Ductless AC: A Short Guide
An increasing number of Northern Californians are considering ductless air conditioner over traditional units. You may know a little about these units. This short guide will explain what ductless air conditioners and help you decide whether you want to install one or not.
Overview of Ductless Air Conditioners
Ductless AC units are similar to central air conditions. They consist of an evaporator and a condenser. The primary difference is that central air conditioning systems direct conditioner air to the furnace’s air handler where it is connected with the home’s ductwork. Whereas, in ductless systems the cool air is sent to a ceiling or wall-mounted slender box.
A thin refrigerant line connects the indoor and outdoor units in both ductless and central air conditioners. Based on this, in ductless systems, moisture drainage and power supply are bundled along with the thin cable. Certain types of ductless systems are “mini-split” systems with a separate indoor and outdoor unit.
Advantages of Ductless Air Conditioners
These are a few benefits of ductless units over central air conditioners:
Ductless systems are perfect for older homes that don’t have ductwork. You won’t need to invest in a costly, inconvenient, and messy installation.
Ductless air conditioners are efficient for home additions that don’t connect to the rest of the ductwork.
These are less destructive to install since they only require a small hole in the wall for passing the thin line.
Ductless air conditioners are generally more energy efficient.
The unit costs less than central systems.
Ductless air conditioners look better than window-mounted or portable air conditioners.
These systems are more convenient and secure as compared to portable or window ACs.
Ductless systems are quieter as compared to central air conditioners.
Ductless is less expensive as compared to zoning systems for those specific areas in the house that are hard to cool or heat.
Cons of Ductless Air Conditioners
There are certain disadvantages to installing a ductless air conditioner as well:
They are not nearly as invisible as central air conditioning systems.
A majority of homeowners are not comfortable looking at the indoor slender unit mounted on the wall or the ceiling even if they are less intrusive as compared to portable air conditioners.
You may need multiple systems for cooling a large home.
Maintaining a Ductless Air Conditioner
There is a protective dust filter on ductless air systems that has to be replaced when it gets clogged or dirty. Generally, air filters need to be changed on a monthly basis. Stemming from this, you may go 3 months without changing them if you live in an area with relatively clean outdoor air and no pets. Certain filters have additional features that improves air quality and absorbs odors.
You should check the outdoor unit every spring for ensuring the vents and fins is free of grass, leaves and debris. You should protect the plastic covering in fall. You can ensure a long lifespan and optimum efficiency by checking and tuning the unit every spring.
Ductless air conditioners are more efficient than central air systems. You won’t need to block vents or pay unnecessarily for cooling rooms that are not in use. Ductless systems can help you save 30% energy if you maintain them regularly.