9 Benefits of Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems

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Last updated: 
September 6, 2016


Ductless heating and cooling systems have a continuously growing popularity. More Americans choose split or multi-split HVAC systems over ducted ones. Although the main reason they do so is convenience when installing them, ductless systems are superior when talking about running costs, comfort, air quality, and environmental effects.

How Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Can Benefit You

Just as ducted heating and cooling systems, ductless ones can be used all year around. However, a ductless heating and cooling system has multiple benefits over traditional ducted ones. Here are the most important ones.

office ductless heatigng and cooling systems outside units

1. Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Are Adaptable to Your Interior Design

Ductless systems are mistakenly believed to interfere with each home’s aesthetics, this simply isn’t true. The inside units, also called air handlers, have a timeless look that will fit in any interior. In addition, they come in a multitude of sizes, shapes, and colors so they can be matched with each room’s color scheme. Portable split systems are connected to their outside unit through a flexible pipe. Therefore, they can be stored in a nearby closet or behind a couch when not in use.

2. Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Are Easier to Install

The first advantage we notice when installing a ductless heating and cooling system is how flexible it is. Although ducted systems usually have vents that are leveled with the walls and floors in our homes, they can only be installed at a certain distance from their main unit. A ductless system’s outside unit can be placed up to 50 feet away from the inside unit(s) without considerably affecting the performance. In addition, the air handlers can be installed on walls, ceilings, or floor if space is limited.

All ductless heating and cooling systems reviews have one thing in common: Quick and easy installation. Given they are ductless, these HVAC systems require less labor and generate far less clutter than central air conditioners. Their ducted counterparts can take days to install and leave behind pounds of debris, but ductless systems are a breeze. They only require a 3-inch hole in the wall, which is then insulated in a few minutes.

3. Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Are Cheaper to Run

Energy costs widely vary across the United States, but one thing is sure: Electricity is more expensive than a few years ago. Although ductless heating and cooling systems cost more than other HVAC systems, monthly utility bills are up to 30% lower. This might seem exaggerated but the truth is, no matter how well-insulated ducts are, they lose a lot of energy.

ductless heating and cooling systems costs

In addition, the variable-speed compressor technology in ductless systems adjusts their functioning to the current outside temperature. Therefore, the initial investment will pay off in the not-so-long run. Energy star certified appliances also make you eligible for government rebates and incentives, which further cuts down costs.

4. Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Are Customizable

Being able to individually control temperatures in different rooms make ductless cooling and heating systems highly flexible. Multi-split systems are particularly effective at acclimatizing only part of your house. This helps you conserve energy, reduce utility expenses, and be environmentally friendly. Each air handler has its own thermostat which increases the accuracy of the system and your overall comfort.

Timers and special functions can be particularly useful in saving energy and keeping your house greener. On a typical Saturday, your ductless system can automatically stop heating up or cooling down the bedrooms once everyone has gotten up. During the day, it is generally needed in the living room and/or dining room. Once evening comes, the system will resume its activity in the bedrooms and stop working in common areas that will no longer be occupied. Some systems can even be programmed to work differently during workdays and weekends, which can be extremely useful.

More appliances today come with a Wi-Fi connection that allows you to control them through a web or mobile app.

5. Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Improve Air Quality

ductless heating and cooling systems clean the air

Allergens that can be found in the air during spring.

Modern split or multi-split heating and cooling systems also work as air purifiers. They are equipped with filters that gather dust particles, allergens, or microorganisms and protect your family from airborne diseases. They also reduce cross-contamination to nearby rooms or unpleasant smells that can occur in a home. If these filters are regularly cleaned, using an air purifier becomes redundant.

Most ductless systems manufactured in the last few years also have a humidity control function. Its main benefit is maintaining a comfortable environment in your home, but can also have health benefits. Your eyes, respiratory system, and skin can be affected by air that is excessively dry or humid. By keeping humidity constant and at healthy levels, ductless systems actively protect you from health complications – be it summer or winter.

6. Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Are Environmentally Friendly

Ductless system’s impressive energy efficiency is not only great news for our pockets. By consuming less energy, these appliances lower the carbon footprint of your home. Ductless systems smartly use thermodynamics to acclimatize our homes, but they also use advanced chemistry to be eco-friendly. By replacing pollutant substances that were used as refrigerants with the new R410A, modern ductless systems reduced their effect on the ozone layer close to zero.

ductless heating and cooling systems environmental effects

7. Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Are Less Noisy

You can forget about rumbling, rattling, or even humming with a ductless heating and cooling system. When in use, the outside unit is considerably quieter than its ducted counterparts. In fact, it is quiet enough to not distinguish its noise with the windows closed. The inside air handlers are as noisy as a whisper, or about 20 dB.

8. Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Need Less Maintenance and Repairs

Given there are fewer components, the maintenance process takes less time and is cheaper for a ductless system. In addition, repairs are also less costly and messy given all the components are easily accessible. In a ducted system, however, plenty of things can go wrong.

In a ducted system, poor connections among different segments of the duct or deficient insulation can lead to considerable energy losses. This leads to high expenses and a considerable amount of time invested in optimizing the system. With a ductless heating and cooling system, this is no longer an issue.

9. Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Have a Long Lifespan

The average life expectancy of a split or multi-split heating and cooling system is between 10 and 16 years. However, if properly maintained, a ductless heating and cooling system can last over 20 years.
ductless heating and cooling systems - outdoors unit

Of course, for all these to be valid you need to create favorable conditions for your ductless heating and cooling system.

How to Make Sure You Enjoy These Benefits from Day 1

Here are some tips and tricks that will maximize the efficiency of a ductless cooling and heating system as soon as the installation is complete:

  • Choosing the right system size is by far the most important step. An undersized one will not provide enough warm or cool air for its designated space and will waste a lot of energy while trying to keep up. At the same time, an oversized unit will cost more than needed for its purpose.
    • For small or medium-sized rooms of up to 350 square feet, a 9,000 BTU inside air handler should be enough to provide a constant temperature. Rooms of up to 500 square feet usually require a 12,000 BTU indoor unit. For rooms of around 750 square feet, an 18,000 BTU system would make more sense.
    • Larger common spaces like dining rooms or living rooms with open space kitchens will need more powerful air handlers. A 1,000 square feet room will be comfortably acclimatized by a 24,000 BTU inside unit. For rooms of 1,200-1,300 square feet, an air handler of 30,000 BTU is required. Spaces of 1,500 square feet can be successfully acclimatized by a 36,000 BTU inside unit.
    • Outdoor units for multi-split systems are designed to meet the combined flow of multiple indoors air handlers. Nevertheless, larger homes might need 2 or 3 multi-split outdoor units to keep up.
  • Changing or cleaning the filters every 3 months is a must for an efficient appliance that lets out clean air. Filters are effective at gathering dust or potentially harmful microorganisms, but they can become health hazards if not cleaned or changed. The warm, sometimes humid, spongy material can become an agreeable place for said microorganisms to multiply. When the system is turned on, these will be released into the air you breathe – which is not desirable.
ductless heating and cooling systems filter

How to clean the filter of a ductless heating and cooling system

  • Maintenance is the second most important procedure that will improve the functioning of your ductless HVAC system. A yearly maintenance visit from a professional is recommended, even when things seem to run smoothly. This will guarantee your split or multi-split appliance will work efficiently and provide a comfortable temperature all year around.

Acclimatization stopped being a caprice a long time ago. Today, it is an amenity everyone needs to have access to. Choose a green and healthy appliance for cooling and heating your home; Go ductless!

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.


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