Ductless Air Conditioning: The Right Choice for You?
Ductless air conditioning has several advantages, such as higher efficiency, also heats, aesthetics, cost, and ease of installation. However, there are some drawbacks that you need to consider if you think you want to make the switch. We wrote this guide to help with making the right decision! Herein you can find details regarding efficiency, design, and installation.
Ductless Systems: What are they?
It’s just what it sounds like – an air conditioning system that transports air without the use of ducts. The main components are an outdoor unit (the condenser) and one or more indoor units. The outdoor and indoor units connected by way of a conduit, housing a few thin tubes and wires, fed through a small hole in the wall.
The indoor unit (or units) is generally mounted on the wall or ceiling, while the outdoor unit sits at ground level. Operation is easy – just use the handy remote control. Or, you can pre-set the unit to run automatically on a schedule.
Multi-Split VS Mini-Split A/C
Another name of ductless air conditioning systems is mini-split systems. These are similar to the units mentioned above, which have indoor and outdoor units connected. Multi-split units, on the other hand, connect a single outdoor unit to several indoor units. Even mini-split and multi-split units have variations– those that use straight-cooling and those that use heat pumps.
Ductless systems give users a lot of control with indoor units. If a multi-split is used to cool your home, you have control over the temperature of the indoor units in each room.
Increased energy efficiency
Since you have the ability to control these units individually, you can save a lot of energy. If a room in your house is unused, simply raise the thermostat or turn the unit off. The design itself also saves 7 to 66 percent of costs, since it eliminates air leaks that occur in ducted conditioners.
Another part of a ductless energy-efficient design is the compressor. These use inverter-driven compressors. These are more adept at adjusting to the energy use of the system. It is also more energy-efficient than the typical single-stage compressor. With an inverter-driven compressor, it also requires less energy to start it up.
Fitting the A/C into your home
Ductless systems sound amazing in plenty of aspects, but are they best suited for your house?
For homes that don’t have any cooling systems at all, adding the ductless system makes a lot of sense. However, houses with ducted systems already will need more consideration. Replacing an old ducted system with another ducted system is cheaper in installation, but might cost you more in its energy consumption.
These are the best situations for ductless systems:
- Homes without ducted systems
- Enclosed sunrooms
- Garage spaces
- Cellars, basements, and storage rooms
Ductless systems are also great at general cooling, whether in your bathroom, kitchen, or sunlit room.
Are ductless A/C functional and aesthetic in design? No one wants an ugly appliance getting in the way of their home aesthetic. Most ductless units are not the prettiest, nor the most discreet. But some designs can be mounted on the ceiling to be less noticeable. These are at least better in aesthetics than regular window units.
Window VS Ductless Air Conditioners
Ductless air conditioners have several advantages against window systems:
- Noise: Ductless systems are often less noisy than window units. The lowest that ductless systems have gone in noise is around 22dB, while window systems remain at 54dB at the least.
- Energy efficiency: Ductless systems usually use compressors that are more efficient than window single-stage compressors.
- Home Security: Window units, being installed in the windows, do present ways for burglars and pests to enter your home. Ductless systems use only a 3” hole for cables. Animals are much less likely to pass through such a small hole.
Window advantages are mostly limited to portability and affordability.
As mentioned earlier, ductless aircons are much less invasive. They only require a hole as large as 3” in diameter, while window aircons require much more. It is always best to let professionals handle and install your system. Performing the installation by yourself could risk voiding your warranty. Most companies that sell A/C systems also offer installation by their professionals.
Maintenance of a ductless air conditioning system is one of the easiest parts of owning one, but they are essential. Most of this can be done by yourself, but if you encounter any unusual problems, it is best to consult a professional.
By yourself, you can clean the system’s filters. Since ductless units have removable filters, it is simple to take them out for a day then clean them out. The manual would have directions on how to clean the filter. Under normal circumstances, it is advisable to clean your filters once a month. But if smoke enters the filters often, or if you have sources of debris and waste, the filters require more frequent cleaning. You can also do a DIY condenser cleaning by hosing it down in your garden.
If you are looking for an air conditioning system that is efficient in energy, easy to install and control, and works for several rooms, multi-split ductless systems are the way to go.
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