Central HVAC systems are comprised of heaters, air conditioners, and complex networks of ducting. These systems regulate indoor temperatures, balance humidity, and offer a limited amount of air filtration. Unfortunately, many homes were built without the air ducts that are necessary for supporting central HVAC. There are also many instances in which central HVAC systems leave remote areas either under-serviced or lacking service entirely. The good news is that ductless HVAC installation can handily resolve these problems and more. Customizable, convenient, and capable of modernizing homes, ductless HVAC also delivers extraordinary levels of efficiency.
Much like its name implies, ductless HVAC provides heating, ventilation, and air conditioning without the need for ducting. This is great news for homeowners with older properties who don’t want to pay the high costs of having air ducts put in post-construction. Also known as ductless mini-splits, these systems have a single, outdoor condenser and compressor unit that’s attached to multiple indoor air handlers.
Each air handler serves a different zone or room in the building. Each of these units also has its own thermostat, and each thermostat is controlled independently of the others. Rather than routing heated or cooled air through long networks of metal ducts, ductless mini-splits distribute conditioned air right where it’s produced. Best of all, these systems provide comparable levels of air filtration and humidity regulation as well, so that building interiors are never muggy, oppressive, or clammy, and indoor air quality remains high.
When you turn a ducted, central HVAC system on, all areas of your home are heated or cooled uniformly. This means that you’re spending money to regulate temperatures in areas of the building that are completely unoccupied. In households with residents that have busy, bustling schedules, uniform heating and cooling accounts for a tremendous amount of energy waste.
With a ductless HVAC system, you can selectively heat and cool individual spaces as needed. If a room is unoccupied, you can turn the related air handler off. Best of all, if you prefer your immediate space to be cool but another household member likes their indoor temperature a bit warmer, each of you can customize your thermostat settings to accommodate your unique needs.
Although there are ductless mini-split air conditioners that only provide zoned cooling, there are also ductless mini-split heat pumps. These units work like air conditioners, but they also function in reverse. This means that they can produce and distribute chilled air in the summer, and they can also produce and distribute warm air in winter.
What makes heat pumps different from gas- or oil-fired furnaces is that they don’t actually produce heat at all. These units require electricity to power their operations, but they regulate indoor temperatures through a highly efficient process known as heat transfer. When indoor temperatures are too cold, a heat pump sources heat from outside and moves it into the building. When indoor temperatures are too high, a heat pump extracts warm air from the interior of the building and deposits it outside.
Heat transfer is the most efficient method of heating and cooling currently available. In fact, some ductless heat pumps have efficiency ratings of 300% or higher. This is more than three times more efficient than high-efficiency furnaces, with annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings of 98%.
Installing HVAC ductwork post-construction isn’t just costly and time-consuming. It’s also invasive. Retrofitting an older home with ductwork can require extensive structural modifications. It also requires homeowners to sacrifice a fair amount of livable space. While ductwork that’s installed during a building’s initial construction is often inconspicuously hidden behind drywall, much of the ducting that’s installed after a home has already been built remains visible. Thus, homeowners must make major concessions concerning indoor aesthetics too.
Comparatively, ductless mini-splits can be installed within hours and with limited structural modifications. Only a single, three-inch hole is drilled in each zone or room that will have its own indoor air handler. Refrigerant tubing and electrical wires are passed through this hole to connect air handlers to the outdoor compressor/condenser unit. Moreover, in addition to having small and slim profiles, the indoor air handlers for ductless HVAC systems can be installed in inconspicuous locations, such as the ceiling or the upper wall.
Ductless HVAC installation also allows homeowners with central HVAC systems to serve areas of the building that otherwise lack permanent heating and cooling service. For instance, you can put a ductless mini-split in an attic bedroom, a finished basement, a garage, a workout room, a home office, or a workshop. This equipment can turn uncomfortable and downright uninhabitable spaces into usable areas that people actually enjoy being in. For instance, with Mitsubishi ductless installation, you’ll get year-round temperature control, air handlers that move like oscillating fans, and constant air filtration that removes dust, pollen, bacteria, viruses, and more.
You don’t need HVAC ductwork to enjoy whole-house heating and cooling. With a ductless HVAC system, you can regulate your indoor temperature and humidity and remove a number of common allergens and contaminants. With ductless HVAC, you’ll also get impressive energy savings and a much smaller carbon footprint.