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As the names suggest, the biggest difference between ductless HVAC systems and their centralized counterparts is…well, ductwork. This massive, noisy, and awkward network of clunky metal is a necessary evil for traditional heating and cooling systems. However, Boston homeowners can avoid all of the downsides of ductwork when opting for ductless mini-splits instead. Let’s explore some of the main disadvantages of ductwork to give you a better idea of what you stand to gain.

Contributes to noise levels

Ductwork is noisy. There’s no way around it. The whirring, clunking, and hissing sounds centralized units emit can make it difficult for Boston homeowners to concentrate during the day and sleep at night. On the other hand, ductless mini-splits are specifically designed for whisper-quiet operation without sacrificing any comfort or efficiency. Even the outdoor compressor, where most of the work is done, is nearly inaudible. Ductless HVAC systems prove that you don’t have to suffer noise pollution just for greater temperature control and cleaner air.

Decreases temperature control flexibility

The greatest downside of having a ducted HVAC system is its static temperature control. No matter the size of your home or how many rooms you have, a central unit can only accommodate one temperature setting. Air is heated or cooled in one place and pushed to different areas of the home through ductwork. The only flexibility Boston homeowners have with legacy HVAC systems is to close a register to restrict airflow. With ductless systems, you can unlock flexible temperature control in every room through a process known as zoned heating and cooling. By replacing ductwork with individual indoor handling units, homeowners can achieve various temperature levels in each room to maximize comfort and optimize energy efficiency.

Increases likelihood of repairs

The intricacies of ductwork make centralized systems more prone to issues than their ductless counterparts. Some of these problems can arise from human error such as poor design and improper installation. In addition, ductwork suffers from natural inefficiencies over time such as loosened connections, air leaks, and inadequate airflow. The minimalistic and simple design of modern ductless HVAC systems reduces the likelihood of problems since there are fewer parts to maintain.

Reduces energy efficiency

There was a time when ductwork was the most efficient way to transfer conditioned or heated air throughout a home. Now, ductless HVAC systems reign as the energy-efficiency king. Over time, ductwork can develop leaks where air easily escapes, greatly reducing the unit’s efficiency. In fact, HVAC systems can suffer a 20% loss in efficiency when ducts aren’t properly sealed, according to Energy Star. To make matters worse, it’s tough for Boston homeowners to detect this silent energy-efficiency killer until the results show up in a high energy bill.

Increases the difficulty of installation

Installation is another major downside of centralized HVAC systems. Central units take up a significant amount of space, either using up an entire closet or eating up valuable real estate in your garage. But that’s not the worst part. Installing ductwork is a lengthy, messy, and involved process. Unless you’re building a home from scratch, You have to cut through walls, ceilings, floors as you weave an intricate network of large ductwork throughout your home. On the other hand, installing a ductless HVAC system is a sinch. After the outdoor compressor is situated and indoor units are secured, all you have to do is drill a small hole through the wall to install connecting lines.

Decreases indoor air quality

All centralized HVAC systems come with filters to increase indoor air quality (IAQ) by trapping dust, dirt, pollen, allergens, and other airborne contaminants before being pumped throughout your home. Unfortunately, ductwork is a hotbed for the accumulation of the various pollutants Boston homeowners want to eliminate from their air. As heated or conditioned air is blasted through the ductwork, these pollutants are picked up and blown out, posing health risks for you and your family. Ductless HVAC systems do a better job at protecting indoor air quality by reducing the number of contaminants recirculated through the air.

Ready to take advantage of ductless HVAC technology? We’ve got you covered! As Boston ductless experts, the New England Ductless team has helped countless homeowners make the switch from outdated centralized units. Schedule an appointment today to get started.

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