Ductless cooling is a relatively recent innovation, and we find that it is the fastest-growing topic of interest among our customers. Based on that increased intrigue, we thought we’d go over the 5 most important advantages we think that ductless air conditioners have over their more traditional cousins.
First, though, let’s be clear: this article isn’t a conversion attempt. Mini split AC units are not for everyone, and there are situations in which they won’t be the best option for you. Instead, our purpose will be to cover the situations that will be best suited to these handy units.
While other manufacturers make ductless systems, the Mitsubishi Split AC is the original, and is, in many ways, still top of the heap. In fact, they’re so well-known at this point that many of our customers call us asking about the Mitsubishi by name, much like someone might refer to any brand of copier as a Xerox machine, or any liquid corrective as White-Out.
So, let’s assume you’ve heard about ductless mini-splits. What do you really know about them?
Well, I’d have to say the first and most obvious advantage is …
1.Ductless cooling and heating systems are inherently flexible and adaptable.
Unlike a traditional split system, ductless air conditioners are … well … ductless! That takes a lot of the error potential out of installation and maintenance. Where a traditional system has to force air through a network of ducts, a mini-split pumps it directly into different zones or rooms.
They’re called mini splits for a reason, though. They are, essentially, stripped down versions of the larger central air conditioners with which you may be familiar. Like traditional AC systems or heat pumps, ductless systems consist of a small outdoor “condenser” unit and an indoor “blower” unit.
What makes them so flexible is the simplicity of installation and positioning. Instead of connecting to an elaborate series of ducts, the indoor and outdoor units connect merely to each, through a three-inch conduit. Then they are simply plugged in and left to do their work. The conduit allows moisture to be carried outside of your home through a condensate drain, and also facilitates temperature exchange. This allows the Mitsubishi Split AC to be installed in a matter of hours, and makes them the obvious solution for buildings without traditional ductwork, including new construction, additions, garages, workshops, and so on. They are also excellent supplementary cooling systems for homes which experience hot spots in certain rooms.
These mini-splits (also called multi-splits or split-ductless systems) are thus an extremely attractive alternative to a noisy inefficient window unit.
Not convinced? Well …
2.They’re also money savers.
When we brought them up as alternatives to central air and window units, the cost-effective nature of the mini-split was bound to come up. They’re one of the biggest reasons homeowner interest in these elegant cooling systems has gone through the roof. The overall cost saving can be significant, particularly when you consider not only installation cost, but also ongoing energy costs, as compared to other cooling systems.
When your home’s air conditioner isn’t efficient, your bill is going to show that. If your electric bill is spiraling completely out of control, a ductless system is a very appealing option for you. They are smaller than traditional forced-air systems and operate on a smaller power scale. Furthermore, because they’re operating within the room being cooled, there is zero heat loss, which keeps the efficiency at peak levels.
Multi-splits, or a ductless system where a single condenser is connected to multiple indoor blowers (most systems allow up to four) also make it incredible easy to create cooling “zones” in your home. Not using the guest bedroom? Don’t waste any energy cooling it off!
If you tried that via vent closures with a larger forced-air central system, you might throw things out of wack and cause the system to underperform or even short cycle. With a ductless Mitsubishi Split AC, you’ve got the practical flexibility required to spend the way you want.
Ductless mini-splits, due to their high efficiency, are also often eligible for tax credits at the federal, state, or local level. If you give us a call, we’ll talk you through your options.
There is no comparing the installation costs of a ductless system to installing a forced-air system, particularly if the home’s ducts need repair or if the home doesn’t have ducts yet.
There is also no comparing the quiet efficiency of a ductless air conditioner to a noisy, unattractive window unit.
3.They’re good for the air quality in your home!
Indoor air quality is a big concern for Florida residents. Incredibly high humidity, paired with a high concentration of allergens in spring and summer, can lead to compromised air quality. With traditional HVAC systems, your ducts can actually contribute to that.
They gather dust, mold, mildew, and other unwanted particles, no matter how often you change your filters. That means that, annually, you have to pay someone to clean your ducts, which is time consuming. Sure, the most expensive systems find ways to overcome that with ultraviolet light filtration and high-efficiency filters, but that adds to your upfront and ongoing costs.
With a ductless system, the multi-stage filtration is at the point of intake, and thus they can drastically reduce dust and other particles, with absolutely zero risk of picking up fresh particles as air circulates.
4.They’re environmentally friendly and great for your conscience.
Because ductless Mitsubishi mini-split air conditioners are so easily zoned, and are comparatively small, they are capable of greater energy efficiency than equivalently priced central air systems.
Like most appliances, mini split cooling systems adhere to ENERGY STAR guidelines. That makes them the cream of the eco-friendly crop, insofar as climate control goes. Mitsubishi systems greatly exceed federally mandated minimum energy efficiency requirements. That has a two-fold effect on you: it will save you money on your monthly energy bills, but – perhaps more importantly – will also reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
Ductless systems also use a refrigerant called R410A, which is much more environmentally friendly than the outdated (and vanishing) R22. R410A poses absolutely no threat to the ozone layer. That means you can rest easy, knowing that even after it’s retired, your ductless mini-split will not pose an environmental risk.
In polls and studies within our industry, it has become clear that energy efficiency and overall “greenness” of HVAC equipment is a rising factor in homeowner’s decision-making process. If that matters to you, drop us a line, and we’ll run you through all the ways a Mitsubishi mini-split can help you go greener.
5.They’re far easier to install.
We went over this in brief up above, but it deserves its own place in this list. Installing a forced-air system from scratch can take a week or more, and will disrupt your home activities while it’s happening. It can involve construction projects, plastic sheeting, loud noises, and a crew of people you don’t know traipsing through your home in work boots.
If that doesn’t sound appealing, we’re not surprised. However, that’s another distinct advantage of a ductless cooling system. They’re not nearly as invasive.
Installing a ductless system requires a single three-inch hole for the conduit that will connect the blower to the outdoor unit. Instead of needing to rebuild a wall or ceiling around ductwork and losing footage to ducts that may need repairs before long, you have a simple conduit in the wall, directly by the blower unit. It’s unobtrusive and allows a home to maintain the same kind of understated elegance that vents do.
In fact, they’re so easy to install that you can ask us to recess the unit into the wall or ceiling, or even conceal it entirely. While they’re attractive enough to blend seamlessly into most homes, there’s nothing stopping you from keeping it completely covered. We’ve seen (and done) everything from units concealed in recessed pockets in a ceiling, or suspended within an attractive wicker or mesh shelf frame that allows air to pass while improving the home’s décor.
Also, as we’ve mentioned, you can easily place a blower unit anywhere you might need cooling!
6.BONUS: How do they compare to window units?
Ah, yes. Ductless systems can’t possibly be as easy to install as window units, right?
That’s completely true. A ductless installation is not a DIY project. On the other hand, they have many advantages over window units:
Ductless cooling systems (and ductless heat pumps, which do both!) are energy efficient, eco-friendly, budget conscious, and customizable. They offer a homeowner a far easier path to climate control than traditional systems, and they allow a degree of flexibility that no other cooling system can.