There are an increasing number of homeowners these days who are exploring the option of adding ductless air conditioning to their homes to address their cooling needs. There’s a good reason for this! Ductless systems, also known as ductless mini-splits, are very efficient, and very effective at providing individualized cooling through the home.
Still though, this doesn’t mean that a ductless system is the best option for every home. How do you know if it’s right for yours? Well, read on as we uncover some of the perks and drawbacks of such a system.
First, What Makes a Ductless System Different?
A ductless air conditioner, which is also by default a ductless heater, is a form of heat pump. Ductless systems operate similarly to traditional central air conditioners. Using a refrigerant process, a ductless systems pulls in hot air from your home to expel it outside, while chilling the air that is introduced back into your home.
The difference between a ductless system and a central air conditioner is two-fold. First, as the name suggests, a ductless system doesn’t need any ductwork to work. Second, since it’s a heat pump it both cools and heats.
Without further ado, we’ll dive into the perks and drawbacks of this setup:
The Perks of Going Ductless
Ductless cooling and heating systems are designed similarly to a central air conditioner system, with a couple important differences. Instead of using an outside unit connected to a single indoor unit through a series of air ducts, the ductless system is an outside unit connected to up to four indoor units (known as air handlers) through conduits containing the power cord, refrigerant, and a condensate line.
The perks of this design include:
- Energy Efficiency: When compared to window units and even some of the older central AC systems, ductless units are much more efficient. This is due to their zoned cooling and heating capabilities.
- Independent Operation: With a ductless cooling system, you can cool a single room independently from the rest of the home. In fact, each air handler has its own thermostat, so each member of your household member can control their own cooling (and heating) preferences.
- Space Saving: Let’s say you have degrading ductwork, or no ductwork at all. Ductless systems save space since you don’t have to work about ductwork at all.
The Drawbacks of Going Ductless
There aren’t too many drawbacks to going ductless—it’s just that ductless systems don’t serve every home the same way. For instance, if you have a studio apartment, you may find it best to stick with a window unit. While the efficiency of a ductless system is far greater than a window unit, the cost of installing a ductless system is much higher.
So, you’ll want to look at your initial budget as well as your long term budget.
It’s also work noting that ductless systems, since they are heat pumps, do struggle to provide effective heat when temperatures get too cold, so depending on how chilly winters get in your neighborhood, this is something to consider. But go ahead and give us a call—we’ll be happy to walk you through your options!