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Understanding Ductless Mini Splits: Why Go Ductless?

November 3, 2014

Why Go with Ductless Air Conditioning?

In the last article we took a look at the basic function and setup of ductless mini splits along with some of the features that make these systems energy efficient. Let’s take a look at some other benefits of owning a ductless system.

For the average homeowner, heating and cooling costs total about $1,000 a year, accounting for almost half the home’s total utility bill. A ductless system that is Energy Star-certified offers up to 30% or more in savings depending on the existing.

Reduced utility costs aren’t the only advantage to having a ductless system. They offer several benefits over their traditional counterparts.

Integrated Zoning

– Mini splits allow you to place indoor air-handling units in specific areas of your home, giving you greater flexibility and control over the temperature in your home. For example, if one room sees a lot of shade throughout the day, you can keep the temperature higher than in a room that experiences more sun. One outdoor unit can handle up to four indoor units.
Traditional cooling and heating systems generally consist of one thermostat that controls the whole home’s temperature. This doesn’t make zoning impossible, but zoning with traditional systems is much less efficient.

Design Flexibility

– Unlike traditional air systems, ductless systems offer greater interior design flexibility. Indoor units can be hung on the wall, mounted to a drop ceiling, or even hidden altogether. Indoor units can be mixed and matched depending on the design requirements of the home.

Easy installation

– As you don’t need to worry about ducts, mini splits are much easier to install. Hooking up indoor and outdoor units really only requires a three-inch hole in the wall for the conduit line. You can keep your outdoor unit up to 50 feet away from the indoor evaporator, so you can cool rooms at the front of the house but keep the compressor hidden behind the building.

Greater safety

– Window-mounted and through-the-wall air conditioners provide easy access for intruders. Ductless systems only require a small hole in the wall.

Improved air quality

– No dirty ducts means no dirty air.

Reduced energy loss

– Ducts can account for over 30% of energy loss thanks to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. This is especially true in unconditioned spaces or in ducts that have not been well maintained. With mini splits, you eliminate the losses associated with ducts.

For Your Consideration

1) Many customers expect the cost of installing ductless systems to be significantly less because of the lack of ductwork. Because the cost ductless mini split equipment may be higher than that of other systems, installation costs can be equal to or even greater than conventional system in some cases. However, the combination of rebates, tax credits, and other financial incentives along with reduced operating costs in the long run offsets the initial expense.

2) Hire an experienced professional to install your system. A professional can determine the proper location and size of each indoor unit. You may not need a huge system, which would only lead to higher upfront costs. Air handlers that are oversized or incorrectly placed can also lead to short cycling, which results in wasted energy from inefficient temperature and humidity control.

3) Much like other cooling and heating systems, your ductless system’s efficiency is determined by how well your home is sealed and insulated. It doesn’t matter how efficiently your system operates if your home’s foundation is filled with leaks, cracks, and drafts.

4) Ductless mini splits remain a sound investment that will save you money and give the environment a significant boost in the process. Consult a professional contractor if you think you’re ready to take the plunge with a new ductless mini split system.

About The Author

Bob Jenson

For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.

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