Everybody’s got one. The room that never seems to cool down, no matter what temperature you set your air conditioner to. Maybe it’s the bedroom above the garage, or the office that gets full afternoon sun. Whatever the case, you’re either uncomfortable in that room or you’re freezing in the rest of the house.
You may entertain the idea of a window unit to mitigate the problem, but those are unsightly and depending where you live they may be against association bylaws. Worse, you may entertain the idea of a portable unit, those clunky, occasionally leaky appendages that vent through a window and don’t quite do the job anyway.
But did you know there’s a far better option than either perpetual discomfort or unruly, ugly compromises? Ductless air conditioning units have been saving sweaty homeowners everywhere, bringing cool, comfortable air to bedrooms, family rooms and even workshops and garages.
Here’s how ductless air conditioning works, the benefits you can anticipate and some pretty nifty perks that you may not have expected.
How Ductless Air Conditioning Units Work
You’re familiar with the traditional ducted systems, with a central unit indoors and one or more compressors outdoors, depending on the number of zones in your home. Cool air is distributed throughout your home as it exits the ducts through vents in each room.
Most times, a central ducted air conditioner is sufficient to cool your home. Sometimes, especially for larger homes, you may want multiple zones so that you can control the upstairs temperature separately from the downstairs temperature, for example.
But sometimes, there’s a room that defies cooling. That may be because of its location, or even because it isn’t connected to the central ducted system, such as a sunroom or workshop. When it’s not practical or cost effective to run ductwork and there doesn’t seem to be a good option for keeping that trouble room comfortable, ductless systems can shine.
Unlike their ducted cousins, ductless systems mount on walls and occasionally on ceilings and don’t require more than a small hole and a space about thirty inches long by twelve high. Their companion compressor is about the size of a small suitcase and is installed outdoors. The two pieces are connected by thin copper tubing and electrical wires, and regulated with individual thermostat controls just like your ducted system. Together these compact components can keep problem areas comfortably cool.
Benefits Of Ductless Air Conditioning
Beyond the obvious – they can keep otherwise challenging spaces cool – ductless systems can also keep problem areas warm. Tough rooms are typically too hot in summer and too cold in winter, so ductless systems can do double duty.
They are also exceptionally energy efficient. They don’t use or emit combustible fuels, which makes them environmentally friendly. And since they don’t use ducts to deliver cool air, there is no “leakage”, which is common with ducted systems. Believe it or not, air loss from ducts can account for up to a whopping 30% of energy consumption. Over the course of a long, hot summer – and many summers over the years – ductless systems can save you quite a bit on energy costs over fighting with your existing central unit.
If you’ve got multiple problem rooms, you can run up to five units off of one compressor. These systems can even be used in commercial settings, so if you’ve got offices, waiting rooms, server rooms or other areas that could use better temperature control, one or more compressors can drive as many air blowers as you need.
They’re compact, quieter than many central air conditioners, and in a minute we’re going to tell you about some pretty cool options you have for aesthetics.
Save money, save space, save the environment and be more comfortable – sounds like a pretty good deal!
Ideal Uses For Ductless Units
As we mentioned, ductless systems are great for problem rooms, and for cooling (and even heating) detached rooms. If you love your shed and spend time with your crafts or tools there, but don’t love the temperature, a ductless blower can be a perfect addition.
They’re also a good option in homes where installing a ducted system may be problematic or invasive. For example, if you’ve got a gorgeous old Victorian that you can’t (or don’t want to) tear up with ductwork, ductless systems are discreet and won’t damage the historic integrity of a building.
Install a ductless unit in a classroom full of computers to help cool it on warm days. Use them for house additions that don’t get the same “oomph” out of your central unit. Put one into your master bedroom suite, especially if it’s above a garage or facing the setting summer sun. Install one in a west-facing kitchen to make summer entertaining a lot less sweaty. They also make the perfect addition to a man-cave, if you don’t want cigar smoke circulating through the ductwork into the rest of the house!
Anywhere you need a boost in comfort, a ductless system can get the job done.
Aesthetics Of Ducted Air Conditioning Units
They’re pretty low-profile, and a whole lot nicer looking than window units. They’ll also never leak on your carpet or fall out into the flower garden!
If you’re not convinced that you want a white or beige blower stuck to your wall, take it from us: most people find that they quickly forget it’s there, and the tradeoff in comfort is well worth the addition. But if you’re a stickler for décor, there’s another option you might enjoy – ductless blowers that double as digital picture frames. These slim units can be customized with your own photos for a personalized look that nobody will guess is actually an air conditioner in disguise.
If you have a problem room – or even a few – and want to talk about getting comfortable, contact us for a free estimate. We’re available to answer all your questions and find a solution that works for you and your home.