High Velocity Air Conditioning
A high velocity air conditioning unit is a central air conditioner that circulates air through the room using aspiration, or a strong burst of air. A conventional central AC unit uses forced air principles instead. Cool air enters the room near the ceiling and slowly drifts downward, since hot air rises and cold air sinks. Look for units with high aspiration ratios for maximum cooling benefits with the least power expenditure.
Benefits to High Velocity Air Conditioning
High velocity air conditioning often means more consistent cooling throughout your house and less air stagnation. In a high velocity air conditioning unit, air doesn’t flow through large metal ducts. Instead, supply lines consist of two-inch, insulated tubing. This means a high velocity unit may fit in spaces where a conventional AC unit could not.
A lack of ducts also means that the unit can cool more spaces, as insulated tubing fits around corners better than ductwork and fits into smaller spaces between wall joists and under the floor. Because heat escapes through poorly-insulated ducts, a high velocity AC unit might offer greater energy efficiency than its conventional counterpart.
A high velocity air conditioning system requires only one return vent, while a conventional system requires a return vent for each room. This minimizes the system’s impact on home décor as well as installation costs.
High velocity air conditioners provide between 18,000 and 60,000 BTU, making them suitable to cool even the largest homes. Many high velocity units also offer home heating options that function the same way, using forced air.
Drawbacks to High Velocity Air Conditioning
High velocity air conditioning units may require additional soundproofing to block out “wind” noises caused by air rushing through the tubing. Because the air moves more quickly, room occupants may actually feel a cool breeze when the unit is on.
Is High Velocity Air Conditioning for You?
If you live in a home with ductless heating such as radiant heating, space heaters, or hot water heat, then a high velocity air conditioner, sometimes called a “mini-duct” system because of the small, insulated tubes that carry air through the house, may fit your needs.
If your house is older and it would cost too much to retrofit ductwork into the walls, a high velocity mini-duct system may be a great solution. If installing air conditioning and a duct system would require lengthy runs of ductwork around corners and into tight space, a mini-duct high velocity air conditioning system may provide the benefits of central AC without the expense of adding metal ductwork.