to clean the unit? If so, how? – Detailed instructions for maintenance can be found in each model’s Owner’s Manual.

To learn more about ductless air conditioners or to schedule an appointment, contact Mainline Home Energy Services at 860-429-9663. We are located at 591 Ference Road in Ashford, Connecticut. Email.

Mainline Home Energy Services is your number one resource for living in a safer, healthier, more comfortable environment.

Mainline Home Energy Services covers Eastern Connecticut and South Central Massachusetts, including the towns of Tolland, Somers, Glastonbury, Colchester and Woodstock CT and Sutton, Sturbridge and Longmeadow MA.