Repairing storm damage to the air conditioner

Is It Time to Go Ductless With Your Cooling System?

by Ivan Prescott

When you need a cooling system installed in your home, you have many options from which to choose, and one is a ductless or split system unit. This is the type of system you see in hotel rooms; the air is not pushed through ducts in the walls but from a panel that cools just one space, not an entire building. Ductless systems can offer many advantages over a conventional ducted or central air unit; note when it can be good to choose a ductless system and why this can be a good choice.

1. Additions

If you're adding on another room or even another story to your home, you need to consider the cost of installing ducts and then vents in that area, and connecting these to the home's central air conditioning system. Not only can this be expensive, but the current system you have may not be powerful enough to blow cool air through your home and this new space, so that you either need to upgrade the system or live with lukewarm air during the summertime. A better option is to install a ductless or split system in that area of the addition itself so that you don't face these added expenses and don't need to interrupt the construction process to add ducts as required.

2. Energy efficiency

Ductless systems are one of the most energy efficient choices you can make, mostly because you can control each zone of your home separately. You won't be cooling the upstairs bedrooms when everyone is downstairs eating dinner, as an example. Also, because ductless systems don't need to produce and distribute as much cool air as a central system, they usually use less power to create cool air.

Note, too, that many central air conditioning units lose quite a bit of cool air through leaky ducts or because walls are not properly insulated, so that the air is not as cool once it's delivered to each room. This doesn't happen with a ductless system, so it can be a good choice in older homes with poor insulation or for anyone who wants to conserve energy for any reason.

3. Maintenance

A ductless system still needs regular maintenance, just like any other system, but this usually involves nothing more than a standard cleaning of the front panel and checking the refrigerant lines for leaks. Because the fan and motor are much smaller in a ductless system than a central air system, they usually don't need as much maintenance and will typically last longer before needing to be replaced.

Contact an HVAC contractor to learn more about cooling system installation options.