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What Are the Advantages of a Ductless Heating and Cooling System?

Whether you have a traditional central furnace or a ductless heating system such as hydronic heat or radiators, upgrading to a ductless heating and cooling system can offer a lot of benefits. In the West Texas climate, that might translate to better-managed home comfort, energy savings, and even better home security compared to window-mounted air conditioners through the summer. Here are the advantages and details to consider if you want a ductless heating and cooling system in your home:

Efficient Ductless Technology

A ductless heating and cooling system is composed of one outdoor unit connected to one or more indoor units. The system as a whole works on the principle of a heat pump: depending on whether home heating or home cooling is desired, either the outdoor or indoor units will absorb environmental heat and route it through the conduits to the other unit, which will vent it into the surrounding environment. Because heat energy is only being moved, not created (as is the case with traditional gas or oil furnaces), heat pumps can be three or four times as efficient as furnaces. And because the heat pump can move heat into or out of your home, you don't need a separate furnace and A/C.

Home Zoning

Most households don't use all parts of their house all day. They might gather in the dining room for breakfast, vacate the home except for a home office during the day, gather in a family room for the evening, and then retire to bedrooms at night, for example. A ductless system allows you to have individual ductless units in different zones of your house, allowing you to selectively heat and cool those areas – and save money and energy on areas no one is frequenting.

Easy Installation

Ductless mini splits are easy to install, which is convenient when you're considering updates to rooms already on your heating and cooling grid – and doubly convenient for rooms that don't have existing ducting. Whether you're converting an attic, basement or garage space, building an addition on to your home, or just looking at how best to update an existing ductless system, mini splits don't require the installation of new ductwork. They only require wall or ceiling space for the unit itself, and a small hole – three inches or less – in the wall to accommodate the conduit to the outdoor unit.

Adaptable Interior Design

With traditional ducted systems, you have to consider where the vents in each room are placed, and this can cut down on your potential furniture arrangements. Mini splits, which are generally installed high up on a wall, are unlikely to be blocked by couches, beds, bookshelves, or other pieces of furniture. And if you ever want to build an addition onto your home, you won't have to worry about re-balancing your duct system to deliver air to the new rooms: a ductless unit can be installed without having to consider its location relative to a central furnace or A/C.

Other Considerations

While installing ductless heating and cooling is an attractive option for many homeowners, there are a few things to consider before making the switch. For one, ductless mini splits tend to have a higher up-front cost than traditional systems – though their higher efficiency and built-in zoning often offsets the initial cost, over time. For another, the wall- or ceiling-mounted units may not appeal to everyone's sense of aesthetics: a vent, flush with your wall, ceiling, or floor, is generally less obtrusive.  Finally, homeowners in some areas may have trouble finding qualified techs who can make sure that the ductless heating and cooling system is sized properly for the home, installed correctly, and provided with proper ongoing maintenance.

Fortunately for homeowners in West Texas, that last issue doesn't have to be a barrier. Experts at Texas Air Comfort are glad to speak with homeowners considering ductless heating and cooling systems, and to address any installation concerns they may have. If you're considering going ductless, contact us today!

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