If you're looking for a less visible form of mini split air conditioning, the concealed duct unit may be just what you're looking for.When to Choose a Concealed Duct Unit
The unit itself gets installed out of sight in an attic, a crawlspace, a closet, or a utility room. They're used to cool or warm drawn in air, then blow it into a room from behind a grille.
They can also be installed with short duct runs to deliver air to more than one register.
If you're looking to condition a family room or dining room as inconspicuously as possible, a concealed duct unit may fit the bill. Concealed duct units are hidden behind the scenes, with only the grille covers visible.
They can provide even coverage in large rooms by utilizing short duct runs to disperse the air through various outlets. If you have another smaller room adjacent to the room the unit's being used for, you can branch off another small duct to deliver conditioned air to that room as well. However, if you are supplying air to an adjacent room, it's wise to provide a return vent from that room as well.
While concealed duct units typically run air through ducts, they're not suitable for use with duct work that was designed for a traditional central forced air system. Any existing duct work from a central air system is likely too long or too restrictive, and will result in diminished air flow, reduced performance and a major drop in efficiency. Duct work used should be professionally designed for the unit to provide optimal performance and efficiency.
Installing a Concealed Duct Unit
There are various places you could install a concealed duct unit. You can hide it in a closet, in the top of a pantry, in a crawlspace, or in an attic. Wherever you choose to put it, be sure it's installed correctly. Hiring a professional who's familiar with mini split system installation is a wise choice.
If you're installing it in an attic or a crawlspace, you need to be sure the attic or crawlspace is insulated and conditioned like the rest of your home. If it's not, you can build a box around the unit and cover the outside of the box with insulation to keep condensation from becoming an issue.
If you're using ducts for delivering air to multiple locations in a room, transition ducts will be needed to connect to standard ducting. Some manufacturers suggest using canvas ducts to simplify the transition. Outlet grilles are not included with the unit, so you'll have to supply those separately. If you're incorporating a return air duct or vent, you will need to include a filter to protect the unit from dust and contaminants.
If you're opting to install the unit without ducts, flush with the surface of the wall, you'll need to install a grille to protect the unit and provide a finished look. These units, as mentioned before, do not include a grille. You can find various styles of them through other retailers to match your home's decor. You can have return air come from within the closet, or you can duct it to another wall outlet to pull return air from another space with a register cover and a filter.
Other Features of Concealed Duct Units
If desired, you can connect your unit to a fresh air fan or duct to supply fresh air into the space you're conditioning.
All mini split concealed duct units include a lift pump to simplify removal of condensate that results from the cooling of warm, humid air. To transfer the condensate outside, attach the condensate pump to rigid PVC piping and run it to where you wish to drain it. These units typically require 1"-1.25" PVC pipes.
Concealed duct units typically come with a wall-mounted control for adjusting temperature and output. These units don't usually come with wireless remotes.
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