Ductless HVAC systems (also known as mini-split systems) are efficient and provide consistent room comfort. But the decision to install this type of system is different for every homeowner. Compare the pros and cons of this system to help you determine whether a ductless heating system is right for you and your home.
First, let’s go over what a ductless system is. A ductless HVAC system operates similarly to a split system, hence its alternate name of a mini-split system. It has two parts: a large outside compressor and one or more smaller wall-mounted ceiling units within the home. A few small holes and tubing are required to connect the refrigerant lines to the exterior system, then the lines deliver cooled or heated air through the fans within the interior units.
- Flexible – If you live with a family with varying temperature preferences, it can be difficult to come to an agreement on how cool or warm your home should be. A ductless system allows each room to have different levels of air conditioning or heating based on the preference of the person in the room. Each individual interior unit is adjustable, allowing you to create a more “zoned” temperature control system.
- More energy efficient – Leaky ducts can account for a huge loss of energy; up to 25% of your total energy usage can be lost within your ducts before the air even gets to you. Removing the ducts can account for a drastic increase in efficiency, plus ductless systems have inverter-driven compressors, which speed up and slow down based on what your system needs, rather than just shutting off completely like normal HVAC compressors. Energy efficiency equals energy bill savings! If you purchase an Energy Star ductless model, you can save up to 50% on your monthly heating and cooling costs.
- Improve air quality – With normal HVAC systems, air ducts need to be professionally cleaned on a routine basis and still collect dust and other allergens. Ductless systems have multi-stage filtration that can greatly reduce the amount of dust, pollen, bacteria and other allergens in the air, improving the overall air quality in your home.
- Quick and easy installation – Ductless systems are minimally invasive and often can be installed and running in the same day. They just require a few holes in the wall and are quickly mounted to the wall or ceiling. Traditional systems can take several weeks to install, disrupting your everyday life.
- Appearance – Often the biggest deterrent for homeowners away from a ductless system is the bulky look of them. The interior units come in white or beige and can’t be covered, so most rooms look like they have an oversized printer mounted to the wall. However, many homeowners report that after having a ductless unit installed, they get used to the look of it and often forget that the unit is even there.
- Higher upfront cost – Ductless systems cost higher up-front than traditional systems do since you’ll need to install multiple indoor units in different parts of the home. This cost is often canceled out because of the lower energy bills over time, but the upfront cost can be a large factor in the system a homeowner chooses.
- Higher maintenance – Your ductless system has a filter that needs to be washed at least monthly to clean off the debris that accumulates. Ductless fans can’t tolerate accumulated debris so if you fail to clean the filters regularly, a costly professional cleaning will be required, or the lifespan of your system will be shortened.
Ideal Situations for Ductless
A ductless system can make sense for a variety of applications depending on how your home is constructed. However, there are situations where a ductless system is a clear choice over a traditional system.
- New additions – If you add a sunroom or other bonus room to your existing home, it is a lot easier to add on a ductless system than it is to add ductwork to the new room. It can also be beneficial if this new space is a dedicated smoking area because the ductless system won’t be circulating that air to any other part of the house.
- Downsizing efforts in larger homes – Many empty-nesters don’t want to heat and cool the rooms they aren’t using in their large house that used to be home to a lot more people. A ductless system will allow them to set the house’s main thermostat to run on a minimal setting and then install a ductless system in their master bedroom to just run the air conditioning in there.
- Catering to various preferences – If your family is constantly fighting over the thermostat, a ductless system is ideal for creating independent temperature zones in separate rooms.
- Supporting a room with specific problems – Do you have a small kitchen with a large stove or a room with big picture windows that gets constant sunshine? A ductless unit can help to create more cool air specific to that space without needing to increase the air conditioning in the entire house.
So, which heating and cooling solution is best for your home? Let the experts at Einstein Pros help you figure that out. Einstein Pros offers a variety of Trane ductless systems or regular heat pumps. Contact us and schedule a home evaluation today!