If you currently own a central air conditioning system or heater, then you are currently relying on your duct system to do all of the heavy lifting. However, if you’ve been doing research and have been reading about other AC options, you’ve undoubtedly read all sorts of things about ductless heat pumps. They might even sound like miracle machines at this point!
Well, honestly, they are pretty good. Some of the initial drawbacks would be that they’re expensive to install, and the fact that they operate year-round means they require more maintenance. But if you’re fine with both of those things, they can be far better alternatives than duct systems. We’ll help you understand why with a few points below.
Built-In Zone Control
In the realm of ducted HVAC, one big problem is that they have to cool the entire house or none of it. Closing off the vent registers can sometimes be harmful or inefficient, so there are few options except for installing a zone control system. In a nutshell, zone control allows you to control each room’s temperature individually.
So, how can ductless heat pumps possibly compete? Well, this is actually a very silly question, because ductless heat pumps achieve the exact same purpose as zone control systems. Each ductless unit is controlled individually since each one is its own separate unit. Of course, that means you get all the same benefits of a zone control system.
In terms of comfort, everyone can enjoy their own bedrooms at the temperature that works best for them—everyone can get to bed without irritation. In terms of savings, that’s where individual room control really shines. Are the kids going to college? You won’t have to worry about using energy on their vacant rooms, significantly reducing your energy costs.
No Duct Leaks
When you get rid of HVAC systems that use ducts, you’re also getting rid of all the problems associated with ducts. Don’t get us wrong—duct systems can be very efficient for heating or cooling an entire home. But that’s only if they’re properly maintained.
Over several years of use, duct systems are prone to developing leaks. It’s estimated that duct leaks are responsible for up to 30% of lost energy. Leaks can happen due to pests, wear-and-tear to low-quality duct material, or even just due to seals and adhesives wearing out over time.
No Dirty Ducts
Another problem that duct users run into is dirty ducts. Again, it’s not a problem that needs to be taken care of too often, but it’s one that you will need to have done if you want to maintain good air quality. On average, a home can collect about 40lbs of dust per year. The difference is that most of us clean our homes regularly, but we don’t have access to clean our ducts.
For a ductless system, the most you have to clean is the air filter when it gets dirty (and technically you don’t even have to clean it, you just replace it).