With increased recognition of the market potential for ductless systems, multiple manufacturers have announced new product developments in the realm of ductless technology.

“Carrier is continuously introducing new products to meet consumer demand and meet the growing popularity of ductless systems,” said Christopher Wickman, marketing manager of ductless split systems. “Over the last few years, Carrier has expanded its residential ductless systems to include products with a variety of comfort control features, energy-efficiency ratings, and installation options.”

The Carrier Corp. Comfort Series EEZ ductless high-wall split system with Puron refrigerant is designed to deliver comfort where typical forced air systems can’t. The high-wall system is mounted against or near the ceiling to evenly distribute warm and cool air for year-round comfort.

The Performance Series Xpower ductless high-wall system with inverter technology varies compressor speed to match the load and keeps the system operating continuously rather than cycling on and off, which can create temperature swings. At 16 SEER, it efficiently circulates conditioned air to every corner of a room.

The Toshiba-Carrier RAS Series ductless high-wall heat pump system with inverter technology offers the option of shifting the operating mode of the unit to a low speed, resulting in sound levels as low as 25 dBa.

The Performance Series Xpower multi-split ductless high-wall heat pump system with inverter technology offers the flexibility of connecting up to four quiet high-wall fan coil indoor units to one outdoor unit to deliver comfort within individual spaces, and an energy-efficient way to manage precise heating and cooling exactly where it is needed.

Daikin AC (Americas) Inc.
Daikin currently offers a three-tier product lineup — good, better, best — for single zone applications along with flexible, space-saving multi-split systems for multi-zone applications. “Good” systems feature energy efficiency levels up to 14.5 SEER and 8.5 HSPF, and focus on comfort control features at an affordable cost.

“Better” systems offer energy efficiency levels up to 24.5 SEER and 12.5 HSPF, and combine both comfort control and energy-saving features. Energy savings range up to 20 percent for cooling applications and up to 30 percent for heating, thanks in part to an occupancy sensor.

The “best” system, the Daikin Quaternity, is an intelligent, technologically advanced system that provides heating, cooling, dehumidification, and air purification in a premium all-in-one system. Quaternity systems offer energy efficiency levels up to 26.1 SEER and 15.8 EER and contain features unique to the mini-split market including Daikin’s Flash Streamer technology, which helps purify air by filtering irritants and breaking down pollutants with a multi-stage filtration system that delivers 1,000 times faster purification in comparison to normal plasma-type systems. Quaternity also has the ability to set relative humidity to a pre-determined setting, reducing indoor humidity while maintaining room temperature. By mixing dry cool air with warm air, this feature prevents overcooling and provides a comfortable environment. Daikin’s multi-split systems provide design flexibility in a space-saving design. Connecting up to four indoor units to a single outdoor unit with indoor capacities up to 18,000 Btuh and outdoor unit capacities up to 32,000 Btuh, these systems provide energy efficiency, reliability, and individual zone control.

“The current trend to minimize sound operating levels has affected our sales positively,” said Kimmy Do, product specialist engineer. “Daikin indoor units have sound levels as low as 22 dBa and outdoor units as low as 46 dBa.”

Fujitsu General America Inc.’s Halcyon Hybrid Flex Inverter (HFI) system provides comfort through two to eight indoor units connected to one outdoor unit. Indoor units vary in size and style — each creating its own zone of comfort.

The system is available in 7,000-, 9,000-, 12,000-, 18,000-, and 24,000-Btu wall-mount units; 9,000-, 12,000-, and 18,000-Btu cassette units; and 9,000-, 12,000-, 18,000-, and 24,000-Btu concealed ceiling units.

Outdoor models AOU18RLXFZ, AOU24RLXFZ, and AOU36RLXFZ allow homeowners to connect two to four indoor units, depending on the outdoor unit selected. These systems provide both heating and cooling for year-round comfort. Three indoor unit styles — wall mounted, cassette, and slim duct — are available.

HFI provides both heating and cooling for year-round comfort. A central remote control allows an operator to control all of the indoor units from one keypad.

“Using inverters on almost 98 percent of our ductless systems, we increase the overall efficiency of our line. Inverter-driven compressors are like having a cruise control for your air conditioner that always maintains the most efficient speed,” said Erin Mezle, director of marketing. “Halcyon systems know how to save you money even when you forget. If the room is left without turning the unit off, the Energy Saving Program (ESP) senses this and 20 minutes later, raises or lowers the temperature. It returns to previous operating mode when you return to the room, automatically saving you energy without you having to think about it.”

Goodman Mfg.
Goodman’s MS20 mini-split system currently delivers up to 20 SEER performance. The unit features the dc inverter, which uses advanced 180˚ Sine Wave technology and combines this with a brushless dc motor compressor. The combination creates a more efficient system that reduces both sound and temperature fluctuations. A twin-rotary compressor, with double cams, increases performance and reliability. The opposite double-blade design yields mechanical stability and less vibration that could cause stress on other components. An added benefit offered by the twin rotary compressor is its low noise level.

The MS13 system is ideal for enclosed spaces like garages and porches, where running ductwork isn’t practical. The units are also designed for rooms that need extra cooling, such as kitchens, or where televisions, sound systems, and other electrical devices provide excess heat.

