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No Ducts, No Problem: The Power of Mini-Split Cooling

Home > QRC Blog > No Ducts, No Problem: The Power of Mini-Split Cooling

ductless mini split installation

When North Carolina’s summer temperatures hit their peak, you shouldn’t avoid your cooling system just to save on energy bills. With a ductless air conditioning system, you can enjoy high efficiency, cool and refreshing air, and more. Whether you’re adding AC to an older home or switching from central air, our team at QRC HVAC and Refrigeration provides ductless mini-split installation for Winston-Salem and other North Carolina residents.

Why Choose Ductless Mini-Split AC?

Ductless mini-splits are a type of heating and cooling HVAC unit that don’t require ductwork. It’s composed of two types of units — one outdoor compressor connects via a conduit line to indoor fan and evaporator units mounted to the wall, ceiling, or floor throughout your home. This system works with the same basic principles as central AC units but without the need for ductwork to circulate air indoors.

Mini-split systems can reverse the cooling process to heating, making them a great all-in-one HVAC choice that can provide comfort year-round. These systems also offer a range of advantages for homeowners.


Even with regular maintenance and repair, central AC ductwork always loses some air on its way to and from supply and return vents. Holes, leaks, and poor duct connections can account for a 30% air loss that causes central AC systems to work harder and draw more energy.

In contrast, mini-split systems don’t use ductwork and offer variable fan and other settings, allowing them to operate on significantly less power than other AC or heating systems.

Zoning flexibility

Mini-split systems allow you to zone rooms or areas of your home, providing flexibility and customization for how you regulate your home’s temperature. This allows for greater comfort as you can warm or cool rooms you’re currently occupying and expend less energy cooling unoccupied areas of your home. You can even add mini-split systems to existing central AC systems to compensate for cooling needs or to include AC with home additions.


Compared to central AC systems, mini-split ACs typically require less frequent or intensive repairs. Infrequent repairs translate to cost savings on services and early replacement, plus more reliable performance year-round.

Subtle design

Despite their capabilities, indoor mini-split systems are relatively compact and have significantly quieter operation than central AC systems, at about 25 decibels. Their designs are sleek and low profile, especially since they don’t require bulky ductwork.

Easy installation

Without the need for ductwork, there’s no need for tearing down walls or ceilings to install a mini-split AC system. Mini-split installation is minimally invasive, and you can choose whether to install indoor units on the wall, ceiling, or floor.

Is Mini-Split AC Right for My Ductless Home?

While mini-split AC and heating systems offer many advantages, the extent of these benefits depends on your individual circumstances. Consider the following factors to determine if a mini-split installation is a good fit for your home:

  • Current HVAC system: Mini-split AC installation is a great option if your current HVAC system isn’t well-suited to your home or if both your furnace and air conditioning are due for replacement. If your HVAC system and ductwork are in good shape, delaying the switch to mini-split may be more cost-effective.
  • Renovations or additions: If you’re adding AC to an older home or need AC for home additions, a mini-split system is a convenient alternative to reworking your ductwork system.
  • Building size: Mini-splits match the power and performance needs of most homes, but central AC outperforms mini-splits in larger homes with high square-footage and numerous rooms.
  • Comfort preferences: If you strongly prefer subtle and quiet air conditioning with flexible temperature adjustments, mini-splits may suit you best. 
  • Cost: Depending on your system design, mini-split installations often cost more than central AC systems but offer energy cost-savings long-term.

The Mini-Split Installation Process

When working with licensed HVAC technicians, the mini-split installation process starts with an assessment of your home and its cooling and heating needs. Considering factors such as your home’s size and layout and your comfort preferences, your technician will create a customized plan with units that match your home’s cooling and heating load requirements.

Throughout the installation, which takes about one day, your technician follows this approximate process:

  1. Mount indoor units in predetermined locations.
  2. Drill holes in the walls for refrigerant and condensate lines.
  3. Connect conduit lines and electrical wiring to the indoor units.
  4. Mount the outdoor unit in a predetermined spot, on a stable surface or brackets.
  5. Connect conduit lines and electrical wiring from indoor units to the outdoor unit.
  6. Charge the refrigerant lines.
  7. Test and adjust electrical connections, cooling and heating modes, safety systems, and other components.

Following the installation, your technician should provide you with instructions for proper operation, regular maintenance, and periodic professional inspections or services. They’ll perform a final inspection, clean up, answer questions, and provide you with resources you can follow-up with.

Cost of Ductless Mini-Split Installation

The cost of a ductless mini-split installation ranges from about $3,200 to $14,500, but final costs depend on a variety of factors:

  • Number of zones
  • Permit costs
  • Removal of existing central AC system
  • Indoor mounting type
  • System size and power

Optional upgrades, such as wireless remotes or drain pan heaters, can cost over $500 each. Your HVAC technician can assess your home to determine the most cost-effective mini-split system and add-ons. Homeowners may also be eligible for tax incentives through federal or state programs.

Next Steps for Ductless Cooling with QRC HVAC and Refrigeration

Consider mini-split installation from our team at QRC HVAC and Refrigeration for homes without ductwork or in need of energy-efficient AC options and upgrades.

With over 50 years of combined experience, we’re committed to providing high-quality and reliable mini-split installation services in Winston-Salem and other North Carolina counties. Contact us today to take advantage of timely, knowledgeable, and consistent HVAC services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I install a mini-split myself?

While mini-split systems are less complicated to install than other options, referring to a professional ensures you get an expertly-designed and installed system and minimizes safety hazards.

Can you plug a mini-split into a regular outlet?

Mini-split electrical needs depend on the unit and your home. Many systems need dedicated circuits and breakers and may require professional modifications to your electrical system.