Even if you’ve never had a ductless system in your own home, you’ve probably seen one before. If you noticed a unit mounted high up on the wall of a room that resembles a sleeker version of a window air conditioner, that doesn’t protrude through the back of the wall, then you’re looking at an air handler of a ductless air conditioning system–otherwise known as a ductless mini-split system.
Ductless systems work through these wall units, each of which connects to a single outdoor unit where the heat from your home is exhausted. It works similarly to a central system, but instead of a single indoor unit connected to a series of ducts, it has individual air handlers.
Ductless systems have become increasingly popular for homes throughout the U.S. for a wide number of reasons… but is one right for your home? Read on to learn their key features and benefits, then contact us–we can help you make an educated decision.
Provides Both Cooling and Heating
Ductless systems operate on heat pump technology. A heat pump works similarly to a central air conditioner in that it draws hot air out of your home and exhausts it outside, while putting the remaining air through a refrigerant process to return chilled air into your home.
The difference in a heat pump system is that the refrigerant process can be reversed, so that the system works as both an air conditioner and a heater. in fact, in heating mode these systems work even more efficiently than central furnaces, since they transfer heat instead of generating it.
Each air handler of a ductless system can be independently controlled. This means that if you need more cooling in one room in particular–let’s say, the kitchen–you don’t have to freeze out the entire home to make it happen.
This is also super convenient for households that have different cooling and heating preferences, which can be the case in even a 2-person household! One person can have their air handler set as low as 70°F (not that we recommend this setting as it’s a bit inefficient) while another can keep theirs off altogether.
Provides Energy Savings
We mentioned above about how ductless systems and heat pumps work as efficient heaters, but they boost the energy savings of your air conditioner too, mostly because of the individual air handlers. Additionally, since they lack ductwork you don’t risk energy loss through duct tears or breaks.
Ductless systems have become increasingly common additions for new home construction as well as remodeling since they eliminate the hassle of trying to fit ductwork into your space.
This also makes them a great choice for vintage homes that were built without central heating and cooling in mind–there’s no need to try to add ductwork or make big changes in your home.
Improves Indoor Air Quality
One of the drawbacks of a central HVAC system that has ductwork is that those ducts can collect dust, dander, lint, and other debris that can be difficult to remove, hindering not only HVAC efficiency but also your indoor air quality.
Since ductless systems don’t have any ductwork to collect pollutants and particles, they keep the air cleaner by their nature.