Most of us are familiar with the traditional AC system – but have you heard about a ductless AC system?
Ductless systems, also known as “mini-split” systems, are the modern alternative to traditional central air conditioning systems. They consist of small indoor units installed into various rooms and linked to an outdoor unit.
Each indoor unit works separately from the rest, which means you can customize each room’s temperature to your liking. Also, ductless systems automatically adjust to the number of people in a room. In other words, it cools/heats the rooms depending on whether you’re inside them, which saves you a fair amount of energy in the long run.
Valley City Mechanical understands many homeowners aren’t aware that ductless systems are available to them or, even less, how they work. To help, we’ve created a guide all about ductless AC systems – how they work, how they compare to the traditional HVAC system, and all other factors to consider when deciding if going ductless is the right choice for you!
Breaking It Down: What is Ductless AC?
As mentioned, ductless AC systems are also referred to as “mini-split” systems. You can think of them as mini air conditioners installed into one room or even up to five rooms (max number of connectable units depends on your outdoor model).
The term “split” comes from how the system splits between an indoor and outdoor unit – similar to a traditional HVAC system. The indoor unit(s) transports cool or warm air from the inside of a room to an outdoor unit, releasing it outside. If a ductless system only uses an air conditioner, it will only provide cooling. However, many, if not most, models use heat pumps, which provide both heating and cooling.
What’s The Difference Between Traditional And Ductless?
The main difference between a traditional HVAC system (also known as a central AC system) and a mini-split system is that central AC uses a complex ductwork system to deliver air throughout a home, while ductless systems use individual units.
Because ductless systems avoid the trouble of installing ductwork, they are easy to install and give homeowners total control of each room’s temperature through the use of wall consoles, remote consoles, or even phone apps. They can provide comfort in areas that traditional HVAC systems can’t, such as additional rooms, garages or basements.
Ductless systems range from around $1,500 to $2,000 per inside unit, about 30% more than central systems, (not including ductwork) and twice as much as window units of similar capacity.
Although ductless systems are more expensive than central ACs or window units upfront, according to the Energy Star program, they can cut cooling costs by 30% and heating costs by 60%. Ductless ACs also use newer technology, meaning they’re less likely to require as many repairs as a central system down the line.
For this reason, older homes are some of the best candidates for ductless systems. Not only do older homes already require more maintenance costs outside of HVAC, but installing ductwork from scratch is complicated, risky, and more expensive than a ductless system.
Unlike central ac ductwork, ductless indoor units are visible within a room. However, manufacturers offer a variety of sleek, inconspicuous styles.
If you’re particular about aesthetics, homeowners have found many ways to blend indoor units into the surrounding area, such as sitting the unit into a recessed hole, above a bookcase or inside an entertainment unit. Homeowners have also painted their walls to match their mini-split system, making them much harder to notice.
While ductless systems utilize more modern technology, it requires regular user maintenance like any other HVAC system. Change your air filters once a month and schedule a tune-up once a year. During an inspection, our technicians at Valley City Mechanical will clean both your units and check for any issues that can worsen over time.
Call Valley City Mechanical!
Are you interested in using ductless systems for your home or business? Valley City Mechanical is ready to help! Our HVAC technicians will help you learn more about ductless mini-split systems and discuss all the options available to you. Give us a call today!