Ductless Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps: Comprehensive Information
Overview of Ductless Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners
If your house does not have ductwork (“i.e. is ductless”) you might think or have been told that it would be impossible to have whole home air conditioning or forced air heat installed. That was a correct assumption not too long ago when there weren’t effective systems that could be installed in houses with either forced hot water heating or completely electric heating systems.
However, the days of having to use bulky, drafty, energy inefficient air conditioners or electric or baseboard heating in each and every room you want to heat or cool are over, even if your home does not have ductwork!
Recently, new systems called ductless air conditioning and heat pumps has been brought to the consumer market. Now you can have central air no matter how your home is currently heated and whether or not you have existing ducts. These ductless air conditioning and heat pump units are as quiet as a breeze, and are far more energy-efficient than other systems. They can cover your whole house, while being zoned with multiple thermostats so you can control the temperature differently in different parts of your house.
The ductless heat pump or air conditioner is practically invisible to the eye. It is likely that you’ve been in a house with one and not even known it. The small (one to three-inch) holes where the cool air will be delivered can be located high on your walls, low to the ground, or anywhere in between. The rest of the system is smaller than a conventional furnace and can be installed in a crawl space or basement. There are no visible features in your rooms except the small holes where the cool air flows.
As ductless heat pump and air conditioning systems grow in popularity, there are more qualified installers around. It is important to be sure that your installer has experience with ductless systems and has installed it in homes similar to yours. Ask the prospective installer how many ductless air conditioner and/or heat pump systems he or she has installed, and ask for references.
Ductless air conditioner and heat pump units will increase the resale value of your home – in fact, in some areas older homes do not sell at all if they are not capable of whole home cooling or are stuck with expensive electric heating. So the next time you are carrying that bulky window box unit up a flight of stairs, going into a blazing hot room where the current air conditioner cannot reach, or looking at an electric bill that seems too high, think about the fact that you could have comfortable and quiet whole home ductless air conditioning or heat pump system.
Advantages of Ductless Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners
We will be providing the most up-to-date news and information about ductless air conditioning and heat pumps including split systems and individual units. Included will be the advantages, cost, and parts associated with ductless air conditioning and ductless heat pumps. We will also provide customer feedback about ductless heat pump and air conditioning systems. If you live in a home without built-in ducts and have previously been told or just assumed that installing whole home cooling or forced air heating would be close to impossible, you will be surprised to hear about the potential of these exciting systems.
There are many advantages of ductless central air conditioning or heat pump systems, even if your house does have ducts. Conventional systems may not be your choice over ductless even if you can have either.
- The first and perhaps most significant advantage of these systems are their small size. They can be easily zoned to heat and cool individual rooms using split systems. While conventional ducted systems often do two zones at most, ductless air conditioning and heat pump systems can easily have as many as four or five indoor air handling units which can create four or five zones. All of this still only requires one outdoor unit!
- Ductless heat pump and air conditioning systems are also much easier and simpler to install than other types of central air systems. The installer only has to drill small 3 inch holes in your walls for the air tubing, as compared to having to install whole ducts.
- These systems also naturally save energy. Ducts, especially if they run through hot attics and crawl spaces naturally lose energy in getting you your cool air.
- Finally, these systems are more aesthetically pleasing than other types of central air, and they provide more safety and security. How easy would it be for someone to push in a window air conditioner and get into your house? Ductless air conditioners and heat pumps only require a three-inch hole.
Ductless heat pumps and air conditioning systems are a great product for those with houses without ducts, increasing comfort and resale value. However, even those with ductwork might be tempted to put in a ductless air conditioning and heat pump system as well!
Here is more information about Energy Star Ratings of Ductless Systems
Comparison with conventional systems
Some specific benefits that you may not have been aware of include:
+ The Indoor unit of a ductless air conditioning or heat pump system is small and space-saving as compared to a conventional furnace. It does not need a large footprint to function, even if it is a split system, and therefore can be installed in a small space.
+ Since no ductwork is required, installation of a ductless heat pump or central air conditioning system is simple, fast & very efficient. Even split systems or min split systems are not difficult to install. You won’t have to cut large openings in walls or major construction. In some ways, since the system involves tubing run through walls, it’s almost like adding more electrical wiring – that simple!
+ The compressor is in the outdoor unit, so there is virtually no indoor noise generated in a ductless heat pump or air conditioning system, and even outside the compressor is quiet.
+ The operation of the central unit is controlled by a microprocessor, which ensures that the temperature and humidity levels in the room are always comfortable. Mini split systems allow you to control the temperature in different zones, saving money and energy
+ Your system will likely come with a wireless remote control, so you’ll be able to control temperature, fan speed, the timing of temperature changes, etc. This makes these whole home cooling systems highly convenient
+ Most ductless air conditioners and heat pumps have what’s called “Dry Mode” which means that the system will efficiently dehumidify your home. In dry mode the system uses less energy and saves you money
+ The system can use three Fan Speeds, which allows your ductless central air to create a comfortable airflow throughout the room.
+ The ductless air conditioner or heat pump units have what’s called “Air Sweep Control” which directs comfortable and cool or hot air in a sweeping motion around the room, an advantage over conventional central air conditioning systems.
+ At night the mini split system will automatically save energy by manipulating the temperature in each zone, so you save money without sacrificing your comfort.
These Air Conditioning Systems may be perfect for your house, whether you have ducts or not!
About Our Website
You will find more detailed information on the following pages:
Our Blog: For more detailed up-to-the minute advice about installation and upkeep, as well as costs and benefits
Comprehensive Q&A about Ductless: Answers to common questions about basic and split systems
Community Feedback – users weigh in on their experience with Ductless air conditioning and heat pumps
Installation: Provides detailed information about installation of a regular of split system
Costs and Savings: Information about what you might expect to save on your electric bill vs. the cost
Use and Maintenance: How will you maintain your ductless air heat pump or conditioning system for maximum life and performance
** 2013 Update **
In 2013 we are seeing a predictable increase in sales of ductless air conditioning and heat pump systems and its no surprise. Whether it’s because costs have come down, installers have become better at their craft, or word is spreading to more people with homes that lack duct work, an expansion of the market is happening. A somewhat slow move into summer in some parts of the U.S. as of mid June has dampened things just a little though, so we could yet see a large increase in sales of ductless heat pumps and air conditioners.
The technology behind ductless air conditioning is already quite mature, so there are few major advantages to report in this year’s systems over last. Of course incremental improvements in efficiency, size and reliability will likely be seen in 2013.
Interestingly, one of the main improvements we’re seeing in the world of ductless is that there appear to be more and perhaps more accurate tools available to help you decide which system is right for you. Not only can you find tools online that might help you figure out the exact size you need, but also whether you can use a one system with splits or whether you need a mini split system altogether. It’s still going to require a consultation with an expert about your unique home, but these online tools will give you a ballpark estimate and make you a more informed customer.
Here is information from the US Government about the energy savings associated with Ductless