The Pros and Cons of Ductless Heating and Cooling

The Pros and Cons of Ductless Heating and Cooling

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When selecting a new heating and cooling system for your Atlanta area home, take a long, hard look at the advantages and drawbacks of each system type before coming to a decision. A switch to new technology, such as a ductless mini split, may be just the change you need for better comfort and increased energy savings. Examine the pros and cons of ductless units as explained by our NATE-certified Atlanta HVAC technicians from Estes Services!

The Advantages to Going Ductless

Ductless heating and cooling systems impact your purchase decision to varying degrees, depending on your preferences, comfort challenges, energy consumption and conservation goals, as well as your project budget. First, get a better idea of the benefits these systems bring to your home.

Versatile, Easy Installation with Security

Ductless systems are often chosen for their installation versatility, as ducts are not required. One outdoor unit supports multiple indoor air handlers, connected through a small line set that runs through exterior walls. It’s permanent, unlike window units that leave the home vulnerable to intrusion.

They are ideal for adding heating and cooling to areas not connected to the home’s forced air system, like new additions, attics, basements, garages and more. You can install ductless HVAC across the entire home or in select areas that require help to stay comfortable. Some areas of a home can’t accommodate duct installation, so traditional HVAC systems are out of the question – ductless units bring comfort to living areas previously left out.

Multiple installation configurations are possible to create a comfort system that consumes little to none of your indoor living areas! Air handlers can be installed up high on the wall or even recessed in the ceiling, freeing up premium floor space. Ductless delivers more installation options than other types of HVAC equipment.

Superior Energy Efficiency

For many, the clear advantage of ductless systems are their superior energy efficiency. Ductless units are available that offer nearly double the SEER value of the average split system forced air AC unit. Ductless units go up to nearly 30 SEER, while the average traditional air conditioner sits around 14 to 17 SEER. With these energy efficiency ratings, homeowners are able to cut monthly costs in half.

Elimination of Heat Loss

Ductless systems also eliminate heating and cooling energy loss via duct leaks. The average duct system loses 20 to 30 percent of its energy through leaks.

Improvement in Air Quality 

The elimination of ducts also improves air quality in the home. In addition to letting energy escape, duct leaks let in a multitude of contaminants from the unconditioned areas through which ducts run. With no ducts, your conditioned air does not pick up contaminants and spread them throughout your living areas.

Individualized Zoned Comfort Control

Everyone has unique comfort preferences. The pros and cons of ductless pose an effective solution – zoned comfort control! Each air handler is independent from the rest, giving occupants the opportunity to personalize their comfort without impacting conditions throughout the rest of the home.

Quiet Operation

If operating noise is a concern to you, a ductless system is a good option. Even though they sit directly in your living areas, ductless system air handlers are extremely quiet and non intrusive. Outdoor units are super quiet, too!

Plus, there is no potential for carbon monoxide or gas leaks, as ductless mini split HVAC systems operate using only electricity.

The Drawbacks of Ductless

Of course, no heating and cooling system is absolutely perfect. Below, we share some of the possible drawbacks of ductless mini splits and how they may impact your household.

Upfront Expense

Installation of a ductless system is going to cost you more than a traditional forced air HVAC system – about 30 percent more, on average.

More Maintenance Needs

Owning and using a ductless system does require more maintenance from the homeowner, compared with conventional forced air HVAC units. Each air handler uses a reusable air filter,  which requires cleaning. Filters need cleaning about every month, which is more frequent and more involved than filter changes for conventional systems.

Aesthetic Concerns

Some homeowners just don’t like the look of HVAC equipment installed directly within their living spaces. While there is an air handler in your living area, there are many more design options available, from configuration to finish.

Limited Heating Options

Ductless systems are excellent on the air conditioning side but leave something to be desired when it comes to heating. Ductless heat pump systems provide adequate heating for much of the Atlanta winter, but when outdoor temperatures sit around freezing and below, they just can’t keep up. Electric heat strips can be installed for backup heating, though they can be expensive to operate due to utility rates.

Find Out If a Ductless Mini Split Is Right for Your Home with Estes Services

When it’s time to replace your existing forced air furnace and air conditioner, you don’t have to trade your old equipment for new models of the same old system. Thanks to our evolving industry, Atlanta homeowners have expanded options and more choices to gain the ideal comfort system to fulfill both their needs and their wants.

If you have more questions, reach out and we can schedule some time to chat – our knowledgeable staff answers all your questions and shares more info to help you understand the benefits ductless HVAC brings to your Atlanta home. Contact us today for more information or to request an estimate for ductless heating and cooling installation.