When it comes to HVAC, most property owners know that their homes or business need a) a furnace and b) an air conditioner. Of course to find the right unit for your needs you need to evaluate the size, brand, and budget to name a few. What many home and business owners might not be aware of is that the standard furnace or the traditional AC system are not your only options. Aside from equipment such as a boiler or a geothermal heat pump one of the most popular forms of alternative cooling is the ductless AC system.
A ductless AC very much resembles the central air conditioner that most people might be familiar with. On the exterior of your property is the compressor and condenser which processes the warm air that is removed from a room. Also, on the interior is an air handling unit (evaporator and fan) where the cool air is created and delivered. What’s really different is the path that the air takes to get from one place to another. Conventional AC units have a duct system that has many flaws. In the ductless version, a conduit houses the power cable, condenser drain, refrigerant, and suction tubing and travels to each room in a much less invasive manner.
Benefit #1 – No Ducts!
If you’ve got a whole house or commercial property that needs to be cooled, ducts do their job to get that air delivered to where it needs to go. That being said there are numerous opportunities for ducts to lose heat as connections and seams become loose or crack and holes develop in the sheet metal. The ductwork is also very loud as air is forced through it. Finally, ducts can harbor dirt and debris that gets kicked up and distributed throughout the home every time the AC turns on.
With a ductless system, the processed air comes directly from the indoor air handler unit. Everything that is needed to communicate between the outdoor compressor and the indoor evaporator is transported via the conduit that is just 3” in diameter. This creates a quieter, more efficient, AC system that distributes less dirt. Plus you don’t want all the bulky duct work taking up space.
Benefit #2 – Convenience
If you were to run a traditional AC into any additional rooms in the house, it would involve tapping into the existing ductwork and creating another path. This simply isn’t feasible because your air conditioner is sized for the specific square footage of your home. Adding more space to cool will have a central air conditioner cycling nearly non-stop thus driving up utility bills and lowering lifespan.
This is the main reason why ductless ACs are so popular. If customers want to add on to their home or finish a garage or basement they can do so without disrupting the existing HVAC system. You can also use a ductless AC as a secondary cooling device to ease the pressure of your current air conditioner during peak times. Running the conduit of a ductless system to a living room or kitchen where most of the family time is spent allows you to turn down your ‘main’ air conditioner’s thermostat.
Benefit #3 – Energy Efficiency and Multi-Zone Cooling
Ductless systems are energy efficient almost because of all their benefits. Not having ducts, for example, prevents energy loss through leaks. The reason you can run a ductless AC in your living room and turn down the thermostat on your ‘whole house’ unit is because of multi-zone cooling. Basically what this means is that up to four different air handlers can run off each outdoor condenser. Each of these air handlers is in a separate room and they all have individual separate temperature controls. Therefore if you’re not in a room, you can turn off the air handler to that area. With most conventional central air systems, one thermostat controls the temperature for the entire home whether rooms are occupied or not.
This is just scratching the surface of a ductless AC systems benefits and potential. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more information about these wonderful home appliances.