Your heating and cooling system helps keep your home comfortable regardless of the temperature outside. However, it can also impact your energy bills if your system isn’t energy efficient. Older systems are not made to the same standards of systems today, which not only means your home isn’t heated and cooled comfortably, but also that you are wasting energy and money.
If you are thinking about getting a new cooling and heating system, it’s important to consider all available options to make the best choice to keep you comfortable and improve energy efficiency. One great energy-efficient, cost-effective solution is a ductless cooling and heating system. Here we explain the advantages of a ductless heating and cooling system and why it could be the right choice for you.
What are Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems?
Ductless cooling and heating systems, also known as ductless heat pumps, deliver conditioned air directly to the space in your home using an outdoor compressor and indoor evaporators. As a result, they require no ductwork and disperse heat and cooling more efficiently. The indoor and outdoor units are connected by a series of cables and tubing through a very small hole in the wall. The outdoor unit contains a compressor and condenser while the indoor unit(s) manage the air throughout the home.
The indoor units contain a fan, filter, and evaporator coils. Refrigerant heats or cools the evaporator coils to maintain the desired temperature. In warm weather, warm air from the room blows over your unit and is absorbed by the evaporator coils. The refrigerant transfers all of the heat from that air to the outdoor unit and cool air is circulated back into the room through the indoor unit. If it is cold outside, cold air circulates into your ductless unit where it is warmed by the evaporator coil’s refrigerant, so the air circulating through your indoor unit is warmer.
What are the Advantages of Ductless Cooling and Heating Systems?
Ductless heating and cooling systems offer many benefits, including:
Reduced Operating Expenses
Cost savings is always a major incentive for homeowners. When you install a ductless heating and cooling system, you can save as much as 30% to 50% in energy costs compared to a traditional forced-air system. A ductless system’s lack of ductwork leads to this high efficiency. In a traditional forced-air system, the air’s temperature is lost while transferring from the central unit to the other units. Ducts also have ruptures that can allow the air to leak, which also leads to wasted energy.
Your Ductless System Works Smarter, Not Harder
You’ve probably heard the term “work smarter, not harder.” This is the main reason your ductless system performs so well. The whole system allows you to control individual rooms in use rather than the whole house or area. Instead of constantly running the system to try to heat and cool the entire home, you can use cost-effective individual controls that make it smarter to operate and reduce energy waste.
Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Have Greater Efficiency
We’ve already talked about your cost savings based on the efficiency of your ductless system. SEER and EER ratings correspond with the amount of energy your air conditioner can save. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient your system. Ductless heating and cooling systems have higher SEER ratings on average than traditional forced-air systems. In fact, many ductless systems have SEERs as high as 30, which is fantastic!
Greater Operational Flexibility
As mentioned above, your ductless cooling and heating system allows you to manage each individual indoor unit based on room use. For example, if you live in a larger home with a guest room, or you are an empty nester with a few unused bedrooms, you can turn indoor units off, limiting the heating and cooling in those rooms. You can even control the rooms based on whether someone is in the room or if the room is empty. As a result, you reduce energy use and keep your home at the ideal comfort level.
Better yet, there are no more thermostat wars in the home with one person feeling too cold and someone else always feeling too warm. People can adjust their own bedrooms to suit their preferences so it’s easier to keep the peace. With a forced-air system, there is just one thermostat that controls temperatures for the entire home. This wastes energy and leads to uneven distribution of heat and cold. Often, homes with forced air have the top floors too hot in the summer and the bottom floors too cold in the winter. Last but not least, if you have a room that is always too hot due to sun exposure, or too cold due because it is above the garage, you can install a unit to ensure those rooms remain comfortable.
Ductless Cooling and Heating Easy To Install
Because there aren’t any ducts, ductless system installation is a breeze. It’s faster and more affordable. There is far less mess and fuss as the process requires a single hole drilled to accommodate the tubing. As well, you can choose how you want the indoor units mounted whether it is from the ceiling or the wall. The units take up minimum space and there is no need to tear down walls and ceilings. You barely even have to move your furniture during the process. There is little damage to your walls, so there’s no need for expensive drywall work. As an added benefit, indoor units can be installed to make sure the air isn’t blowing directly above or beside the main area occupied by family members such as your couch, desk, or bed.
Ductless Air Conditioners Heat and Cool
Because ductless systems are also called ductless heat pumps, people sometimes assume they can’t apply cooler air in the home. However, a ductless system does both. It heats in the winter and cools in the summer. Your indoor and outdoor units are reversible, so they provide the ideal temperature no matter what the temperature is outside. With traditional ducted systems, you need a furnace inside and an air conditioning unit outside to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Indoor Air Quality at Its Highest
Most of us don’t give much thought to the air quality in our homes. However, if you suffer from allergies or asthma, your symptoms could be directly related to the air quality in your home. Ductless systems help manage the small invisible particles that can make you sick. And, with an add-on purifier, you can both filter and purify your air. This process removes allergens, pollutants, and even airborne bacteria and viruses. All of these particles can cause unpleasant symptoms from dry, sore throats, to burning eyes and chronic cough to worsening allergies.
With a ductless system, your air quality is better. Why? Because there are no ducts to collect pollutants such as mold, algae, and fungi. If you have pets your vents can collect hair and dander and continuously circulate it into the air. Ductless cooling and heating systems avoid dirt-producing ducts while also introducing a highly efficient filtration.
Ductless Air Conditioners Require Minimal Maintenance
One of the many advantages of a ductless cooling and heating system is that it requires minimal maintenance compared to ducted HVAC systems. You never need to worry about having an expensive professional duct cleaning. With fewer parts you can clean and wash the filter yourself. Although, it’s never a bad idea to have a professional cleaning and check to ensure your unit is operating as efficiently as it should. Much like the outdoor unit for an air conditioner, you can also make sure it is clear of blockages like fallen branches, snow and leaves and that’s pretty much it. Keeping a regular schedule for maintenance ensures your ductless system lasts longer as well.
Utility Rebates in Washington State
Washington state recognizes ductless heat pumps as a highly efficient, green-energy heating and cooling option. Because the state makes energy-saving a priority, most local utility companies offer large rebates when you replace your inefficient heating systems with a new ductless system.
At Alpine Ductless, we understand it can be confusing and frustrating to figure out how to apply for these rebates. That’s why we offer the following three-step process to handle everything for you:
1. We find the best rebate for your situation and then prepare the rebate application for you. All you have to do is sign the application. That’s it!
2. We then deduct the rebate savings from your sales order upfront, so you don’t have to wait to be reimbursed.
3. After the installation, we gather and submit the necessary rebate paperwork to the appropriate utility company or manufacturer, while you enjoy your new system.*
*Please note that not all utilities have the same requirements. In the event that we are unable to file the rebate for you, we will provide all the necessary paperwork to make the process as easy as possible.
What should I do next?
The advantages of a ductless cooling and heating system are plentiful. If you feel like a ductless mini-split is right for you, contact us here or call us at (360) 615-2740. We’ll schedule a consultation to talk through your options and find the best fit for your home.