If you’ve been looking for an alternative to central air-conditioning, or you’re looking to solve a spot heating or cooling problem, you’re probably considering a ductless heating system. But how does a ductless heating system work?
Ductless heating and cooling for your home
Ductless heating systems are divided into two pieces – hence the term “split.” In a conventional central air conditioning system, the evaporator resides in an air-handling unit – sometimes in the attic, and sometimes near the furnace. The compressor is strictly an outdoor dog! In a ductless system, the compressor is still outside, but the evaporator has become a member of the family; it resides in the living space.
Gas and liquid refrigerant lines run from the compressor to the evaporators. In the summer, the refrigerant cools the evaporator coils, and a fan inside the evaporator blows air across them, producing cold airflow from the evaporator.
In the winter, the refrigerant flows in the opposite direction. The compressor sends heated gas and liquid to the evaporator, which heats the coils. The fan blows across the coils, and because the coils are now heated, warm air enters the living space.
A ductless heating system can serve up to eight indoor evaporator units. Each evaporator unit is individually controlled, so the air temperature can vary from zone to zone, according to personal tastes.
One of the major advantages of a ductless heating system over other options is its energy-efficiency. Ductless systems usually require just one small hole in the home’s exterior wall. The refrigerant lines enter the home through the hole, and travel to the evaporator units through the walls. With no ductwork losses, the ductless mini-split is an energy-efficient alternative source of cool or heated air. Ductless heating systems also offer a SEER rating of up to 33 – 10 SEER higher than the highest efficiency central air conditioning units!
Duct losses can reduce the practical efficiency of a HVAC unit by 30 percent or more. That’s right – nearly one-third of the central unit’s output can be lost in the ductwork! These duct losses can explain why certain parts of your home don’t ever get comfortably warm or cool. The number of joints in ductwork also compounds the problem of loss; joint are notoriously leaky and can be hard to seal properly. And the location of the ductwork may not be doing you any favors, either. Conditioned air traveling through uninsulated attic or crawlspace ducts doesn’t stand a chance!
Ductless heating systems eliminate that loss by eliminating the ducts, meaning that more of the energy you put into the system works to improve the comfort of your living space. Zone control also means that each air-handler can be set individually – no more settling for spaces that are just a little too cold or a little too warm.
If you would like more information about ductless heating and cooling options for your home or workspace, give us a call at New England Ductless at (617) 915-2803 today!