Ductless heating and cooling systems, also known as ductless mini-splits, are surging in popularity in the U.S. While they are extremely popular with homeowners in the Asia-Pacific region (where they originated in the 1970s) and Europe, they are still a fairly new idea for American homeowners. In the U.S., ductless systems have largely been used in commercial and industrial applications for about the past 20 years or so. Now, U.S. homeowners are beginning to understand the many advantages of ductless heating and cooling.
We know that you have questions ...
A ductless heating and cooling system primarily consists of two components: An outdoor unit called a condenser or heat pump, and an indoor unit called an evaporator or air-handler. The outdoor unit sends heat to the indoor unit in the winter and draws heat from the indoor unit in the summer. The two units are connected by two, small refrigerant lines and electrical wiring. This enables the two units to communicate with each other to provide heating and cooling as needed.
Ductless heating and air-conditioning systems offer many benefits over traditional, ducted, forced-air systems. These benefits are derived from the technology and construction differences between the ductless (sometimes called mini-split systems) and the average forced-air furnace or air conditioner.
Ductless systems … do not have ductwork! Surprise, surprise, right? 😊 Did you know that eliminating the use of ductwork to move heated or cooled air throughout your home (or commercial building) results in measurable increases in heating and cooling efficiency? Because of its design, ductwork causes heat gain and heat loss problems that cost you money every time your furnace or air conditioner runs … Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall!
There are two things that you can count on with traditional ductwork:
- Ductwork leaks air.
- Ductwork decreases efficiency.
The most common ductwork systems in place today are uninsulated, galvanized, steel ducting.
Steel ductwork is durable and often lasts the lifetime of the home or commercial building in which it is installed. It is also cost-effective to install and requires very little, if any, maintenance. Despite its advantages, steel ductwork has a downside.
Steel ductwork leaks. The seams of the ductwork are not completely air-tight, thus significant amounts of air leak out of the ductwork. This means that some of your energy dollars are being wasted heating and cooling areas of your home or business that you don’t want to heat or cool such as inside walls, attics, and floor cavities. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), leaky ductwork can reduce air-conditioning efficiency by as much as 20%. It’s simply … money down the drain.
Steel ducting is also uninsulated which means there is a transfer of heat occurring as your heated (or cooled) air is traveling through the ductwork towards your living room or bedroom. Heat loss occurs during the winter months as heat is radiated from the steel ductwork to the air surrounding it. That’s heat that never has a chance to make it to your living spaces!
During the summer, as the ductwork carries cool, conditioned air to your family and dining rooms, a heat gain occurs as heat in the air surrounding the steel ductwork is transferred into the cool air inside the ductwork, thus slightly warming it up and resulting in a loss of cooling efficiency. More money down the drain …
Engineers have devised partial solutions to ductwork’s problems. They developed sealing systems to help keep air inside the ductwork and created insulated ductwork materials to help reduce heat loss/gain. Yet, they just can’t fully eliminate the heat gain and loss issues that affect traditional, ducted, forced-air heating and cooling systems. Ductless systems don’t rely upon energy inefficient ductwork to transport heated and cooled air into living spaces, thus, they are more energy efficient.
In a traditional, forced-air furnace and air-conditioning system, the heat exchange process takes place inside your furnace. Air is heated (pic of heat exchanger) or cooled (pic of A/C coil) within the furnace and is then blown through ductwork from that single point to the various rooms in your home. As it moves through the ductwork, heated air becomes cooler and cooled air becomes warmer resulting in energy inefficiency. So, ducted systems work, but they aren’t the most efficient way to move energy (heated and cooled air) throughout a building.
Ductless technology takes an alternative, more efficient approach to providing heated and cooled air in your home or business. Rather than using inefficient ductwork to transport heated/cooled air from the furnace to the individual living or working spaces, ductless systems use two small copper lines that transport heated/cooled refrigerant to an evaporator coil and air-handler located in each room.
