Ductless mini-split systems are becoming more and more popular amongst homeowners, but are they right for your needs?
While they are a legitimate option over traditional whole-home or building air conditioning in certain circumstances, you should keep in mind that ductless systems are intended for spot heating or cooling. Installation and operation costs are not necessarily less expensive than a well-maintained traditional system. It really all depends on the building design and needs of the customer. These units are interior, wall-hung units with an outdoor unit linked with refrigerant piping.
Mini-split systems can be installed on an individual basis from room to room allowing the ability to cool or heat each room to that occupants desire. We often see and install them in businesses where individual needs come into play from one area or room of the building to another. They are also ideal for additions, sun or Florida rooms, rooms above a garage, or the garage itself. Most often, the installation is not as intrusive as traditional systems with the indoor system hung flush on a wall or even from the ceiling. Today’s ductless units are usually remote-controlled, allowing you the ability to adjust the temperature from anywhere in the room. There are some situations that the indoor unit would seem obtrusive like in a living room, dining room, or kitchen.
Unless your home or office has a wide-open floor plan, you will have to install multiple units to heat or cool the entire building. If this is the case, of course, it will drastically increase the cost of installation. You should also keep in mind that the indoor system is linked to an outdoor system with refrigerant piping, what we commonly call a lineset. Often times you may have to have the piping exposed on the outside of your home which could be less than pleasing to the eye. To some, this is a huge concern when it comes to the aesthetics of the home, both interior and exterior.
Another thing to consider is that the technology used in the ductless systems is often proprietary. Because of this there are no universal parts readily available, making replacement or spare parts harder to come by. Any replacement parts would have to be purchased via the manufacturer alone and would likely have to be shipped to you.
If you are considering making the switch to a ductless system because they “don’t have to cool ductwork like a traditional unit” you may be in for a surprise. Just like with the ductless systems technology in traditional systems, as well as the ductwork, have come along way in efficiency. If installed and maintained properly the ductwork will be insulated against energy loss substantial enough to really effect your energy costs.
You should ask yourself one question when considering a ductless mini split system: Do I need to cool the entire building, or just one space? If you are in need of cooling/heating your entire home, the traditional whole home system would probably be your best option. On the other hand, if you are looking to cool or heat a certain space, the mini split would definitely be the way to go.
If you are considering either option or you are not sure what system is best for your needs, R. A. Styron offers free estimates on both to make it easier to decide on the best course of action. We will leave you multiple options and our professional opinion on which system would be best for you. Give us a call today at 757-420-5488 or visit our website to schedule your free estimate today.