Ductless mini-splits are a great heating and cooling solution for many homes. These innovative and efficient systems have become one of the more popular options available on the market.
Every home, and even household members, have different needs and preferences when it comes to their indoor climate. Understanding what ductless mini-split systems are and how they work can help you determine if a ductless system would work in your home.
What is a ductless mini-split?
Ductless systems (also known as “mini-splits” or “zoned HVAC”) is a type of heating and cooling system that does not require ducts to regulate the air. This makes ductless units optimal for homes that lack existing ductwork or for attached homes such as condos or townhouses. They are also good options for home renovations and add-on spaces (such as sunrooms or garages). Ductless systems are comprised of two components: an indoor unit, typically wall-mounted, combined with an outdoor compressor. These two units are connected by refrigerant tubing and electrical wiring.
Advantages of a mini-split system
According to Energy Star, about 20 to 30% of air that moves through ducts is lost through poor connections, leaks and holes. Because each indoor unit doesn’t include ducts and delivers heat or air conditioning to the room it is located in, ductless systems can save 30-40% off the energy costs compared with a forced air system. Since ductless systems are zoned, you can heat or cool only the rooms you are using while saving energy on the rooms you don’t frequent as often. This efficiency saves energy and lowers energy bills. There are often rebate incentives when you invest in an energy-efficient system as well (especially when purchased with a heat pump).
Often described as “whisper quiet,” both the indoor and outdoor components of mini-split systems produce noise levels just slightly louder than that of a library.
Easy to Install:
Installing a ductless system only requires the small amount of construction it takes to run tubes and wiring through a 3” hole. An HVAC professional can do the job with minimal mess and installation can often be completed in one day.
Improved Indoor Air Quality:
Duct work requires regular cleaning and maintenance. A ductless system does not circulate mold, viruses and other irritants like an uncleaned central HVAC system. The filters in ductless units still need attention but they can usually be cleaned easily by most homeowners. (Read our blog for ways to improve indoor airy quality at home.)
Disadvantages of a mini-split system
Ductless units cost more as a single-room heating and cooling solution than baseboard heating units or comparable window units. For those looking to heat and cool an entire house, central air often is more affordable than ductless because several units are required to accommodate an entire home. However, the return on investment tends to be higher and faster through the ductless system’s energy efficiency and zoning capabilities.
Some people do not like seeing a visible ductless unit in a room. Fortunately, there are a variety of models that fit in a ceiling or wall units that have a smaller footprint and slimmer look to feel less intrusive. Most people forget the unit is even there after installation.
Ductless mini-split HVAC systems are a versatile, effective, and efficient solution for many types of homes. Their unparalleled room-to-room control make them a top choice to maintain comfortable temperatures all year round.
If your question isn’t answered here, contact the Pierce Refrigeration team, and one of our experts will guide you in finding your solution.
Need 24-7 emergency service? Looking for advice on improving your everyday air quality and comfort at home and at work? Contact the friendly staff at Pierce Refrigeration at 800-696-1088.