When you need to cool your Weaverville, North Carolina, home without having ductwork installed, a ductless mini-split is a great alternative to a central HVAC system.
While this heating and cooling technology has been all the rage in Europe, it only recently caught on in the United States. As such, you probably have a lot of questions.
What Is a Ductless Mini-Split System?
A ductless mini-split is a miniature version of a split central air conditioning system. It doesn’t need ductwork and is small, quiet, and convenient to use. Best of all, it’s highly efficient because it avoids energy loss, delivering air directly where it’s needed.
Ductless systems consist of three main components:
- The outdoor condenser unit
- The blower/evaporator units mounted in the rooms you want
- The conduit that links the outdoor and indoor units
These components are small and offer affordable replacement options. A ductless mini-split system also comes with a handy remote control, maximizing its ease of use.
Do I Need a Ductless Unit in Every Room of the House?
No. While you won’t need a single indoor unit for every room in the home, the outdoor unit does attach to multiple indoor wall-mounted units. In most homes, this typically means having indoor units in main living areas. In larger homes where you need several indoor units, you may need another outdoor condenser unit to pick up some of the slack.
Many homeowners use ductless mini-split systems to zone their homes. Zoning allows you to decide which areas need more heating or cooling, so your bedroom can be 5 degrees cooler than the living room even though they’re on the same system.
Ductless systems are also perfect for home additions. Rather than extend your existing ductwork, simply add a mini-split system in that new guest room or garage apartment.
Are Ductless Systems More Expensive?
Yes and no. They often cost more upfront, but they’re much more efficient. On average, a mini-split system costs between $1,500 and $2,000 per ton of cooling capacity. The larger your home, the more expensive the system and installation.
In the long-term, ductless systems cost less to operate because you’re only heating and cooling the spaces you designate. Nothing ever goes to waste. There are also tax incentives to consider, which you can enjoy by investing in a high-efficiency system.
Overall, a ductless system may cost more out of pocket to purchase and install, but once it’s in, you’ll save much more.
How Quiet Are Ductless Mini-Split Systems?
Even when a ductless system is set on high speed, you’ll barely hear it. The entire system, including the outdoor unit, is designed to be much quieter than standard air-source heat pumps. Ductless systems are ideal in city limits with strict noise ordinances, even when you have multiple indoor units in the home.
I Have Baseboard Heaters. Will a Ductless Mini-Split Replace Them?
It’s up to you. Yes, a ductless system will replace baseboards, but some customers opt to keep their baseboards in certain rooms. You don’t need to keep baseboards with a ductless system, however. They’re designed to heat and cool in the most extreme temperatures, so you’ll probably find yourself not even using your baseboards anymore.
Are Ductless Mini-Splits Easy to Install?
For professionals, yes, but it’s not something you want to do yourself. Your qualified HVAC technician will determine where to place the outdoor and indoor units and then drill a small hole for the conduit. It may sound simple, but there’s a little more to the installation process than that.
If you end up with a system that’s too small, your home won’t get sufficient heating and cooling. You’ll also be faced with higher energy bills. Too big, and the system short cycles, which wastes energy. Before the installation, your HVAC tech will do the proper measurements to determine the best system for your needs.
Learn more about the benefits of ductless mini-split systems by calling Gentry Heating Inc. at 828-581-4045. We’ll be happy to discuss your options to see if ductless is the right choice for your family.
Image provided by Shutterstock