Do you have one room in your home that is always too hot or too cold no matter how you adjust the thermostat?
Maybe you also are considering upgrading your current heating and cooling system but have been put off by the expense and upheaval involved in having central air installed.
If so, then a ductless mini-split air conditioner may be the perfect solution for your home. Contact Delaware Heating and Air today to learn more about ductless heat pumps and how they could benefit you.
Differences Between Conventional AC and Ductless AC
The typical central air conditioner relies on one huge air handler to cool the air, then forces the cooled air through ductwork and into the various rooms of your house. With a ductless mini-split system, you’ll have a separate, smaller air handler for each zone or room. Generally mounted on walls, these air handlers provide warm or cool air directly into the room without needing any ducts at all.
Ductless mini-split air conditioners can be a great solution for many situations, but they are not necessarily the best choice for everyone. By examining the pros and cons of ductless air conditioning systems, you can make an informed decision regarding whether or not this is the way for your family to go.
Ductless Air Conditioner Pros
Here are some of the top reasons why you might want to have a mini-split ductless air conditioner installed:
- Installation is easy;
- Several design options;
- Super energy efficient;
- Customizable zones; and
- Quiet operation.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these aspects.
One of the main problems with installing a conventional central air conditioning unit is that it requires ductwork. If your home does not already have ductwork or needs some serious upgrades, this will add considerably to the time and cost involved.
The good news is that with a ductless system, your contractor will only have to drill a three-inch hole in a wall so that conduit lines can be run between the outdoor condenser unit and the indoor air handler. Within just a few hours, the entire system can be installed, and you’ll be enjoying cool air.
While most people choose to have wall-mounted indoor air handlers because they are less expensive and very quiet, there are other options. Indoor air handlers may be mounted flush with the ceiling or placed on or near the floor. At approximately seven inches deep, most of these air handlers do not take up a great deal of space. Because you have placement options, the indoor air handlers do not necessarily have to interfere too much with your design aesthetic.
Of course, one of the top reasons for choosing a mini-split ductless air conditioner is that these units are incredibly energy efficient. Central air systems can lose a lot of energy in leaky ducts. However, your ductless system doesn’t have this problem.
What’s more, ductless air conditioning units tend to receive fairly high SEER ratings, with most common appliances being in the range of 20 to 25 or even 28. This means that you’ll save a ton of money over the long run thanks to efficient operation.
Another plus is that you only have to turn on the specific air handlers for the rooms in which you need to adjust or control the temperature. Unlike a system that relies on ducts, you don’t have to waste money and energy heating or cooling unused rooms.
People also may benefit from the ability to only cool certain zones of their homes. This is exceptionally valuable because it makes it possible to control the temperature in rooms on an individual basis. Accordingly, you can keep things cooler in the kitchen and warmer in the living room where people are watching television. You can give each bedroom a different temperature based on the needs of individual sleepers. The options are absolutely endless, so that each member of the family can be as comfortable as possible at all times.
It’s also worth knowing that most ductless mini-split air conditioning systems operate with whisper-quiet efficiency. Averaging between 26 and 36 dB, the indoor air handlers will not interfere when you’re listening to music, watching your favorite movie or just enjoying a few quiet moments while sipping a cup of tea.
Outdoors, you’ll find that the average noise level for the condenser is about 60 dB, which is the equivalent of an ordinary conversation. Once again, this is unlikely to interfere if you want to read a book or enjoy a snooze in the garden.
Potential Cons of a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner
No HVAC equipment is perfect, and the ductless air conditioner is no exception. These are some of the most common drawbacks associated with these systems:
- Not the most efficient choice for oversized rooms;
- Installation and purchase can be expensive;
- Indoor air handlers may be too visible for some people;
- Short on additions and extras; and
- It can be difficult to find a qualified installer.
Once you understand these potential downsides to having a ductless air conditioner, you’ll be able to decide if this is the right choice for your home.
Ductless air conditioner systems are improving all the time. Some outdoor condenser units can now operate up to four, and some can handle even more, indoor air handlers. Let’s assume that you have a system that includes four indoor air handlers. If your home is approximately 1,500 square feet, then this should be sufficient capacity to keep your home cool even on the hottest summer days.
What do you do if you have a larger house? This may mean having to buy a much larger and more expensive outdoor condenser unit, or it may mean that you need more than one outdoor unit so that you can have an indoor air handler in every room that you want to cool. That definitely starts to get expensive.
The multi-split ductless air conditioner also may not perform well if you have one extremely large room with really high ceilings. More than one air handler may be required to sufficiently and effectively cool that space.
Sometimes, the price of having a ductless air conditioning system installed can look daunting. Pretend that you already have ductwork in your house, but you want the customization options that are available with a new ductless system. You can expect to pay approximately 30 percent more for the ductless system than you would for a new central unit. The cost could be even higher if your house is large and you want to put at least one air handler in each room.
Some homeowners are very concerned with just how visible the indoor air handlers are. They do not like having a large, rectangular unit attached to every wall in the house where it can be easily seen. Even the lower, floor mounted units can be pretty conspicuous. There are ceiling-mounted options, but these require extra clearance space above the ceiling that may not be available in all homes. For some people, the less obvious floor vents that come with a central system are the preferred way to go.
When you choose to upgrade or install a central system, you may be able to choose lots of bells and whistles like an air purification system, dehumidifier, humidifier or other air quality components. While a ductless system can provide some air filtration, most other options and upgrades that are possible with a central system are not available with a ductless air conditioning unit.
It sometimes can be tricky to find a qualified technician who is genuinely qualified to install a ductless mini-split air conditioner the right way. However, it is critical to find the right contractor, because if your new ductless system is undersized or oversized, then it will cost you more money and be far less energy efficient.
Fortunately, Delaware Heating and Air can fix that problem for you. Our technicians are some of the most experienced in the area, which means that you can trust them to do the job right. They perform a critical Manual J Calculation for every home before recommending the right air conditioner capacity for each customer. This means that your air conditioning unit is always the right size for your home and is always expertly installed.
Ask Delaware Heating and Air About Ductless Air Conditioners
If you’re still not sure if a mini-split ductless air conditioner is right for your home, give us a call. One of our technicians will be happy to come out to your home to provide reliable advice and guidance.