An estimated 20 percent of your HVAC system’s energy is lost through your ductwork. Even completely healthy ducts experience some energy loss. Fortunately, there’s a solution. A ductless system, called a mini-split, can keep your house comfortable while saving you energy.
A ductless mini-split has both an indoor and an outdoor unit. But whereas full sized split systems deliver air via a complex network of ducts and registers, a mini-split’s units are connected through a wall by a single conduit that contains the power, refrigerant line and condensate drainage, and delivers air directly to your home without air leaks or other energy losses.
Another advantage of ductless systems is that they lend themselves well to zoning. A mini-split’s outdoor unit can be connected to as many as four different indoor units, each of which can be placed in a different room and adjusted for that area’s particular comfort level, rather than heating or cooling the entire house based on the reading of a single thermostat in a single room. This also makes them a good option for multi-family homes. Each family can adjust the air in their individual living space to suit their own needs, without disturbing anyone else.
Mini-splits are also ideal for additions to your home. If you decide to have an extra room built onto your house, connecting that room to your existing ductwork can be an arduous and expensive endeavor. A ductless mini-split can take care of that room’s heating and cooling needs with less cost and less hassle.
The main disadvantage of mini-splits is that they can be costly to install, as compared with other systems. However, this cost can be made up over time with the energy savings it provides. In addition, there are often tax incentives and other rebates available for mini splits to offset installation costs, in order to encourage the use of these energy-saving systems.