Ductless mini-split air conditioners provide efficient heating and cooling. But one drawback is the indoor units can be quite imposing, depending on the design and décor of your home. A “hidden” ductless mini-split gets around this by containing most components behind a wall or ceiling. Sometimes, they’re even out of sight in an attic or crawl space.
These mini-split systems are just as reliable and efficient as standard configurations, and afford benefits such as:
- A more discreet appearance without an indoor air handler exposed for all to see.
- An increase in wall space for pictures, storage units, furniture, etc.
- The availability of custom grilles for ceilings and walls; can be different for each zone.
A concealed mini-split system can be installed almost anywhere. But it’s wise to make sure there’s enough space around each component so it can be accessed for maintenance. And install it where the structure can support at least twice the system’s weight. To prevent condensation, which can damage the system, make sure to insulate the area where each unit is installed.
Where Can I Install a Hidden Ductless Mini Split?
While standard mini-splits allow for flexible installation, hidden units provide even greater flexibility. They can be installed in a new addition to your home or in areas where there’s little space such as sunrooms or basements. Older, historical homes benefit as well. Depending on the unit, you can place it in a utility room or closet. It will then disperse air from behind the scenes, with no impact on aesthetics whatsoever.
Sizing Your Ductless Mini Split System
Each unit must be selected based on the size of the room it serves. Otherwise, too big a system will short cycle, wear out sooner, and cost more to run. It will also make your home damper and more humid. In other words, choosing a larger system won’t cool your home faster or achieve efficiency benefits. Too small a system will work too hard and will also wear out prematurely.
Square footage is calculated by multiplying the room’s length by its width. Like most other air conditioners, mini-splits are rated in BTUs, British Thermal Units. To determine the proper BTU rating, the general rule is to multiply the square footage by 25. Refer to our mini-split sizing chart for an instant comparison of room size vs. BTU capacity requirements.
Other Factors in Selecting a System
Despite being hidden, these ductless mini-split systems require the same load factor considerations. They are impacted by external factors such as climate. You’ll need a higher-BTU system if your home is in a region where summer temperatures regularly exceed 90℉. The age of your home, the type/quality of insulation, and ceiling height determine the capacity you need as well. Standard residential ceiling height is about 8 feet, but if you have a 10-to-15-foot ceiling, you’ll need at least 20% more BTU capacity.
Direct sunlight in a room, air leaks from doors and windows, and proximity to heat-generating devices and appliances can affect performance and may require greater cooling capacity. Light fixtures can generate heat that affects performance too. You’ll also have to consider the number of occupants, as people generate heat, and the floor type; carpeting provides insulation while hardwood, tile, or stone floors mean the unit will work harder to heat your home.
Contact Oregon Ductless
If you prefer your mini-split to be out of sight, Oregon Ductless can help. We consider all factors and choose the right locations for hidden ductless mini-split equipment. Whether you’re thinking about a single- or multi-zone system or whole-house ductless system, our licensed contractors will manage the design and installation process. Call 503-832-5497 to get started.