Is your air conditioning unit on the fritz? Do you find that you’re reaching for the HVAC technician‘s phone number every week to report a problem with your air conditioner? Might be time for a new one. But instead of purchasing a central air conditioner, have you considered opting for a ductless air conditioner? Here’s what you need to know about it before you make your decision.
What is a ductless air conditioner, anyway?
A ductless A/C unit – also known as a mini split system – gets installed in a residence without the necessary ductwork required to carry the hot and cool air throughout the home like a central air conditioner requires.
A central air conditioner has a single air handler, blower and evaporator coil, but a mini split system houses all of these components together in several separate indoor units that can be installed strategically throughout the house to optimize your comfort.
They’re small and sleek-looking systems, so they’ll actually look nice once installed on a wall or ceiling. Plus, they eliminate the need for ductwork and added equipment to be installed in the house as a central HVAC unit needs.
An air conditioning specialist can visit your home and identify the best places to have the split systems installed.
Here’s how it works
The ductless units have two components:
- an outdoor compressor;
- indoor air-handling unit.
Both working parts are connected by a conduit which houses the power cable and refrigerant, and also links the outdoor and indoor units.
A ductless A/C works in the same way as its central counterpart. The outdoor unit pumps the system’s refrigerant (a liquid coolant to cool the air) through the connection to the interior A/C units. The fan inside the units distributes the cool air into your home. Simple as that!
This video outlines the basics of how the unit works:
So, why do I need one?
If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, now is a good time to purchase one. A ductless A/C unit offers a ton of advantages:
- It cools your home effectively;
- They’re easy to install;
- They save on money and energy;
- They combine style and functionality.
If you live in a fairly large home and find that there are certain rooms are warmer than others even while the A/C is on, then a ductless A/C system is perfect for you. The mini splits are small in size and flexible. They can be installed in different parts of your home – or zones – and all be connected to the same outdoor unit.
In fact, your home can have up to 4 of these small units placed anywhere in your house where you feel there’s a lack of air conditioning.
Plus, each zone comes with its own thermostat, so you can cool only the rooms that are being occupied instead of running the central air conditioner and spending money on energy to cool every room even if there’s no one there to reap the benefits.
They’re easy to install
If you’re a handy DIYer, you can purchase a ductless unit from one of the air conditioning specialists listed on our website and install the unit on your own. Since the outdoor and indoor units can be hooked up through a conduit, all you’ll need to do is make a three-inch hole through a wall to accommodate that piece.
The outdoor unit can be as far as 50 feet from an interior unit, so the outdoor unit doesn’t have to become an eyesore. Rather, you have the ability to hide it or place somewhere where it won’t be immediately noticeable.
This video walks you through the process of installing a ductless air conditioning system:
Ductless A/Cs can help you save on your energy bill
The ducts in your home are essential if you have a central air conditioner installed, but they often allow air to escape from them before the cool air even reaches the vents. Up to 30 per cent of energy is lost through ductwork gaps. But a ductless air conditioner doesn’t require cool air to flow through ductwork, therefore you’re maximizing the energy you’re paying for.
Speaking of paying for air conditioning, units that have a high Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio (SEER). This number determines how efficient the A/C unit in your home is. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit is. As a result, your unit doesn’t have to work as hard to reach the desired temperature. Ductless A/Cs are naturally energy efficient, more so than their larger, central A/C counterparts.
You can save up to 30 per cent per month on your energy bills as a result.
This infographic breaks down the cost savings of a energy efficient air conditioning unit!
When you’re ready to get saving, call an air conditioning expert for advice. Use our directory to find a specialist that services your neighbourhood, and read up on customer reviews!
A ductless air conditioner can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 per unit. While the initial cost is high, you’ll make up the cost when you’re saving up to 30 per cent on your monthly energy bills.
Let’s say your unit costs $2,000 and your energy bills are $150 per much. How long will it take for your unit to pay off? We break it down for you!
|Savings Evaluation||The Numbers|
|Average energy bill||$150 per month|
|Cost to account for air leakage||$45 per month|
|Cost of ductless air conditioning unit||$2,000|
|Time to pay off unit||3 years, 7 months|
3 years and 7 months seems like a long time, but if you’re planning on living your home for several years, it might be a worthwhile investment.
If you’re in the market for a new air conditioning system anyway, a ductless A/C system actually costs less than a central unit, which runs anywhere from $3,500 to $4,000 if there are no changes to the ductwork already done in your home.
If you’re not ready to buy a new air conditioning system just yet, just wait. A/C units typically last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, so if you’re in your ‘forever home’ and don’t have plans to move, then a new air conditioning system could be in your future. Consider the benefits of a ductless air conditioner.
If you’re still on the fence, an HVAC technician can advise you on what’s best for your home!