A ductless air system is, you guessed it, an air system that works without the ductwork required by a traditional HVAC system. Traditionally, air ducts are used to connect different rooms in the home and to deliver and remove heated or cooled air while returning the air back to the HVAC system. They could be made from a variety of materials, including aluminum, fiberglass, and galvanized steel, each of which can provide different advantages.
A ductless system also called a mini-split heating system, is made up of one outdoor unit and one indoor unit. They’re connected by refrigerant tubing and electrical wires. A ductless air conditioner or heating system can be a single-zone system, meaning that it only operates in one specific area, or it can be a multi-zone unit that provides heating and cooling to the entire house like a typical HVAC system. Reasons to get a ductless system are numerous and often involve convenience. Here, we’ll dive into some of these in greater detail.
One of the most difficult things for homeowners going through renovations or installing new systems is the amount of time it takes. It’s often time away from the house or at least living in the house in a limited capacity. Installing a full HVAC system will typically take technicians anywhere from three to five days, depending on the size of the house. Fortunately, a ductless air conditioner or heat pump doesn’t require nearly as much work. In fact, they only require a small hole to be drilled into the wall so that the indoor and outdoor units can be connected.
This makes ductless air conditioning perfect for rooms being added on to a house, where you would traditionally consider a window unit. Even a multi-zone setup can be installed much faster and easier than a system with ducts.
If you’re environmentally conscious, or just tired of spending on an exorbitant electric bill, then you’ll be glad to know that a ductless mini-split system can use up to 60% less energy compared to a typical HVAC system. This is largely due to the fact that a ductless system simply uses a heat pump for both heating and cooling. A ductless unit transfers heat rather than actually generating it.
They’re also able to use less energy because up to eight indoor units can be connected to a single outdoor compressor. This gives you a similar effect to central air but with far fewer parts and less energy consumption.
No Duct Loss
“Duct loss” refers to a phenomenon in regular ductwork where some of the heated or cooled air doesn’t actually reach you. This is due to the size of the air ducts and how far the air has to travel within the system. This essentially means that typical HVAC systems are not only less energy efficient, but they’re also less efficient at doing their basic jobs. Naturally, this duct loss also causes the system to have to work harder in order to make up for the lost heated or cooled air, thus increasing your energy use even more.
Improved Air Quality
Beyond the efficiency aspects, a ductless HVAC system can have health benefits as well. Ductwork can easily be filled with contaminants like dust, moisture, and even mold buildup. If this is left on its own, the system will spread these pollutants throughout your home, creating health risks and increasing your chances of developing throat irritation, headaches, lightheadedness, and more. You would need to have your ductwork cleaned by professionals in order to prevent this.
Naturally, with a ductless mini-split unit, you’ll have no ductwork to worry about cleaning. This saves you money and time, and the increased indoor air quality even makes the home safer for you and your family.