Years ago, ductless air-conditioning systems arose as relatively “fancy” alternatives to wall- or window-mounted AC systems. As such, those old-school ductless units were only good for smaller spaces—single rooms, stand-alone workspaces or studio apartments.
But today’s ductless AC units can cool (or even heat!) substantially larger indoor spaces, depending on the model. And they come with other advantages, too.
But is a ductless AC system something you should consider? Read on to discover the advantages and disadvantages.
What is a ductless AC unit versus a central cooling system?
Ductless air conditioning, also known as a “mini-split unit,” cools an interior space without the use of in-home ducts. Instead, the ductless system pulls air from a space through a cooling system and redistributes it into that immediate area.
Central HVAC units typically utilize an outdoor unit to intake and cool the area before pumping it through the home’s ductwork (a series of insulated tubes that open into each room).
Ductless systems are also powered by an outdoor unit, but the cooling and circulation is confined to a single interior system. That system is often wall mounted, though in-wall indoor systems (where only vents are visible) are also an option.
What are the advantages and disadvantages to ductless air conditioning?
Ductless AC Advantages
Perhaps the most prominent advantage to ductless AC is, well, the absence of ducts.
While AC units of any kind are relatively easy to access for installation, maintenance, repair and cleaning, the ductwork required for central air can be difficult to maintain. If the ducts aren’t regularly cleaned, then your AC system will potentially circulate a load of dirt, dust and other contaminants throughout the air you breathe.
Most ductless units, on the other hand, are easy to clean and maintain because both the outdoor and indoor units are installed accessibly.
Ductless units also allow for straightforward, room-to-room temperature variations—in part because their cooling production is often limited to a single vent or outlet, rather than pushed throughout the house from an outdoor system. This means you can reduce your energy costs by optimizing your unit’s energy expenditures depending on what kind of space and time of day the unit is cooling.
Ductless units in general are easier to install and easier to maintain than central AC. Their lifespan is also considerably longer than window units.
Ductless AC Disadvantages
On the other hand, ductless AC units are often more expensive to install than central. Additionally, while some larger and more powerful mini-split units can cool up to 1,500 square feet, traditional ductless units will only be adequate for a third of that area—especially in Florida.
Ductless AC versus window/wall units
In many circumstances, ductless ACs remain a valid alternative to window AC units, for several reasons. While window units are much cheaper to install and can even be done without professional help, they can be bulky and even precarious eyesores.
Today’s mini-split units can even offer improved air quality due to manufacturers’ specialized air filters.
Who should consider ductless AC?
If you are looking to air condition a small, stand-alone space like a work shed or garage, then ductless AC may very well be the way to go. Also, if you need to replace a window or wall unit in a well-used area, even a studio apartment or other cozy living quarters, consider the functional and aesthetic advantages to a ductless unit.
If you are looking to air condition a larger Florida space or building, you can even consider multiple ductless units, which will operate independent of one another for maximum energy efficiency.
Sarasota-Manatee Ductless AC Installers
If you’re considering a ductless AC system for your Sarasota-Bradenton home, office or workspace, call Air America today. We can help you figure out what kind of unit would work best for your needs.
As your local air conditioning installer for all types of AC units, Air America offers ductless AC installation with a variety of practical and aesthetically pleasing options for these straightforward indoor/outdoor systems.