If you’re thinking about purchasing a new AC unit, you may be thinking if it’s okay to buy central air conditioning or you would be better off with the ductless system everyone has been talking about lately.
Your selection depends on your situation and preferences. However, for your ease, we are listing some details that will help you in making the selection.
Understanding the Ductless System
If you are scratching your head wondering what the ductless system is all about, on the surface you will find the assembly similar to a conventional air conditioner. Like an A/C it also has two units: one is the condenser that will rest outside your house and the inside evaporator that is inside the home. In between these two units, the coolant passes, taking away the heat from inside to the outdoors where the temperature is released.
In a central system, the mechanism differs as the cold air travels through the air handler on your furnace and trip into the ductwork, and from there it spreads inside the house. In structure the ductless system uses a thin cable that lies between the condenser and the box on the wall, there is no need for any ductwork, neither you need any vents on the floor.
How to Select the Right System
We ask our clients the following questions to understand their need and to recommend the best system for their homes.
1. Does your Home have a Ductwork?
An important thing to consider when making a decision is to check for your ductwork. If you already have ductwork, it will be more comfortable and less costly to go with a central system.
However, if you do not have ductwork, it is better to install a ductless system. Not only it is cheaper but will also save you from the usual construction mess. You will need a small 3-inch hole in the wall that will support the cable to go through. Similarly, ductless units are better for those houses where all the new systems have no direct connection to the ductwork that help the rest of the links in the house.
2. Are you Okay with the Visibility of Your Air Conditioner?
An indoor air conditioner is visible whereas the ductless system uses a vent that is somewhere in the ceiling on the wall. If you want a sleek interior of your rooms, you will like the simplicity of the vents that do not disturb your interiors. Indoor A/c may not blend with your room and will give it an odd look at times. If you are concern about your decor, going for a central system is a better option for you.
3. What is the Area of Your House?
A ductless system may not have the power to cool a large area. If your home is over 2,500 square feet, you are better off with a central. You will get more efficiency and performance from the central air system owing to its power to handle cooling in larger areas.
If your house is less than 2,500 square feet, you can go for the ductless system.
4. Your Noise Tolerance Preference
If you are sensitive to noise, you will find ductless systems a relief as they are quieter and more comfortable.
You need to discuss with your technician to understand the noise level that measures in decibels for whatever system you are considering for installation. You may find a ductless system making more noise than a central system so be sure to check for the noise level before making a selection.
5. What is Your Budget?
A sound ductless air conditioning unit will cost anywhere from a couple of thousand dollars to a lot more if you want installation of multiple indoor units, or are looking for the highest efficiency in the models. Generally, the central system cost more where you can expect to pay more for those more upper-end models of ductless systems that are the top selling brand in the market. Quoting the exact price is not possible as there are so many ranges and models to consider. Then there is also some seasonal rebates you may be eligible to while making a purchase.
The great news is that we offer many financing offers for you to get any system of your liking, starting as low as $40 per month.
6. How Major is Energy Efficiency to You?
There are different consideration to this question. Firstly it depends on how well the ductwork assembly and installation is when it comes to the construction. This constructions directly contributes to the efficiency and performance of the central system.
For example, if the ductwork wasn’t planned well (more twists and curves than required) or if it isn’t sealed correctly and the air is flowing, the performance of a central system falls. In terms of installation condition, the engineer has to do things like ensuring the proper level of refrigerant, a level surface for the outside assembly, the arrangement equals the air handler, etc.
The best ductless units have higher potential energy efficiency (going to 27 SEER) when you compare it with the best central systems (going to 21 SEER).
7. Do You Require Separate Zoning Authority?
If there are people in your home that prefer different room temperatures, or there are areas in your house that require low or more cooling, you will need a zoning system to set up the specific temperatures on preferences and area of cooling.
While zone control function is available in both central and ductless system, it comes cheaper with the ductless arrangement. In a central system for zoning, you need an upgrade of existing ductwork with inner dampers.
8. Do You Require Supplemental Heating?
Some ductless arrangements aren’t merely an air conditioner, and they also function as a ‘heat pump.’ So in cold weather, you can use the same system to bring warm air inside and keep the area warm during winters as long as the temperature stays above -7° C.