Is a Ductless A/C Unit Right for Your Home or Business?
Deciding what type of A/C unit is the best choice for your home or business? The decision isn’t one you should take lightly, especially when it comes to a ductless A/C and heat unit.
Why? Because a ductless mini-split A/C unit isn’t necessarily going to be the best choice for your home or office space. At least in most cases! A mini-split system isn’t usually the most cost-effective solution in comparison to something like a standard central air and heating HVAC unit. There tend to be much better options if you have larger spaces to heat and cool. We’re going to talk more about that, but we’ll also cover the cases where a ductless A/C unit might be the perfect fit!
What To Do If You Have A Large Space To Heat And Cool
If you have a large space that you need to heat and cool, it might be best to consider a variable refrigerant flow system instead. This type of ductless A/C system is built to heat and cool different areas on a much larger scale. A variable refrigerant flow (VRF), also known as variable refrigerant volume (VRV), was invented in 1982 by Daikin Technologies. Similar to ductless mini splits, they use refrigerant for heating and cooling. However, they vary from conventional chiller-based systems because they:
“allow for varying degrees of cooling in more specific areas (because there are no large air handlers, only smaller indoor units), may supply hot water in a heat recovery configuration without affecting efficiency, and switch to heating mode (heat pump) during winter without additional equipment, all of which may allow for reduced energy consumption. Also, air handlers and large ducts are not used which can reduce the height above a dropped ceiling as well as structural impact as VRF uses smaller penetrations for refrigerant pipes instead of ducts. These systems are a lot more efficient and can even work at different speeds so you’ll only use the energy necessary to heat and cool your space.”
Essentially, they offer cooling capabilities on a much larger scale that’s ideal for conditioning the air in a bigger space, including an entire home, office, or building.
When is ductless A/C the right choice?
All of this being said, there are some cases where a ductless A/C will suit the space well. Generally speaking, they work best in certain rooms of a home or office, rather than being responsible for cooling the entire space. Many homeowners have one room in their home that’s particularly warm and they may only require additional cooling in one single space.
These rooms include:
- Home offices
- Additions and expansions
- In condos
- Upper-level rooms
- Primary bedrooms
- Sewing, craft, or game rooms
- Conference rooms
- Guest bedrooms
- Conference rooms
Pros and Cons of Ductless A/C
Now you know some of the spaces ductless A/C suits, but there are further pros and cons worth considering.
Keep in mind, these pros and cons don’t necessarily apply to every space. That’s why it’s so important to meet with professionals who can consider the intricacies of any given space. Then, working with you, they can come up with a solution that meets your heating and cooling needs as well as your budget and other considerations.
The primary advantage of ductless A/C is that it’s just that: ductless. This means there’s no need for extensive changes to an existing home that doesn’t have ducts for A/C. This is common in older homes, and homeowners may be reluctant to add ducts in their home for A/C. Thanks to ductless A/C, they still have an option for cooling certain spaces in their home without structural changes.
Because they’re ductless, it also means the installation is much simpler and more straightforward with these systems. That being said, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should install a ductless A/C yourself. There are many benefits to working with a professional for this, and we cover them here.
Another advantage of ductless A/C systems is how they can be strategically placed to help you save on cooling and heating costs in your home.
Let’s say your home office is notoriously hot, but the rest of your home is an ideal temperature. Rather than cranking up your central A/C just so the home office is cool (and the rest of your home is then way too cold), a ductless A/C in your home office can help you keep the rest of your home comfortable while also saving on heating and cooling costs.
The energy efficiency of a ductless system is a big advantage for many people. Of course, with this energy efficiency it’s also important to keep in mind what that means for heating and cooling capabilities. The primary reason they’re more energy-efficient is that they work on a smaller scale. If you have more expansive cooling and heating needs, the energy efficiency comes at the cost of not being as effective for conditioning the air in your home.
As you’ve seen, there are plenty of great reasons to consider adding a ductless A/C to a building. That being said, there are certain disadvantages to choosing this option over central A/C.
For example, they don’t suit spaces with a lot of dust or dirt. Ductless systems don’t filter the air the way a central unit can. So, if you add a ductless system to a space like a woodshop, the system will quickly become clogged. Not only does this shorten the lifespan of your ductless A/C, but it also means it won’t work as effectively as it could with clean air.
In addition to notoriously dusty or dirty environments, they might also not be well-suited for homes with pets—particularly those that shed a lot! You’ll be left cleaning your system a lot more and the extra maintenance simply isn’t worth it for many homeowners.
Although there are many modern options that can suit the design of any home, ductless systems also aren’t the optimal aesthetic for many homeowners. Instead, they prefer not only the convenience but the discreet look of central systems.
Choosing the Right A/C System for Your Home
There are so many different things to take into account when choosing the right A/C system for your home. Perhaps you just need to cool a small space in your home. In this case, a ductless A/C could be the perfect fit! On the other hand, maybe you’re more interested in cooling a bigger space, or your entire home. In that case, it’s worth considering a central HVAC system.
No matter what your heating and cooling needs may be, however, we’re here to help! If you’re struggling to make this decision for yourself, we’d be happy to meet with you and come up with the perfect solution for keeping your home or business at a comfortable temperature.
The best thing you can do when evaluating what A/C unit is the best choice for your space is to have a professional come by for an onsite review. They’ll come equipped with advice that is sure to help you to make a decision. Your dealer can draw on their wealth of experience and knowledge about air conditioning and heating systems to help you determine which system will fit your individual needs the best.
The number of rooms, age, and size of your home, climate, regional and local utility costs, as well as utility rebate or incentive programs all are factors that can affect the functionality and, as a result, the selection of your specific system. When helping you to select the best system to use in your house, we consider all of the above factors and make use of the latest technology.
We’re always happy to answer your questions and lead the way with expert advice. We’re also here to take care of your installation.