Ductless AC systems are the fastest-growing segment in the HVAC industry. Adoption rates are skyrocketing as more people learn about the benefits. The ductless mini split AC requires no labor-intensive installation of vents.
This opens up opportunities for apartment-dwellers and residents living in older homes. They work with all types of homes and living situations. There are many pros to switching to a ductless system, with a few key cons.
The pros and cons are going to come down to your needs and home layout. Let’s take a look to see how you can improve your cooling situation.
Ductless AC – Pros
While shopping around for ductless AC units, you’ll see a bunch of benefits advertised. Some of these are exaggerated, but most are real-life observations. For one, the installation process is much less involved than central air conditioning.
There are essentially three components to ductless AC: the outdoor compressor, refrigerant lines, and the indoor fan unit. Contractors need only to mount, drill holes for the lines, and secure everything in place. Because it’s a self-contained system, there is less energy loss.
Efficiency for the Future
Ducts, no matter how well insulated, always leak. That’s money down the toilet, with an average of 20-25% energy loss from ducts. The ductless units themselves are rated highly on the SEER grades.
The average ductless AC system is around 15-20 SEER. This translates to about 60% savings on your monthly heating and cooling, compared to older HVAC units. The savings are multiplied when you consider individual household needs.
Ductless mini splits can control temperatures for individual rooms. This means you’re not wasting energy keeping unoccupied rooms comfortable. If half your house is empty at any given time, imagine how much more you could save.
Finally, some of the most enjoyable pros of ductless unit owners are the low-profile features. They’re small, out of the way, and are often undetectable. Unlike window air conditioner units, mini-split units are quiet with efficient fans.
Downsides to Ductless Mini-Split
There are no perfect cooling solutions. Ductless systems certainly check off a lot of boxes for modern homes, but there are some cons. We mentioned the physical presence was relatively low-key.
Well, there are many who wouldn’t agree with this, as they’re not used to anything on their walls. A big box may clash with interior decor and homeowners may not want to have it out in the open. There are ways to customize their appearance, but no real way to make them smaller.
Upfront Cost of Switching to Ductless AC
Switching from a central HVAC system to a ductless system isn’t an easy transition for most. The up-front cost to purchase and install a couple of mini-splits can run as much as an HVAC replacement. An argument could be made that you’d lower your long-term costs and the system pays for itself, though.
Ductless air conditioning systems need the same level of care and maintenance as any other AC. You’ll need to clean it out monthly, perhaps more with pets.
Lastly, and most importantly, ductless mini-splits don’t offer more efficiency in below-20F weather. That doesn’t mean they can’t operate in these temperatures, they just lose their edge.
Who Should Get a Ductless AC System?
After going through the pros and cons of a ductless AC system, you start to get a picture of ideal situations. When you’re building a new home, a ductless AC system is preferred for a number of reasons. Putting in ducts is unnecessary labor, you’re losing out on a storage closet, and cost of installation is about equal.
If your old HVAC system has outlived its ability to provide consistent temps, replacing the entire system with a ductless could be ideal but you’ll have to weigh the costs and benefits of installation with those of a replacement unit for your current system. With ductless, you’ll qualify for energy efficiency rebates if available, which should reduce the cost of the ductless install.
Keeping that guest room/storage room climate-controlled probably isn’t necessary. A ductless system will allow you to set up climate zones to keep everyone in the house happy. Old houses with rooms that are under a lot of shade/direct sunlight benefit a lot from mini-split systems.
Ductless AC units offer the perfect targeted heating and cooling solutions.
- That cramped kitchen that never feels cool
- The reading corner of your living room
- The bathroom that is sweltering hot
Your new BFF is the mini-split unit right where you need it, keeping you cool enough to improve your quality of living.
Ductless mini-split systems are deceptively simple. It’s tempting to think that contractors are overcharging based on popularity or modernity of ductless AC. The truth is, it takes a lot of technical and construction experience to do it properly.
A ductless system is only as effective as the installation job. You need the right size system, clean and precise mounting, wall penetration, sealing, and configuring. You also need someone who will know how to properly handle the refrigerant.
The job itself will take over three hours of work for just one unit for one room. A lot of that time is preparing for the mounting and drilling through the wall.
More Information on Going Ductless
After reading the pros and cons and what is involved with a ductless AC, does it sound right for you? Could you use a more efficient, convenient, and quieter AC system? Don’t let potential sticker-shock scare you into thinking you can’t get one.
Our team of experts will give you a clear and fair estimate for free and you may be eligible for financing. Contact us today for more information on going ductless.