Columbia Affordable Ductless Air Conditioning
It can be expensive and involve a lot of time and effort when you want to have a central AC unit installed in your home when there is no ductwork yet there. While using a central AC system is an efficient way of cooling down a whole home, some homeowners cannot afford its initial high cost. For these people who cannot opt for the central AC unit, they have other options.
Evaporative coolers are a practical alternative for places with dryer climates. They have drawbacks like limited cooling abilities and producing a lot of noise. A ductless mini-split system has become an increasingly popular choice for homes in the U.S. that don’t have ductwork and already has been a popular system in other countries for years. There are a lot of benefits that can be obtained from such a cooling system like easy installation and energy efficiency.
How does ductless air conditioning work?
A ductless system makes use of a condenser that is found outside and air handling units inside each room. Air handlers draw in room air, cool it with a refrigerant, and return it into the room. The rest of the heat is transported via a conduit to the outdoor device, which releases the heat into the yard.
Air handler fans are designed to be quiet, making sure they don’t get louder than central AC and are significantly quieter than a standard plug-in fan. The condenser, which is the loudest part of the system, can be found outside the house, similar to the central air conditioning system.
In a ductless system, air handlers are required in any room to be cooled and may be mounted on or appear flushed with the ceiling or a wall. You can control the units separately or set them up to communicate with a thermostat.
Thermostats can be installed in different parts of your home to establish multiple cooling zones. For example, you could have separate thermostats for upstairs and downstairs or if there’s a space in your home that’s not used often, you could zone it off and only use it when necessary. Ductless systems are programmable for a maximum of 4 zones.
What are the benefits of ductless systems?
For homes that do not have ducts, it can be easy to have a ductless mini-split air conditioning system installed there. Homeowners can choose which air handler type they will have installed in the different rooms. Slightly more expensive are those that lay flushed with the ceiling or wall but are more aesthetically appealing.
To retrofit a home with ducts to accommodate central air conditioning holes need to be cut in walls and ceilings, and you may even lose closet space. But with a ductless system, only a small hole needs to be drilled.
Since ductless AC does not use big airflow routes, they appear to be more electricity-efficient than central AC. Ductwork can cause higher power bills as it may waste up to 30% of the energy used to cool a home. Gaps in seams, holes, and/or ductwork leaks are all contributing factors to the 30% energy loss.
Homeowners can set varying zones with ductless mini-split systems which means they don’t have to cool the entire house at the same time. If you have bedrooms in the upper level of your home, you can set that to cool at night and turn off the lower areas until morning. This method of zoning temperature locations can help lower power bills.
The main advantage of ductless systems over window AC units is that there’s no need for windows to be partially open which compromises your safety and allows pests to get inside. Since it doesn’t have to be placed in a window, a ductless system is much more flexible in where you place it in the room. Additionally, a ductless system can be set to warm in the cold months, which means you can be comfy year-round.
If you decide that a mini-split AC system is the way to go for your family, talk to an AC expert as they can get the system installed in as little as a day. They will be able to take measurements and determine how many units you’ll need to cool the space and discuss setting your zones, if necessary.
Installation of a ductless system needs to be done by a professional because it makes use of the toxic refrigerant and possibly hazardous electrical wiring. A professional can advise on the best style of the unit and the best placement of the air handlers. When the time comes for system replacement, repair, or servicing, an AC professional can assist you with everything you need to have your home cool again in no time.