You need a new air conditioner, but how do you choose the right type of unit? If your house doesn’t have a basement or duct work, here’s what to expect when going with ductless air conditioning.
How Does Ductless Air Conditioning Work?
Ductless air conditioning has been around since the 1970’s and it provides a great alternative to the old fashioned window AC units. This type of HVAC system is similar to central air conditioners with its necessary outdoor unit, however instead of the air running through ducts to each area of the home or office, the air is cooled and moved through pipes of refrigerant directly from the inside unit to the outside unit and back.
Installing them isn’t quite the same as installing the central air systems, so be sure you find a contractor who is well experienced in this area.
Types of Ductless Air Conditioning Units
Regular split system air conditioning units are perfect for most basic residential layouts. This type of ductless air conditioning system utilizes one unit in an attic or similar location and moves the cooled air throughout the house. With a mini-split ductless system, there are multiple units placed in various locations for optimal cooling of the rooms.
Single Zone v. Multi Zone
Just as suggested in the name, single zone mini split systems have one unit outdoors and one indoors in a specific zone only to cool the one area. Multi zone splits can have up to 8 separate indoor units designed to cool multiple zones of your home, but each unit still only runs for its one specified area.
Mini Split Ductless Air Conditioning
When you’re choosing ductless air conditioning units, consider the layout of each area you will be cooling. There are a number of styles and installation options that will give you the best look and utility. Depending on the room specifics, you may even mix and match different kinds of units. An experienced HVAC pro can help to decide on the most cost effective and most functional way to map this out.
There are several ductless air conditioning styles and installation options for your space:
- Wall mounted units
- Ceiling cassette
- Ceiling suspended
- Floor standing
- Concealed duct
Pros and Cons of Ductless Air Conditioning
As with any kind of appliance, there are pros and cons to consider. Think about the space you’re planning to cool and then read the advantages and disadvantages of ductless air conditioning below.
Ductless air conditioning comes with a host of reasons you’ll want to choose it for your space. It’s hard to pick what makes number one on the list, but efficiency rating is one of the top advantages! Ductless air conditioning units can reach up to 26 SEER ratings which is over ten points over the minimum of 14. With a quiet running profile and multiple mounting styles, they are seemingly limitless in where you can place them in a space.
Ductless systems are perfect to install when you’re renovating a space and can be for single zone usage or multi to give you total control of the climate in an area. With no duct work required, they’re also an easy choice when you’re building an addition onto your home and for any of those inconvenient spaces that would be hard to run duct work to.
There are a few disadvantages to ductless air conditioning that we should mention. Not every space or situation will be a good fit for ductless systems and you’ll have to consider the look of the units. They are not built to suit specific designs and mostly just come in white or beige colors, so if you won’t want a unit sticking out in your wall, it may be a good idea to consider alternate options.
One of the biggest considerations to make is the cost. Installing ductless air conditioning units can cost upwards of three times more than a central air system. Coupled with that, you’ll want to consider the impact it will have on your utility bills. One way to offset the cost is to find rebates through EnergyStar. Check out what is available in your area here.
Finally, consider the maintenance that is required. Ductless units have filters that should be washed monthly or even more often if you have pets or smoke in the house.
Making Your Final Choice
Now that you’re armed with all of this information about ductless air conditioning, you can decide why you may or may not want to make the choice to go ductless. These systems come highly recommended for efficiency and control, so it comes down to to your specific needs and wants. The best idea is to review the pros and cons and then talk to your local, trusted HVAC professionals to make the best informed decision you can.
Still not sold on ductless air conditioning? Check out the other options and learn all about “8 Types of Air Conditioning Systems.”
Ask The Experts
At Garden City HVAC, trained, licensed professionals are waiting to help you make the best decision for your home. Whether you want them to come out and give you a home audit or you just have a few questions to answer, contact them today!