ANAHEIM, Calif. - For years now, ductless mini-split manufacturers have been educating the industry about the numerous benefits their units can provide. Ease of installation, more zone control, and aesthetics are just a few of these benefits. The 2004 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) was a perfect forum for manufacturers to put these benefits on display. It was also a chance for these companies to show attendees how ductless systems are evolving and continually getting better.

John Miles, director, engineering and technical support, Quietside Corp., is shown with the Samsung DVM (Digital Variable Multi). (All photos by Jim Johnson.)

Success With Splits

Ductless mini-splits have been a success for several manufacturers.Quietside( was on hand to display its DVM variable refrigerant flow system with a Copeland digital scroll. According to John Miles, director of technical support for Quietside, the latest DVM models include more features to help the contractors, including flexible piping options, automatic reset after power failure, detachable front grille, full diagnostics, and Internet capability.

Another company familiar with the ductless mini-split market is Friedrich ( The company displayed its Wall-Mounted Multi-Zone unit. The units come in Dual-Zone and Tri-Zone models. The Dual-Zone Model can operate two indoor units through the use of one outdoor condensing unit, while the Tri-Zone uses one outdoor unit to operate three indoor units. Both the Dual Zone and Tri-Zone have several features, including wireless remotes, swing louvers, auto-restart, low-ambient operation, and removable front grille.

Turbo Air ( introduced its latest ductless units. The wall-mounted units are available in cooling only and heat pump models. Each unit comes in capacities ranging from 12,000 to 24,000 Btuh. Other features include wireless remote operation, sleep mode, and self-diagnosis function.

Ambiance ( displayed its latest mini-split. Three separate models are currently available in both cooling and heat pump capacities. Cooling capacities range from 12,000 to 22,000 Btuh, while heating capacities range from 13,000 to 23,500 Btuh.

The systems comes with a 24-hour timer, a soft-start system to minimize power surges, intelligent-logic auto control, auto-reset, and quick cooling to reduce ambient temperatures quickly, stated the company.

Fedders HVACR, a division of Fedders Corp. (, introduced its Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner product line at the expo, and announced that it would soon offer a complete line of ductless mini-splits in the second quarter of 2004.

The current offerings come as a wall-mounted indoor unit with a separate compressor section that sits outside the home or apartment. The units are available in capacities ranging from 9,000 to 24,000 Btuh.

The units also feature an antimold washable filter, which alerts homeowners when it is time to check the filter.

Sanyo ( displayed a number of new and existing products at the expo, including the 24KS62R/24KLS62R ductless air conditioner. According to Sanyo, the wall-mounted unit uses 410A refrigerant and operates at 13 SEER. The unit also comes with an antimold filter.

Paul Drosness, regional sales manager, HVAC, Sanyo Fisher Co., displays the new 13-SEER, R-410A ductless air conditioner.

Cooling & Purifying

It's not enough to just heat or cool specific zones. Now, many manufacturers are adding purification technology to their ductless offerings.Fujitsu General America Inc.( displayed its Halycon ductless mini-split line at the expo. There are 19 Halycon models in all, including Dual-Zone and Tri-Zone units. They can also be installed using a wall unit or cassette.

The newest model by Fujitsu is the Halycon-IAQ. The system comes with a plasma air cleaner, which the company says collects dirt, dust, pet dander, and mold spores, and can absorb household odors, such as pet odor and cigarette smoke. According to Fujitsu, the Halycon-IAQ can remove pollen and other allergy-related elements from the air. The system takes dirty air in, and circulates clean air back through the room.

The company also touted the ease of maintenance for its new filter. The filter can be detached in one touch of a button, and can be washed and replaced. The approximate life of the plasma filter is six to eight years.

Panasonic ( displayed its newest ventilation fans, including its Whisper Liteâ„¢ ceiling-mounted fan light, which has a new grille design, and the Whisper Fitâ„¢ Low Profile Ventilation Fan and the Whisper Fan-Lite Low Profile Ventilation Fan Light.

On the ductless side, Panasonic showcased the Whisper Breezeâ„¢. The unit comes in several SEER ratings and is available in cooling models and heat pump models.

According to Panasonic, the Whisper Breeze is easy to install, operates quietly, and provides cleaner air through an air purifying filter. The unit comes equipped with the Solar Refreshing Filter. The charcoal filter absorbs a number of contaminants and odors from the air, and can be regenerated when placed in direct sunlight, states the manufacturer.

ECR International ( introduced the Hyundai ductless air conditioner. The unit comes in single split and multisplit wall-mounted systems, and are available in both cooling and heat pump units.

According to ECR International, the unit has a low-noise airflow system, which helps it to produce indoor airflow at lower noise levels, as well as a swing control to direct heating and cooling distribution better. The Hyundai models also are available with an optional three-step filter system. According to the manufacturer, the Bio Anti-Bacterial Filter prevents the breeding of harmful germs, bacteria, and mold, while the Bio Electrostatic Air Filter removes dust particles as small as 0.01 microns. The Bio Deodorizing Filter eliminates room odors.

Tili Electric Co. Ltd. ( showed two of its split-type cooling and heating products. The TK(H)09V offers a cooling capacity of 9,000 Btuh, and a heating capacity of 9,500 Btuh. The TK(H)12V, has a cooling capacity of 11,200 Btuh, and a heating capacity of 12,000 Btuh. There are several features to the Tili systems, including a moldproof filter.

Cooling In Style

For many customers, ductless mini-splits are the cooling option of choice because of their unique look and design.LG Electronics U.S.A. Inc.( gave attendees at the expo a look at ductless systems that are a cross between style and function.

The LG Artcool works like any other mini-split, but was developed to blend in with the interior design of an environment. According to the company, the Artcool can blend in to the room as a piece of art, and comes in three separate shapes. The vertical and wide type of units can be purchased in three colors: metal, blue, and wood. The ultra-slim wall-mounted design also comes in metal and wood, as well as a mirror design.

Customers can purchase an LG Artcool with photos or landscape designs on the front.

Each Artcool has a 10-SEER rating, wireless remote control, and 24-hour timer.

Publication date: 02/23/2004