Angie's List: How ductless air conditioners work

LEWISTON, ID - Keeping the house cool during the summer is a top priority, and there is an alternative to central air or a window unity.

"It's very easy as far as homeowner maintenance goes," said HVAC Contractor Chad Peterman. "Basically the main thing that you are going to want to do is keep the filters clean. The front will just pop up like this and then the filters will slide out. You have one on each side. Slide these filters out and wash them off under the sink, let them dry and then you are ready to pop them back in."

"A ductless air conditioner can cost about $1,500 to $2,000 per ton of cooling capacity," said Angie's List Owner Angie Hicks. "But you need to remember while these systems are more expensive, not having the duct-work can be a little bit more efficient than a traditional air conditioner because you lose about 20% of the efficiency from the duct-work. You want to make sure you have someone who is experienced in installing them because they are not installed exactly the same way a traditional air conditioner would be installed."

"This would be what your outdoor unit is going to look like," said Peterman. "What you see up here is where the copper lines, the drain, and the electrical are going to come out. If it was coming directly to the exterior of the house, we would wrap it in what they call line hide, or concealer, which can be metal or plastic. And we can match it to just about any color you have on your house."

Some ductless systems also provide heat, but you may need to purchase a separate heat pump.