Here in Harbour City, homeowners understand how important it is to embrace energy efficiency. Conserving electricity is both good for the environment as well as the family budget. Homeowners often contact us to ask about the efficiency of ductless air mini-splits for homes in our area. Although most homeowners know that mini-splits are quite efficient, some have heard that mini-splits don’t perform well in all circumstances. To answer this question once and for all, here’s everything you need to know about ductless mini-splits.
The Advantages of Ductless Mini-Splits
High efficiency is one of the biggest benefits that comes with ductless mini-split systems. This is because they don’t rely on ductwork to function. Instead, mini-split systems rely on multiple wall- or ceiling-mounted air handlers that all share a single outdoor condenser unit. This helps them avoid the energy losses that occur when conventional HVAC systems transfer heated or cooled air through a home’s ductwork. Those losses can be more significant than many realize. Depending on the age and condition of a home’s ducts, conventional HVAC systems may end up wasting up to 30% of the energy they consume in this way.
A lack of ductwork isn’t the only efficiency advantage ductless mini-splits have over other systems, though. Ductless mini-splits use individual air handlers in the rooms you wish to heat and cool. This means that you can set individual temperatures in each room, eliminating wasted energy that occurs when heating or cooling rooms you’re not using. You can even turn off individual air handlers in certain rooms to save additional electricity. Using individual air handlers also means you don’t have to worry about airflow problems created by closed doors and vents. Airflow issues can not only impact the cost of running a conventional air conditioning system but your comfort as well.
Ductless mini-splits offer even more efficiency when operating in heating mode. That’s because they use heat pump technology to provide heat for your home. This means they don’t consume any fuel to generate heat. Instead, they harvest heat energy from the outside air and pump it into your home where you need it. In heating mode, ductless mini splits can operate at efficiency levels approaching 400%. This gives them an edge over any other residential heating system on the market today.
The Disadvantages of Ductless Mini-Splits
Ductless mini-splits aren’t perfect, though. One of the reasons that many homeowners here question their viability as a year-round comfort solution is that heat pumps have a reputation for struggling in the coldest winter temperatures. It is true that they lose efficiency in sub-freezing temperatures. However, they remain more efficient than even top-of-the-line gas-powered furnaces down to -4 degrees Celsius.
Another disadvantage of ductless mini-splits is that they tend to cost a bit more to purchase and install than conventional central HVAC systems. However, the gap between the two system types continues to narrow. It is also important to consider that a ductless mini-split replaces both your central air conditioner and heating system, reducing the price gap even further.
So, Do Ductless Mini Splits Work Well in Harbour City?
Taking everything into account, ductless mini-splits make an excellent heating and cooling option for homes in Harbour City. In fact, heat pumps work especially well here because our climate suits them. This means the average ductless mini-split installed here will offer highly efficient cooling in the summer and unbeatable heating efficiency in the winter.
There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind, though. The first is that it’s almost always cheaper to replace a central AC or a furnace with a similar system to the one you already have. So, while you can expect to reap significant operating cost savings from a new ductless mini-split system, it may take up to seven years for you to recoup the upfront costs associated with the new mini-split.
You should also know that the efficiency of ductless mini-splits means they consume far less electricity than comparable systems. That creates the added benefit of reducing your home’s carbon footprint. So, if you’re the type of homeowner that’s concerned about their environmental impact, ductless mini-splits are an especially good choice. They’re also a great way to future-proof your home’s cooling and heating system as the world moves away from oil and natural gas heating to further limit the effects of climate change.
Despite their overall benefit to most homeowners, there may be some circumstances that make a ductless mini-split a bad fit for your home. If you’re concerned about having wall-mounted air handlers in every room, this option could be problematic. While they’re typically compact and sleek devices, they may not fit with your home’s décor. Although you can purchase ceiling-mounted air handlers instead, they’re often harder—and costlier—to install.
You should also know that you’ll have a bit more regular maintenance to do with a ductless mini-split system. Since each air handler has its own air filter, you’ll need to stay on top of cleaning them all regularly. The good news is that the air filters in ductless mini-splits are washable, so you won’t have to worry about purchasing an endless stream of replacement filters.
Also, you may wish to avoid a ductless mini-split system if you have a very large home. In some cases, this may require you to purchase multiple systems to provide enough heating and cooling power. Plus, the air handlers in a ductless mini-split system must be within a reasonable distance from your outdoor unit. So, if you have a larger home, you may need multiple systems even if the one you’re buying has enough capacity otherwise.
However, your home could benefit from a ductless mini-split even if it already has a relatively new central HVAC system. That’s because mini-splits offer a simple way to add heating and cooling to parts of your home that don’t already have it. So, if you decide to finish your basement or build an addition to your home, you can install a mini-split specifically to serve those spaces. This may be a more cost-effective option than attempting to expand the ductwork of your existing system, which may not have enough cooling power to accommodate the new spaces.
Trust the Ductless Mini-Split Experts
Twin Peaks Plumbing, Heating & Gas offers homeowners throughout Harbour City reliable HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also offer comprehensive plumbing services, including drain cleaning and repair, backflow protection, leak detection, sump pumps, and tankless water heater services and installation. Our expert team has decades of experience in the industry and dedicates itself to offering the best customer service in everything we do. Our accreditation with the Better Business Bureau is a testament to our dedication to doing the job right. We even offer financing options on approved credit to help homeowners cover the HVAC and plumbing services their homes require. So, if you’d like to know more about installing a ductless mini-split in your Harbour City home, contact Twin Peaks Plumbing, Heating & Gas today!