Suppose you’ve been in the market for a new heating and air conditioning unit and hate the idea of installing another huge, noisy, energy-devouring whole-house HVAC system. In that case, ductless mini-splits could be a solid option for you. Ductless AC units share a few similarities with conventional HVAC systems in that they produce both heated and chilled air, remove humidity, and can improve overall indoor air quality. They differ in their increased efficiency, environmental friendliness, and improved performance over central HVAC systems.
Let this Nick’s Air Conditioning blog introduce you to mini-split air conditioners and why they may be a perfect replacement for your central HVAC system.
They Take Up Less Space than Central HVAC Systems
The outdoor portion of the mini-split air conditioner, the compressor unit, can be installed either bolted to a small concrete pad or mounted on a wall. The indoor half of the system, the air handler, and the control unit are mounted to a wall inside the home. The indoor air handler contains the blower motor and fan that circulates the treated air into the room, and the outdoor compressor and condenser take care of dissipating the heat removed from your living space.
Removing a central HVAC system from your home can free up tons of floor space in your attic, garage, or utility closet. Since no components of your mini-split system are hidden away in out-of-sight locations, it’s easier to detect possible issues with your AC unit, which can save money on repairs.
It’s Cheaper to Operate Than Central HVAC
As much as 30% of an HVAC system’s efficiency is wasted between leaving the air handler and exiting your vents just within the ductwork. That’s money on electric and gas bills that is wasted.
Installing more than one air handler allows more precise control of the temperature in each room of your home. By only cooling –or heating—one or two rooms at a time, you can reduce energy consumption by as much as 80% compared to your current HVAC system.
Ductless Mini-Splits are Easy to Install
Installing a ductless mini-split air conditioner takes less than half a day for an experienced HVAC company. The eager do-it-yourselfer should plan to dedicate at least an entire Saturday to this project and not make any early plans for Sunday. It’s not a difficult install, but many small parts and threaded pieces need to fit together precisely, which requires a fair amount of patience and care. There will be some frustrating moments for someone who doesn’t install HVAC for a living.
How Old is Your Ductwork?
It might not be polite to ask, but your HVAC company will need to know the age of your ductwork before offering an installation estimate. Most modern ductwork is comprised of a thin plastic sheet wrapped around a thin-wire frame coil. In the unkind climates of attics and exterior walls, flexible ductwork can start to dry out and develop cracks after only two or three years. For homes older than ten years that have never replaced their ductwork, it is strongly suggested that the ducts be replaced simultaneously with the HVAC system.
It’s Cheaper Than Installing Central HVAC!
Mini-splits are a great option to meet your family’s comfort and efficiency needs, all while giving the environment a little less of a beating. Installing a ductless heat pump system is much easier than installing a central HVAC system, as there’s no need to crawl around in a hot attic putting in the ductwork.
If you live in an older, historic home that has never had a central HVAC system, you face an expensive ductwork fabrication and installation. Between the cost of the system and the added price of the required ductwork, your HVAC install can quickly run into the tens of thousands of dollars. Plus, retrofitting a home for ductwork can take days, compared to mini-splits being installed in half a day.
Mini-splits only have to focus on cooling or heating a single room at a time, significantly reducing the operating costs of an air conditioner. A well-engineered system of multiple ductless mini-splits provides room-by-room control of temperature control.
Mini-Splits Can Increase Your Home’s Value!
Especially if you have an older home built without HVAC ductwork, installing a mini-split system could almost pay for itself with the added value. Retrofitting an older home with HVAC ductwork almost always ruins the aesthetic of an old house. Installing a single outdoor compressor unit and a couple of indoor air handlers will be a more efficient and cost-effective replacement for noisy window units.
What are the Benefits of Mini-Splits?
- Room-By-Room Temperature Control
- Greater Energy Efficiency
- Easy, Painless Installation
- Lower Energy Costs
What are the Drawbacks of Mini-Splits?
- Higher initial cost for mini-split equipment
Thanks to their small size, ease of installation, and their tremendous savings on energy costs, ductless mini-split air conditioner sales are catching up to central HVAC systems. Mini-splits have been popular in European countries for nearly a decade, with more and more new home builders offering them as an option for new construction.
Nick’s Air Conditioning is proud to offer Mitsubishi Electric ductless mini-split air conditioning and heating systems. If you’re considering replacing that bulky, noisy, and inefficient central HVAC system, call Nick’s to set up a consultation with one of our licensed HVAC technicians. Let Nick’s professionals guide you through measuring your rooms, choosing the proper equipment, and getting your ductless mini-split system installed.
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