Or, should you go ductless?
Let’s say you have always had a central air conditioner in your home. It works “just fine” and you’ve been paying what you would expect for its use throughout the years. Sure, you could use the space your ductwork is taking up for storage or other means, but having air ducts is just a part of staying comfortable each summer, right?
Well, have we got news for you! A traditional central air conditioner is NOT your only option, and although it may be “okay” for your home, there might be a better option—such as the aforementioned ductless system. Keep reading to learn more!
What Makes Ductless Cooling the Right Choice?
We want to clarify—ductless cooling isn’t right for every home, but it could be a great option for you. When asked why, or what makes a ductless system so much more efficient than the traditional central model, the simplest answer we can give is that it operates on heat pump technology.
This means that similar to a heat pump system, the flow of refrigerant can be reversed to offer not only highly effective cooling during the summer, but efficient heating during the winter, as well. There’s more to it than just this, though.
The Heat Transference Process: As we said, a ductless system operates like a heat pump. It moves heat from one area to another in order to cool (or heat) your living space, reversing its mode of operation through a component called the reversing valve.
During summer, refrigerant gets evaporated in the indoor components of the system and condensed outside to release heat. Then in the winter, the refrigerant is evaporated in the outdoor coil and condensed in the indoor units to warm the air in your home. This heat transfer is far more efficient than heat generation such as with a furnace.
Zone-Controlled Cooling (and Heating): We’ll start by saying that dampers can be installed in an existing central air conditioner and furnace system to create different “zones” throughout the home. However, retrofitting an already existing home is a difficult process, and the zoned cooling and heating offered with a ductless system is more efficient anyway!
The individual air handlers used by the ductless system are all controlled independently of each other—meaning you can set different temperatures in different areas (zones!) Overall, this cools and heats your home much more thoughtfully, adding up in terms of savings.
No Ductwork Leaks: One of the most common culprits of energy loss in homes today is through breached AC ductwork. When air doesn’t make it to its intended destination, your HVAC system has to work harder in order to reach the desired temperature set on the thermostat. Ductless systems eliminate this discrepancy altogether by default!
Generally speaking, ductless systems are best in multi-level homes, or homes with multiple rooms. While it will still help save space in a smaller area, you won’t get to take as much advantage of the individual air handlers if it’s something like a single bedroom apartment or studio.