Doing Without Ducts: Mini-Split Cooling Systems
The conventional model for cooling a home involves using ducts to channel cooled air from a centrally located AC unit to the various rooms in your home. This is not a bad model, but ducts do have disadvantages. For one, they require dedicating space in your house to the cooling unit, they can decrease ceiling height, and they require maintenance in order to preserve the proper function of your system. A ductless mini-split system represents an advantage in all of these areas.
Mechanical Room Not Required
A mini-split AC system doesn't have just one evaporator unit. Instead, if uses up to four smaller units to pump cool air directly into the rooms that you want to cool. Thus, you don't have to worry about devoting space in your home to house your cooling equipment. On the other hand, you have to be okay with having evaporator units hanging on the walls of your home.
No Ducts Included
Because a mini-split system pumps cold air directly into the rooms of your home, there is no need for ducts. Thus, you don't have to worry about losing ceiling height in your basement due to the need to run ducts beneath the floor joists. While lower ceiling height is a small thing, if you are tall or tend to feel claustrophobic when in rooms with a low ceiling height, eliminating ducts is a big deal.
Over time, the pressure of the air running through your ducts combined with a constant cycle of heating and cooling can compromise the seams in your ducts, and leaks can form. As these leaks syphon off air, they will decrease the volume of air available to cool your home. In this way, leaky ducts can decrease your system efficiency by up to 40%. In order to keep your system running at the optimum level, you should have your ducts inspected from time to time and repaired as needed. Thus, not only does eliminating ducts decrease your installation costs, but it will also help to reduce your maintenance costs down the road.
A ductless, minis-split AC system may be a departure from the conventional model for heating and cooling a home, but it may be worth it. If you have a large home, you might think that you need more than four evaporator units to keep your home comfortable, but this may not be entirely true. In order to decide if a mini-split system can work for you, you should discuss your situation with an HVAC expert from a company like Seliga Heating and Cooling.