If you’ve been searching for a new HVAC system for your Temecula, CA home or business, you’ve likely come across a ductless HVAC system or two. However, you might not know nearly as much about them as you do about conventional central HVAC systems. That makes sense because ductless HVAC systems weren’t very common here in the US until recently. However, they’ve remained the preferred HVAC option in much of the world since the late 1950s. Here’s everything you need to know about ductless HVAC systems and how to decide if they’d be a good fit for your home or business.
What Is a Ductless HVAC System?
As its name suggests, a ductless HVAC system provides heating and cooling capacity for your home or business without the need for an in-wall ductwork system. In its place, a ductless HVAC uses individual air handlers in each room of your home or business linked to a single outdoor unit. This makes ductless HVAC systems perfect for adding heat or air conditioning into buildings that didn’t previously have it. It’s also great when you need to upgrade your home or business from a steam or hot water radiator heating system to something more modern and efficient.
The Advantages of Ductless HVAC
There are a variety of advantages that come with installing a ductless HVAC system. The most obvious among them is ease of installation. Installing a ductless system doesn’t require you to tear apart your home or business’s finished walls. Installing the required indoor air handlers is as simple as choosing the right locations, attaching some mounting hardware to the wall, and hanging each unit. Connecting the indoor air handlers to the outdoor unit requires only a small hole, typically no more than three inches in diameter in your wall. That’s because there’s only a small bundle of refrigerant lines and power cables that connect each air handler to the central outdoor unit.
Another advantage that you’d get with a ductless HVAC system is efficiency. For heat, ductless HVAC systems use heat pump technology, which is far more efficient than any other type of system. The difference is that heat pumps don’t consume energy to create heat. Instead, they collect heat energy from the outside air and carry it inside by manipulating the pressure of a refrigerant. As a result, ductless HVAC systems can operate at up to 400% efficiency in heating mode, which is more than four times that of its closest competitor: high-efficiency gas furnaces. They also offer among the highest-efficiency cooling you can find, too.
Part of the secret to the efficiency of ductless systems lies in their elimination of ductwork. According to the US Department of Energy, conventional systems waste up to 30% of the energy they consume via ductwork-related losses. Plus, ductless HVAC systems offer zoned heating and cooling by default. So, they give you the power to more precisely control the temperature inside your home because you can set a different temperature in each room. You can even turn off individual air handlers completely so you don’t have to pay to heat or cool rooms you’re not using.
The individual air handlers also provide better air quality than you’d get from a centralized ducted system. With an air filter in each air handler, ductless systems can do a much better job of removing dust and other particulate matter from the air. Plus, they will not transfer contaminants from one room to another, which can be helpful if there’s anyone in your home or office with allergies.
The Disadvantages of Ductless HVAC Systems
Of course, some disadvantages come with ductless HVAC systems, too. One of them is their cost. In general, installing a ductless HVAC system is more expensive than installing a comparable central HVAC system. The only exception is if your home or business doesn’t have pre-existing ductwork. Then, the costs are far more analogous.
Installing a ductless HVAC system also means living with their indoor air handlers. Even though most of them feature sleek and unobtrusive designs, they still take up space in your rooms. There’s always the chance that they’ll clash with your home’s dÃ©cor. That stands in stark contrast to conventional forced-air HVAC systems, which usually have small vents that you can cover with grilles of various designs and colors.
Another relative disadvantage of ductless HVAC systems is that they need more frequent maintenance than conventional HVAC systems. For one thing, you’ll have to stay on top of cleaning the washable air filters in your air handlers every few weeks. Failing to do so can lead to poor air quality and may decrease the useful life of your air handlers. And you also must realize that depending on a single system for both heating and cooling means that a failure of a part will deprive you of both functions.
How To Decide if a Ductless HVAC Is the Right Fit
Generally speaking, your decision on whether or not to install a ductless HVAC system should come down to a few factors. One is what type of HVAC your home already has. If you already have a ducted air conditioner and furnace, your cheapest option is to replace them with similar equipment. Or, if you want an efficiency upgrade, you can purchase a ducted heat pump instead. That would give you many of the efficiency benefits you’d get from a ductless system, but in a form factor that’s all but identical to your existing system.
Another factor you will want to consider is if you want the extra-precise temperature control you’d get from a ductless system. If you have people in your home or business with widely varying comfort preferences, a ductless HVAC is the perfect way to keep everyone comfortable. With an air handler in each room, you can customize conditions based on the occupants of each. Even the most complex zoning systems for ducted HVAC can’t achieve that.
Finally, you will also need to consider the size of the space that you’re trying to serve with a ductless HVAC system. For large homes or businesses, you may need multiple ductless HVAC systems to replace a single, large central system. That will not only add to your upfront costs but also the complexity of the installation. It will also mean you have multiple systems to maintain rather than just one.
Your Local Heating and Cooling Specialists
Whether you ultimately settle on a ductless HVAC or another type of heating and cooling system for your Temecula home or business, We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air can help. We sell, install, and service all types of heating and cooling equipment. Our HVAC experts can help you select the system that best meets your needs and budget and get it installed right away. We also offer comprehensive plumbing and indoor air quality services and solutions, too. And as a Better Business Bureau-accredited business with an A+ rating, we guarantee that you can always expect quality work at fair prices from us.
For your next HVAC system for your Temecula home or business, call our team at We Care Plumbing, Heating, & Air today.