Ductless air conditioning systems, otherwise known as mini-split systems, are popular choices for individuals who live in a smaller space or for those who want a simple, compact, and straightforward way to cool their home. Here are the most important benefits that come from a ductless air conditioner, including energy efficiency, and information you can use to compare/contrast a ductless system with other forms of air conditioning.
Since there’s no ductwork involved, installing a ductless air conditioner is much simpler in comparison to traditional systems. This can come in handy if you’re building an addition to your home, as you will not have to budget time and extra expenses towards having new ductwork installed to heat and cool the new room.
If energy efficiency is important to you, you’re sure to be satisfied with a ductless air conditioner. With other systems that involve ductwork, there is often a measurable loss of energy due to the fact the air must travel through the ductwork to reach each room. With a ductless system, you can be sure that the units you have installed in every room are working efficiently to cool each individual space.
If you live in a small home, or just like to save space when you can, a ductless air conditioner packs all the cooling and heating power you need in a compact size. Unlike traditional HVAC systems, which can be bulky, complex, and mired by extensive ductwork, a ductless air conditioner consists of just two components:
Ducts are known to accumulate dust, dirt, and debris, which can then circulate throughout the home and negatively impact the overall air quality. In contrast, a ductless system includes multi-layer filtration which reduces the number of pollutants in the air. With no network of ducts to harbor airborne irritants, you can breathe easy thanks to a ductless system.
Even with their benefits, ductless systems aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. If a ductless system isn’t right for your home, you can research other types to find the best option.
Split systems are among the most commonly used types of air conditioners and are a type of central air conditioning. If you already have a furnace and are updating your air conditioner, a split system might be a good choice because it can share the ductwork that the furnace uses to heat your home. That means you won’t have to pay for costly additional ductwork installation.
Most split systems include three components: an outdoor metal cabinet that houses the condenser and compressor, an indoor cabinet that houses the evaporator coil, and an air handler that pushes the cool air into your home via its ductwork. Installing a split system requires the help of a qualified contractor or HVAC technician.
One benefit for the split system air conditioning is that it tends to be a quieter option. This may make the split system a good option if you have a family or if you work from home.
Packaged units contain all the air conditioning parts in one smaller, more compact system, typically found outside of your home. A packaged unit may be a good option for you if you don’t like the dual design of split systems. Many packaged units also contain heat sources, making it an economical choice if you need to replace both your air conditioner and your heater.
In packaged units, the air supply and return are in your home’s ductwork which funnels cooled and heated air in and out of your home. While packaged units are more compact than split systems, it is advised that you hire a professional for installation purposes.
Because packaged units are so much smaller than split systems, they tend to be more convenient for those who have less space to install an air conditioner. Most people place their packaged air conditioner on their roofs, making it an ideal location when you have a small yard or no room for a bigger unit.
Window and wall unit air conditioning systems are similarly designed to be convenient, individual units which work to cool the room they’re placed in. Window units are installed into a partially opened window, with a hot air exhaust system facing outside and a cool air return facing inside. These units have the capability of cooling the room in which they’re placed or a series of connected rooms that don’t have doors to block circulation. Wall units are installed into a wall, with both vents facing inward.
Window units tend to be lighter weight, while wall units can have higher cooling capabilities. Window units are also portable, meaning you can move them from room-to-room, depending on your needs, or you can remove them entirely as the seasons get colder. These units have a lifespan of about 10 years.
While you might feel comfortable installing a window unit by yourself, you may need the help from a contractor when installing a wall unit, since you will likely need to cut a new hole into the drywall.
Evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, are effective air conditioning options for both indoor and outdoor spaces. As one of the oldest and simplest forms of air conditioning, these systems work by circulating air that has been pushed over a collection of water. Similar to how you feel cold when you get out of a pool, the water evaporates as the air is forced over it, resulting in a breeze of cool air.
You can purchase evaporative cooler units at most home improvement stores, or you can set up a basic one using a fan and bucket of water. Be sure to regularly clean and drain the cooler to ensure its efficiency is at top-notch performance.
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