“Goodman brand mini-splits combine cost-effective installation, excellent cooling and heating comfort, and the convenience of a remote control,” said Jeff Jasuta, product manager. “Through the use of the dc inverter compressor technology, high efficiency is becoming a welcome trend for mini-split products. Mini-splits now offer variable-speed indoor fans and variable-refrigerant flow as the thermostat demands.”

Heat Controller
“Heat Controller Inc. has seen a real surge of interest in ductless mini-splits in the last two or three years. With the improvement in the general economy and the rebound of the HVAC market since 2009, sales have surged,” said Mike Delwiche, director of sales, room air products. “Today’s mini-splits with inverter technology reach SEER ratings in the teens. Heat Controller’s VMH Series 12,000 Btuh unit, for instance, is rated at 19.3 SEER. Overall there’s a melding of efficiency and application flexibility.”

Comfort-Aire by Heat Controller offers four series of ductless mini-splits. The V Series single zone, available in 9,000- to 36,000-Btuh heat pump models, includes all the advantages of inverter technology. These single-zone models are especially suited to one-room residential applications and can be used in commercial applications such as offices. The unit offers multiple modes for cooling, heating, dehumidification only, fan only, auto sleep, turbo mode, auto mode, a 24-hour timer, and more.

The S Series, rated at 13 SEER, offers economical zone control in 9,000- to 24,000-Btuh models. Units are available in cooling only or heat pump varieties. The indoor air handler extends a maximum of 9 inches into the room. All models feature three fan speeds that can be selected using a wireless remote. The outdoor section can be located as far away as 82 feet from the indoor unit. Temperature compensation automatically adjusts the air handler to eliminate stratification between ceiling and floor temperatures.

The InverterFlex multi-zone models allow conditioning of two, three, or four rooms with just one outdoor unit. The 9,000-, 12,000-, and 18,000-Btuh indoor units can be mixed to the point that their combined capacity reaches total capacity, allowing up to 12 unique combinations. These heat pump models include auto defrost control and low ambient operation, allowing cooling when outdoor temperature is as low as 5˚F.

The D Series ceiling cassette models fit flush into a ceiling, incorporating airflow louvers. The units are available in 24,000- and 36,000-Btuh models. The larger unit uses a multi-stage compressor system that operates either one or both compressors in tandem to closely match the load for greatest efficiency. A small light display on the indoor unit shows operation, alerts if the timer is in use, and signals when the filter should be changed. The unit can be programmed for daily, weekly, and holiday operation to save energy when not in use.

LG Electronics USA Inc. will introduce a new high-efficiency duct-free split product this summer. The single-zone system is expected to feature a SEER of 28.

“This ductless product will be extremely quiet and easy to install,” said Steve Schmidt, senior manager of Western distribution sales.

The high-efficiency product, which is yet to be named, will come in 9,000- and 12,000-Btu sizes. The 9,000-Btu model will reach 28 SEER and the 12,000-Btu size model will register in at 26 SEER. “The unit’s air handler will remain fairly compact due to a unique coil design,” said Don Wojcik, senior manager of Eastern distribution sales. “It will feature a three-row coil on the indoor evaporator, which will keep it smaller in size.”

LG also plans to launch a 28,000-Btu, four-ton multi-zone product toward the end of July. The air conditioner will include eight indoor evaporators inside the product. “This product will feature a single pipe from the condenser and single power to the condenser,” said Schmidt. “It will provide more of a whole-home solution as a homeowner will gain instant zoning from up to eight zones. One room may use a ceiling cassette, and another may use a high-wall unit. There are several different combinations to choose from.”

Lennox Industries recently released the Lennox 7 Series mini-split. The MS7 is Lennox’s first ductless offering and functions up to 22 SEER with a very quiet 26 dBa indoor and 53 dBa outdoor noise level. The MS7 uses inverter technology and is available in sizes ranging from 9,000- to 30,000-Btu, and voltage ranging from 115V to 208/230V.

“Lennox has invested in finding out what dealers and consumers want. The end result is a product offering that fits nearly any application,” said Natalie Hunter, product manager. “The inverter technology makes this line extremely adaptable to whatever installation issue a contractor may be up against. The MS7s are highly reliable and are backed by Lennox’s history and promise of quality and innovation.”

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating
Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating recently unveiled 15 new Energy Star-rated systems with increases in efficiency, all the way up to 26 SEER. The units include the i-see Sensor, which automatically detects room temperature differences and adjusts for greater comfort. Mitsubishi Electric’s advanced multi-stage filtration systems reduce allergens and help eliminate odors. The indoor units also operate as quietly as 19 dBa.

There is no cold air delivery with Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating systems. Larger coils heat faster, and the Hot Start system doesn’t activate the fan until the desired temperature is reached. Select models incorporate Hyper-Heating H2i technology that operates effectively down to -13˚F. The technology has enabled split-ductless systems to be enjoyed year round, keeping consumers cool in the summer and warm in the winter — even in very dry climates.

Mitsubishi Electric also recently introduced its RedLINK controller for its M- and P-Series split-ductless systems. The RedLINK controller powers controls through radio waves instead of infrared waves or wiring, freeing up installation options.

“Mitsubishi Electric continues to monitor the growing ductless industry for ways that we can implement new technologies and continue to provide benefits to both contractors and end users,” said Marc Zipfel, director of product marketing. 

“We have been continually expanding our offering of indoor unit models to provide an HVAC option for applications like attics, basements, and sunrooms, where installing another type of HVAC system might be costly or impossible.”

Publication date: 04/23/2012