This means that the heat gain/loss issues of ductwork are eliminated. Gone. With ductless technology, your energy dollars pay only for the heating or cooling needs of the room in which the evaporator coil is installed. You aren’t wasting energy heating/cooling the attic and wall/floor cavities. Since each room has its own slim, wall or ceiling mounted unit to provide heating and cooling on demand, each room’s temperature can be tailored for the people and activities taking place in that room. So, the kitchen can be cooled down separately in the summertime without freezing the rest of the house!
Room by room temperature control is one of the greatest, energy-saving features of ductless technology. Many people prefer their bedrooms to be cooler than the rest of the home and their bathrooms to be the warmest place in the house! This enables you to only heat/cool various rooms as needed for how that particular room is being used. Why spend money to heat up the whole house because only the bathroom is cold? It’s smart to maximize the use of your energy dollars and reduce your carbon footprint with the built-in temperature zoning capabilities of ductless systems!
Mitsubishi introduced ductless heating systems in the 1970s. Since that time, they have established themselves as the technology leader in the industry with advancements such as hyper-heat, variable refrigerant flow, wireless remote controls and the 3D i-See temperature sensor.
Mitsubishi’s engineers have developed the most efficient ductless systems in the industry and incorporate green technology in every one of their systems. Their systems are designed for maximum energy efficiency that exceeds government standards. Additionally, their advanced blower systems result in whisper quiet operation of both the interior and exterior units.
Backed by a 12-year parts warranty, Mitsubishi’s ductless heating and cooling systems are legendary for their reliability. With proper maintenance, homeowners can expect up to 20 years or more of heating and cooling service from their ductless systems. Industry leading performance, reliability and features ensure that Mitsubishi’s ductless mini-split systems distinguish themselves from the competition and provides you with the peace and comfort you desire in your home.
The cost of a ductless installation by a licensed HVAC contractor varies based upon factors such as system capacity requirements, ease of installation, equipment options selected and specific, customer needs. The average cost for installation of a single head ductless heating/cooling system starts between $3,000 and $5,000 with multi-head systems costing more.
Mid-Ohio Ductless offers free consultations that will result in a price estimate that is suited to your particular requirements. Our Comfort Specialists are very thorough in their system analysis process, and they can give you multiple options to consider according to your desires. They will provide solutions crafted especially for you and not simply sell you equipment and installation services. Mid-Ohio’s Ductless Pros are here to serve you and help ensure your family’s comfort.
Absolutely! Ductless systems are fantastic solutions for the heating and cooling challenges that older homes possess. Problems such as uneven heating/cooling needs, aging ductwork that is undersized and situations when it is either impossible or impractical to run new ductwork to support a replacement forced-air furnace or air conditioner.
Historic homes without any existing ductwork and homes with sophisticated floor plans are other examples in which a ductless solution is often the only reasonably practical answer to the heating and cooling needs of the home. Are you tired of losing the ability to open up your window and enjoy the cool night air because you have a window air conditioner in your bedroom window? A ductless system gives you your window back … AND … it is whisper quiet!
Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling system bring these benefits to you:
- Air Quality – Advanced filtration features help keep your air clean and healthy.
- Efficiency – Mitsubishi ductless systems are up to 40% more efficient than conventional HVAC systems.
- Hyper-Heating – Mitsubishi’s industry-leading compressor technology keeps you warm in double-digit sub-zero temperatures while regular heat pumps quit working in above-zero temperatures!
- Whisper Quiet – Our ductless systems operate at a noise level at or below … a whisper!
- Smart Controls – Use our hand-held remote or your smart phone to manage the temperature in each room!
- Constant Comfort – Ductless systems adjust automatically to keep your rooms comfortable by eliminating big temperature swings.
- Hot Start – The indoor unit’s fan will not start until the coil has been warmed up to the proper temperature. This prevents cold air drafts such as you get from forced-air ducted systems. Our start-of-the-art Mitsubishi units preheat the evaporator coil resulting in warm air as soon as the fan turns on.