Clients are becoming more interested in learning about mini-split air conditioners. While there are pros and cons to both traditional HVAC units and mini-split systems, mini-splits do have some specific applications where they may be a better option for some than going with a ducted HVAC system. We wanted to share some insight to help you decide. We will start with why a ductless system can be better than a traditional HVAC system. We will explain some of the disadvantages of going ductless, and let you know what applications are ideal for the use of a mini-split system.
Because the conditioned air is going directly into the room rather than going through ducts, mini-splits are more energy efficient. Duct work can account for up to 30% more energy use for the same space, especially if the ductwork goes through an attic or crawlspace that is not conditioned.
Ductless systems can be cleaner for the same reason. You don’t have dust and allergens collecting in the ductwork and affecting all of the air going through them. You do still have to clean the filter monthly, but you will never have ductwork to clean.
Overall cost savings.
While mini-splits can sometimes cost more initially than a traditional system, they can actually save you money in the long run. This is not only because they are more efficient without ducts, but they also allow you to create zones in your house rather than heating or cooling the entire house equally. Instead, you can just heat or cool the rooms you use while you are using them. Mini-splits also have compressors that adjust their speed to heating and cooling needs rather than shutting off entirely and kicking back on regularly, as a lot of energy is used each time the compressor goes on. You may also qualify for tax credits and utility incentives with an Energy Star ductless system.
Installing ductwork throughout a home can be a big project and take much more time that installing a mini-split. Depending on the number of rooms, you could be up and running in one day with mini-splits versus weeks with a ducted system. Another advantage is that you don’t have to give up square footage for ductwork or build walls or internal wall space to hide it.
On the other hand, there are a few ways in which a ductless system is not as appealing. First, as mentioned, you could have a greater upfront cost with mini-splits. Where you locate your ductless system is more critical to it’s ability to control the whole house’s temperature. Also, many people are worried about the aesthetics of the mini-splits compared to the built in look of traditional AC. However, once installed, most people say they really don’t notice it. But if you live in areas where it is commonly below zero degrees, mini-splits may not be enough to keep up in extreme cold and may require supplement.
Overall, here are examples of situations when a mini-split can definitely be the best option. Anytime you need more zone control in a home where you already have traditional HVAC, mini-splits can help. Rather than closing the vents in rooms you don’t use (which can cause pressure imbalances and lead to unnecessary wear) you can boost the rooms you need help in by adding a mini-split. An example is if you have a living room that is always hotter than the rest of the house because of large windows, or if you are downsizing in a large home and don’t want to heat and cool the entire home. If you are doing an addition or turning the detached garage into a man cave and just need to add heating and cooling to one room, going ductless is perfect. Or it can be a great solution if you are wanting to add heating and cooling to a house without existing ductwork. Although mini-splits may be more expensive up front, they can be cheaper than installing ductwork throughout an entire house.
Overall, having an HVAC specialist at the Lake of the Ozarks look at your space and walk you through your options is the best bet when trying to decide whether a ductless system is for you. Not all heating and cooling companies at the Lake of the Ozarks work with mini-splits and one may recommend a traditional system even when it may not be the best option. Also, as mentioned, location and installation is critical, so you will want to have that done by a trustworthy HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks. If you have any questions about ductless systems, we are happy to help. Because at Royal Heating and Air, we are proud to be the king of comfort!