When it comes to ductless heating and cooling systems, most people have at least heard of the devices, if not encountered them. A popular home comfort solution for apartments, condos, hotels, restaurants, and structures without air ducts, ductless heating and cooling devices offer both convenience and cost-efficiency. If you need straightforward cooling or ductless heating solutions, you would do well to consider one of these systems. When compared to traditional HVAC units, ductless or “mini split” systems are vastly easier to install and do not waste nearly as much energy.
Whereas traditional forced air systems push air through ducts to serve an entire home or business, a mini split usually serves just a single room or open area. If you live in a smaller home, or a more temperate environment, mini splits can represent an ideal solution for your comfort needs. The dominance of central HVACs continues to overshadow what these devices can do, however. To learn more about service for ductless cooling or ductless heating in Soquel, Santa Cruz, and San Rafael, CA, call Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air today at 831-244-6718.
How Do Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Work?
Ductless heating and cooling systems work like standard ACs. The only difference, however, is fairly important: instead of storage in a closet or attic, the ductless device is mounted in the room it actually serves. Just like standard ACs, ductless devices consist of two units, one indoors, and one outside. The indoor device pulls hot air from your home and passes it over evaporator coils that absorb this heat. The heat is then transported outside, where the outdoor unit dumps it. Since it exists within the space it services, mini splits do not need air ducts. They simply suck in hot hair, and blow out cold. As an added bonus, most mini splits also function as heat pumps, which means they can perform this same operation in reverse to heat your home.
What Is the Best Ductless Heating and Cooling System Application?
Depending on the construction of a home, ductless units can provide an ideal solution in many situations. These scenarios, in particular, benefit the most from ductless units.
- New Additions That Lack Ductwork
- Garage Apartments
- Larger Homes Where Only a Few Rooms See Use
- Multiple Temperature Needs Under One Roof
- Rooms That Are Difficult to Heat or Cool
- Older Homes That Lack Ductwork
Ductless Heating vs Gas Furnace
Clients frequently ask us, “are mini splits good for heating?” If employed in the right way, the answer is a clear ‘yes’. It’s difficult to compare ductless heaters to gas furnaces, however, since they have different purposes. A ductless heater is meant to service a single room or small living area. They also operate on electricity. Gas furnaces service entire homes, and operate on natural gas. If you have a small residence, or live in a temperate environment where it never gets very cold, gas furnaces don’t make a lot of sense. If you have a large home, or live somewhere that seasonally freezes, then you would likely need several ductless units to provide the total home comfort that a single furnace could provide.
How to Install a Ductless Heating System
The installation of a ductless heating system is much easier — and less invasive — than the installation of a forced air furnace. In fact, if you are reasonably handy, know the location of your home’s electrical and plumbing lines, and place the indoor and outdoor units close together, you can probably install the device yourself.
- Step 1: Drill the hole for the conduit. The conduit connects the two units. Since one unit exists outside, you must drill a 3-inch hole through your wall to connect the two devices.
- Step 2: Place the outdoor unit. The outdoor unit, or compressor/condenser, must sit at least 10 inches from the wall, with the connectors and conduit facing the home. Ideally, it will sit upon a concrete slab for stability, and have a gravel gradient to drain condensation.
- Step 3: Install the indoor unit. The indoor unit, or air handler, is best mounted on the wall in as close proximity as possible to the outdoor unit.
- Step 4: Connect the two units. Wrap your system’s vapor gas line in 1/2-inch insulation and run it through the conduit. Make sure no dirt or debris gets into your line. Next, seal your valve caps, and release any pressure that has developed in the indoor coil as you make the connection. For your own safety, make sure to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for more information.
Ductless Mini Split Systems FAQ
How Long Do Mini Splits Last?
A mini split will last, on average, between 15 and 30 years. This is a large spread, though similar to the lifespan of a shingle roof, and for the same reasons: it all depends on the quality of your system and your willingness to perform maintenance.
Do Ductless Mini Splits Heat?
Yes. Ductless mini splits are also heat pumps, and can efficiently heat a limited area such as a single large room or small home.
Is Ductless Heating Efficient?
Ductless heating is incredibly efficient. Instead of generating its own heat, which requires a lot of energy, ductless heaters make use of the heat already in the air. When compared to other types of heaters, ductless units use 30 to 50 percent less energy.
How Much Are Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems?
This question is impossible to answer without specifics about your living space or the brand of mini split you want. When determining an approximate price, our team considers four factors:
- Your Desired SEER Rating, or the Energy Efficiency of Your System.
- The Size, or Tonnage, of the System
- The Number of Units You Need
- The Brand You Choose
For an accurate estimate on ductless heating in Soquel, Santa Cruz, and San Rafael, CA, call 831-244-6718 today and supply the above information. At Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air, we are big proponents of mini split systems, and recommend them for any situation where they could serve well. If you have any questions or would like to schedule service, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.