Increasingly, homeowners facing specialized cooling and heating situations are going ductless. Ductless split systems (also called “mini-splits”) are versatile, offering both comfort, efficiency and convenience, in many ways superior to traditional ducted HVAC systems.
Ductless split ACs and heat pumps – both energy efficient and convenient – offer independent temperature control in specific areas of a home. They’re particularly suited for renovated rooms or sections, or additions to the home. However, when installed with multiple indoor units, they can cool or heat an entire home if they’re properly installed and placed. One residential situation where ductless systems are increasingly popular occurs when a homeowner without gas service or internal ductwork, who instead has used electric baseboards for heat and portable AC units for cooling, decides to upgrade to a more efficient and effective heating and cooling option.
What Does a Ductless AC Installation Involve?
A ductless split is a split-system air-source heat pump or AC with one key difference from a traditional forced-air cooling or heating system: Working without ductwork, an installed ductless AC or heat pump conditions only the room or area where an air-handling unit is located. Outside, a compressor unit, containing the heat-exchange coil, compressor and blower, connects to one or more air-handling units inside the house. A conduit with lines, tubes and wires to carry refrigerant, condensate and electricity connects the outside unit with the inside unit(s).
Inside the house, each of one or more interior air-handling units – most systems allow for up to five – contains a coil and blower, in addition to a remote control in most systems. Ductless cooling/heating air handler installation can be handled in a variety of ways: on the wall, hanging from the ceiling, or free-standing. They don’t make a lot of noise and can be integrated relatively easily into your interior design.
How Does a Ductless Mini-Split System Save on Energy?
While ductless split systems enjoy unique design characteristics (using inverter technology) that result in high efficiency, their ability to operate without ductwork also saves energy. Ample energy is lost in a traditional forced-air system as the air moves through ducts. That doesn’t happen with a ductless split system. Additionally, all the things that can go wrong with a ducted system – ducts clogged with dirt, debris and other contaminants, duct sections coming apart or hanging loose, inconsistent air delivery depending on distance from the HVAC system – none of that is an issue with a ductless split system.
Just like with traditional central heating and cooling systems, the benefits of a ductless split system will depend on the quality of the equipment, its energy efficiency, the physical circumstances of your home, how your household uses energy, the climate where you live, and a variety of other factors. However, there’s no doubt that ductless split systems are gaining popularity in the United States, including in the greater Cincinnati area.
Consider scheduling a free appointment, with no obligations, with one of Jansen Heating and Cooling’s installation advisers to discuss how a ductless AC installation can provide comfortable and efficient heating and air conditioning in your home.
If a Ductless Split System Is Not for You…
If your home’s HVAC system provides uneven heating and cooling to different parts of your home, such as in a finished basement or upstairs loft or bedrooms, if a ductless split system is not practical or preferred, you might consider a zoning system in your home. These systems divide your home into two or more comfort zones, with each served by a separate thermostat connected to mechanized duct dampers. These open or close ducts serving a single zone, allowing homeowners to customize the heating and cooling in each area.