mini-ductless ac

Buying a Mini-Ductless AC or Heat Pump System

You Might Have Some Questions

I got to thinking the other day while headed to a scheduled appointment. What are the things you need to know before buying a mini-ductless ac system? What are the questions might people ask if they’ve never had one before? Installing these systems is a part of our business here at Proudfoot. For us, it’s somewhat commonplace to install and maintain these units. But for someone who has a gas furnace and a standard type coil/compressor AC system or has never dealt with this type of mini-ductless AC system before, it could be a little scary! But there’s no need to worry! 

How does this type of system work?

Whether used for heating or cooling purposes, all mini-ductless “AC” systems are comprised of both outdoor and indoor units. The outdoor condensing/compression unit applies pressure to the refrigerant. It is dispersed through lines that are connected to the indoor units. The indoor units consist of air-handlers/blowers and the evaporator coil. The indoor air-handling units are placed strategically throughout a home to allow for more efficient energy usage.

Indoor air-handling units can be placed in a number of different areas within the home. This includes both on the walls and recessed within the ceiling. This can be beneficial in a number of situations, as necessary equipment can be placed in “out of the way locations”. And with the condensing unit on the outside, homeowners won’t be bothered by operation noise typically associated with window air conditioner units.

Will I need ductwork?

No ductwork? No problem! Existing homes without ductwork can be filled with comfort thanks to these mini-ductless systems. That’s because these energy-efficient systems don’t need the typical ductwork in favor of the indoor and outdoor units as described above to heat and cool your home.

What systems would the mini-ductless replace?

Ductless air conditioning systems are becoming more and more popular these days for a variety of reasons. They are also called mini-splits, and these systems provide cooling capabilities. A reason they are so popular is because they avoid many typical problems associated with having a ducted setup. Using a ductless system, homeowners can better regulate the temperature from room to room. This reduces the energy loss typically associated with a more inefficient duct work system.

For those interested in installing mini-splits in their homes, the information below discusses the main components of such systems. We discuss how mini-splits typically operate. And also the benefits afforded by taking duct work out of the equation.

Mini-splits can be a great match to certain situations within the home, especially those adding new rooms to their homes, or renovating old. These are the best candidates for such systems. In many cases, a home’s existing cooling/heating systems will not be adequate within newly added rooms. Mini-split systems can help create a comfortable environment in this event. They are also great for those seeking supplemental cooling capabilities. This can be a concern in older, larger homes with smaller central cooling/heating systems. In cases where the expansion of the duct work system can prove problematic, mini-split systems can prove ideal. This many times is the case with converted basements or garages.

Newly constructed homes can also benefit from using these ductless systems. This is especially true for those looking to save energy, thereby cutting utility costs.

Why would a mini-ductless AC system be right for me?

How do you get cleaner, more comfortable air flowing into a home that has no central HVAC system? What about when you’ve put an addition on to your home that’s isolated from the existing ductwork system? Ductless HVAC systems are the answer. They provide durable, energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions for these and other situations. You also have more control over the air quality needs of specific areas. You can implement single-zone climate control and manage the temperature room by room.

What are the Benefits?

Variety of features:

In contrast to conventional heating and cooling systems, mini-splits offer an assortment of features structured to boost convenience. Most systems are equipped with remote control operation. This is necessary when air-handling units are installed in out-of-reach locations.

Programmable timers let homeowners utilize heating and cooling capabilities only when necessary. Airflow can be adjusted for optimum room temperatures. And with washable filters, maintenance is an easy undertaking. For dual heating purposes, the addition of a heat pump can provide an automatic changeover for heating in winter months. 

Many different operating modes:

Mini-splits also provide a number of different operating modes. While heating and cooling are standard in many HVAC systems, mini-split systems can also include the ability to dehumidify a room. This eliminates the need for running that semi-noisy dehumidifier. It also alleviates you from emptying its tray of water every few days! This can be ideal for moisture-laden climates – aka Pittsburgh summers. These climates can create an uncomfortable atmosphere in a home and degrade fixtures over time. A fan-only option is also available, as well as automatic/sleep functions.

Increased energy efficiency:

For those seeking increased energy-efficiency, ductless systems can prove quite useful. Ducted systems can lose up to 30% of their energy just by the way they were installed. The ductwork seams lose their tightness over time. Or they become loose from even the slight expansions and contractions of the house itself. This loss can contribute to higher utility bills, while also failing to adequately cool every room in your home. Ductless systems can be utilized on a room-by-room basis, giving homeowners greater control over the temperature in their home. Let’s say a homeowner has an upstairs bedroom that just doesn’t seem to get as cool as the other rooms in the house in the summer. By having a mini-ductless ac unit installed in this bedroom,  not only will the bedroom become cooler. But will also keep the other downstairs’ rooms in the house much more effectively and efficiently cooler too!

Improved air quality:

Another great benefit of mini-split systems is the improved air quality. Ducted systems are notoriously known to have debris accumulate inside the ducts. Due to condensation within ducts, this dust can quickly grow. And it can possibly find its way into the “cool” air that gets distributed throughout your home whenever your air conditioner kicks on.

By removing the ducts, homes are privy to cleaner, healthier air overall. Ductless systems are also far easier to access thanks to their unique construction, which makes routine cleaning an easier task.

An advanced solution to cooling your home:

Are you seeking more efficient functionality when cooling your home? A mini-ductless AC system can have a lot to offer you! Obvious benefits like increased energy-efficiency and improved air quality are coupled with other useful additional feature. These include auto-restart after a power outage, as well as multiple fan speeds for easier customization. When coupled with existing home heating capabilities, a mini-split ductless system can prove extremely useful in a home all year round.

While mini-splits may not be suitable for all situations, their increasing existence in many homes proves just how valuable these systems can be in many circumstances. If you are seeking a more efficient way to cool your home, a ductless air conditioning system may be the right answer for you.

What are the Options of a Mini-Split System?

As many homeowners are unfortunately aware of, conventional HVAC/central air systems are lacking certain options when it comes to their configuration. This can make it difficult for homeowners to get the most out of their cooling systems. Conversely, mini-split systems come in a variety of configurations. Options can allow homeowners to customize a system to more closely meet their needs.

Heat Pump:

For additional heating capabilities, mini-splits can be outfitted with a heat pump. This device can transfer heat from one place to another. Heat pumps can also include a reversing valve, which can change the direction of heat flow.

Single-Zone/Multi-Zone Condenser Unit:

Outdoor condenser units are connected to indoor condenser units. As the names indicate, a single-zone unit can heat a single room or zone within a home. The multi-zone units can occupy and heat or cool a number of rooms or zones in your home. The units can be sized to meet the specific home’s needs. And Proudfoot can perform this analysis for you for determining your home’s needs.

Ceiling “Cassette”:

In situations where space is limited in the home, a ceiling cassette may be the perfect option. Fan coils are outfitted in the ceiling, and disperse air via an exposed grille.

Wall Unit:

This device, more common, is where temperature adjustments can be made. It gives homeowners the option of cooling a specific room or area within a home.

In Summary

Listed above are just a “few” things you might need to know before buying a mini-ductless AC or heat pump system. All in all, a new mini-ductless AC or heat pump system is great when building a new home. It would also be helpful if you’re putting an addition on to your existing home or just want a more efficient way of heating and cooling your existing home!

Do you have any additional questions about mini-ductless ac systems? Are you interested in the possibility of purchasing a new ductless system? If so, please give us a call at 1-412-461-2198. Or you can click here to contact us. Especially do so if your home is too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer! We here at Proudfoot can both install and maintain these units for you.

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