A ductless mini-split system is a type of heating and cooling setup that uses individually mounted units to control the indoor conditions in a specific room or area. Instead of using ductwork, the individual unit or blower uses a conduit to connect directly to an outdoor condensing unit. The conduit contains the system’s power cable, refrigerant tubing, and condensate drain line. In this way, mini-splits can supply air conditioning or heat with no ductwork required.
Ductless mini-splits are popular for numerous applications, including multi-family houses, apartments, homes with non-ducted systems, or houses without central HVAC networks. They are also viable add-ons for rooms in which extending or installing new ductwork is not possible. Energy-efficient and reliable, mini-splits are also among the top ways to establish zoned heating or cooling within the home. Indoor units are usually wall-mounted, but there are also ceiling cassette and floor-mounted units. This makes the mini-split a flexible way to improve your indoor environment. Ductless mini-splits require professional installation to ensure optimal placement, zone functionality, and heating and cooling performance.
Despite the advantages of a ductless mini-split system, some homeowners find that the presence of indoor units can clash with interior aesthetics or architectural elements of the room. There are multiple instances in which a homeowner may wish to hide the indoor unit. For example, historic homes or houses with period-based interiors may need to conceal the modern mini-split to preserve the authenticity of the intended design era. Homes with minimalist or contemporary lines may also need to hide indoor units to prevent visual clutter. People who invest in high-end interiors may need to hide the mini-split to ensure aesthetic cohesion. Similarly, rooms that feature artwork or murals must conceal mini-splits to ensure that the art remains the centerpiece or focal point of the room. Regardless of the reason for your decision, a look at the best ways to conceal the mini-split unit can help you conserve the desired appearance of your home.
Ground Rules for Hiding Your Ductless Mini-Split
Professionals recommend following basic ground rules before attempting to hide or camouflage your unit. Foremost, you should never attempt to cover the vents with any type of airtight seal. This can block airflow and may cause problems such as condensation. Likewise, do not cover the top of the mini-split or use the indoor unit as a holding shelf. Covering the top of your unit hinders or restricts this important point of entry for airflow. To remain on the safe side, always keep a minimum 6-inch clearance between the top of the unit and anything above it. Whether you decide to hang artwork or install shelving, remember to keep this 6-inch distance to keep the device breathable. Finally, always keep a reasonable amount of space around the outdoor condensing unit of your mini-split system.
Ways to Hide the Indoor Unit
There are several creative ways to hide your indoor unit. Instead of thinking of your unit as an eyesore, you can work with a technician to incorporate the mini-split with the functional purpose of the room. Examples include built-in bookshelves, houseplants, decorative screens, and unique cabinetry.
Install a Bookshelf
While you should never use the unit itself as a shelf, it is okay to install a floating-style bookshelf around your mini-split. By strategically positioning floating shelves, you can remove the unit from direct view while ensuring plenty of airflow on all sides. In addition to books, you can use the shelves to display pictures or to store mirrors, decorative items, and important keepsakes.
Use Wall Art
Instead of worrying that your indoor unit will become the focal point of the room, use wall art to hide your mini-split in plain sight. For example, three-dimensional hanging art or wall stickers can paint an important story directly around the unit. Framed black-and-white photographs or cityscapes allow the unit to blend inconspicuously into the background. Colorful abstract paintings, tapestries, tribal textiles, or murals offer other great ways to create a new centerpiece for your room.
Buy Indoor Plants
New plants bring life and greenery to your room. Experts recommend using houseplants as long as you keep the flora at least 2 feet away from the front of your mini-split unit. Consider buying plants with a solid reputation for improving indoor air quality. Such plants may help absorb volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or trap airborne particulate matter. Examples of air-purifying plants include English ivy, ferns, rubber trees, and miniature spider plants.
Use a Decorative Screen
Decorative room screens offer a flexible way to hide indoor mini-splits. These screens come in a variety of designs and materials, and they are often foldable for easy storage. Because the screens are portable, you can easily move them to different rooms based on your needs.
Indoor units provide the perfect opportunity to invest in custom-built cabinetry. The main goal is to ensure that your cabinet has ventilation panels that enable enough airflow. New cabinets provide functional storage and can help you stay organized while hiding mini-splits from view.
Ask About Recessed Units
If the heating and cooling company has not installed the mini-split system yet, ask about the possibility of recessed units. To install this type of unit, a professional creates an indentation or nook within the wall for mini-split storage. This seamless integration maintains your room’s visual flow while allowing you to enjoy the convenience and efficiency of a ductless system.
Ways to Hide the Outdoor Unit
While it is easy to primarily think of your indoor air-handling unit, all ductless mini-splits have an outdoor unit as well. Fortunately, there are simple ways to hide your outdoor compressor or condensing unit. Concealing the unit can help ensure visual consistency throughout your property.
Build a Fence or Enclosure
Hiding an outdoor unit is the perfect chance to build the white-picket fence of your dreams. A traditional wooden or lattice fence protects the unit and evokes the instant charm of both rural and suburban life. Alternatively, you can choose a sleek look using materials like aluminum or steel.
Plant a Garden
Plants are among the simplest ways to hide an outdoor unit. However, you will need to leave a healthy amount of distance from the appliance to avoid problems with air circulation. Experts recommend planting shrubs and small bushes but avoiding climbing vines that can tangle inside the vents of your unit. Since proper landscaping improves the curb appeal of your home, this is another area in which you can invest in professional assistance.
Use Decorative Screens
Decorative screens can easily conceal the outdoor unit. By using a natural material like wood, your screen can easily create an unobtrusive backdrop. Another option is to hire a professional to build a miniature pergola around the unit.
Install a Trellis
A trellis disguises your outdoor device and also adds an element of privacy to your home. This type of framework is typically made of metal or wood. You can find trellises in a variety of sizes but remember to avoid positioning them in a way that blocks the airflow of your unit.
Contact Us Today
Ductless mini-splits provide practical and energy-efficient ways to maintain a comfortable home. With a little creativity, you can also hide a mini-split unit so that it discreetly does its job. Temp Air System Inc. provides ductless mini-split services for homes in Los Angeles County and surrounding areas. We offer mini-spilt installation, maintenance, tune-ups, and emergency repairs. In addition to mini-splits, we also work with heat pumps and conventional HVAC units. Reach out to our experts for help with your water heater, AC unit, or appliance. No matter your question, we have the solution. Contact Temp Air System Inc. for all HVAC needs.