The Pros & Cons of a Ductless AC System
If you’re in the market for a ductless a/c system, here are the pros and the cons!
The pros of ductless systems:
- Ductless mini-split systems (air conditioners and heat pumps) are very energy efficient. Since mini splits have no ducts, they avoid the energy loss associated with ductwork of central forced air systems. Duct losses can add up to 30 percent of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.
- The units are smaller than room air conditioners.
- They are easier to install than other systems.
- In comparison to other add-on systems, mini-splits offer more flexibility in interior design options. The indoor air handlers can be suspended from a ceiling, mounted flush to a drop ceiling, or hung on a wall. Floor-standing models are also available. Most indoor units have profiles of about 7 inches deep and usually come with sleek, high-tech-looking jackets.
The cons of ductless systems are:
- The primary disadvantage of mini-splits is their cost. Such systems cost about $1500 to $2000 per ton of cooling capacity. This is about 30 percent more than central systems (not including ductwork) and may cost twice as much as a window unit of similar capacity.
- Qualified installers and service people for mini-splits may not be easy to find. In addition, most conventional heating and cooling contractors have large investments in tools and training for sheet metal ducts. They need to use and charge for those to earn a return on their investment, so they may not recommend a ductless system except where a ducted system is too difficult to install.
- Correct sizing of the system is important. Oversized or incorrectly located air-handlers often result in short-cycling which wastes energy and does not provide proper temperature or humidity control. Too large a system is also more expensive to buy and operate.
So if you think the pros out-weigh the cons, be sure to give us a call at LHT Cooling, Heating and Refrigeration, Inc., and we will be happy to give you a quote!