Posted on November 29, 2018 at 9:00 AM
Heating and cooling can be troublesome for small business owners. Retail and restaurant space is often leased or rented and sometimes exists within a much larger building. As a tenant, you may not want to take on the cost and responsibility of expanding air ducts or putting in a central system. It may not even be an option. Other, more portable solutions like room units can offer convenience, but you give up a lot in efficiency, comfort, and your company’s brand image.
Many small-to-medium-size business owners turn to the mini-split, or ductless heat pump, for the dependability and comfort that fits their brand. The ductless mini-split system combines the best of central heating and room units to deliver zoned, efficient, year-round heating and cooling. Its design has many advantages for small businesses and other commercial spaces. Here are the top 5 reasons Massachusetts businesses turn to mini-split heat pumps for professional climate control.
Central air loses around one third of its hot and cool air through the ducts that deliver it. The more expansive this system (the bigger the building), the more space treated air has to leak out. This is a lot of waste for a business owner trying to watch every penny.
A ductless mini-split has none of this ductwork inside the walls. There’s little or no energy lost between the exterior compressor and the interior air handler, regardless of how far away the two components are from each other. Plus, you can easily expand your system to cool and heat other spaces by adding air handlers to the compressor.
With a ductless system, you only pay for the heat or cooling you actually use. Air handling units in each room allow you to select where and when you want to control the indoor climate. When the system is off, it’s completely off, which isn’t always the case with older central systems. This is a major advantage for a space that might be unoccupied more than 12 hours per day.
A mini-split enables you to treat each office, workspace, and conference room as a separate zone rather than having to choose a single temperature for the whole floor or even the entire building.
With wireless remote convenience, anyone can set individual room temperatures to a comfortable level. It’s perfect for large conference rooms that aren’t used every day, office space that gets a lot of sun, home office and other workspace underground, and anywhere else you need employees and customers to do business in comfort. This can be a lifesaver as the seasons change—just ask the folks toiling in the back room that overheats in the summer and is drafty in October.
Unlike the costly demo and remodel required for ductwork, there’s no need to tear big holes in the walls to install the wires and tubes that connect the indoor and outdoor components of a ductless system. That’s a good thing in a situation where you don’t own the walls you’d be tearing up. It’s also handy in cases where it’s structurally impossible to install ductwork.
All you need to install a ductless system is a discrete 3” hole in the wall. There are many ways to run the connection depending on your structure and your design preferences. Because it’s simple to install, a mini-split is a good choice when you may need to expand. It’s less expensive and simpler to mount units and drill more holes than to install more ductwork, as you’d have to do with a central heating and cooling system.
Room units, such as window air conditioners and space heaters, lose their economy of scale. There’s no question that it’s cheaper to just buy a room unit and stick it in your window, but the more rooms you have to cool, the more you are going to pay for the inefficient design of a window unit. Don’t forget, window AC units only cool, which means they don’t double as heaters. Can you imagine switching out AC window units and space heaters from storage twice a year? Maybe you can.
A ductless mini-split system tends to outperform other options in both, heating and cooling, excelling at both rather than compromising between the two.
Its room-by-room zoning enables you to maintain a consistent, comfortable temperature throughout your workspace, especially in the spring and fall when temperatures can vary tremendously from one room to the next.
It’s true that a central heat pump heating the entire building makes more sense in temperatures below freezing, and using your mini-split on days when it’s cold but not freezing can save you a lot by not using your central system during those transitional times of year. Some mini-split manufacturers are working to raise the efficiency of units in below freezing temperatures. Research and ask your local dealer if it’s an option for you.
Ductless systems are cleaner because they have fewer parts that are directly in contact with the air you breathe. Unlike a ducted system that requires specialized duct servicing to stay clean, a ductless heat pump can be minimally serviced by any user with a step ladder.
Between scheduled maintenance visits, users can remove the air filters located in the air handling unit and clean them with tap water. This ensures the highest quality of air.
Mini-splits are green as well as clean. They draw less power and, as mentioned, waste less of it. This is good for the planet, and it’s good for your energy bills. If you have a home office, you may qualify for upfront incentives and rebates to create the perfect space to work at home.
Noise is a different kind of pollution. Older central heating and air systems generate a roll of thunder through your ductwork when you switch it on and a continuous whoosh while it’s running. Window mounted AC units are so noisy they make you choose between comfort and quiet.
A ductless system is whisper quiet. In decibels, they’re running noise registers only slightly louder than the interior of a library.
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