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ductless air conditionerDuctless mini-split air conditioning systems are an efficient and effective way to add a cooling system to an existing home, an addition or even a new home. The advantages of a ductless system are numerous, but there are three key advantages that make them distinct from conventional systems:

Greater Efficiency

Ductless systems are extremely efficient, largely because they lack air ducts, which can waste up to 30 percent of the energy used for cooling through leaks or poor insulation. Many systems also feature variable-speed air handlers, inverter-driven multiple-speed compressors, improved coil designs and optional zoning systems that help to increase energy efficiency further. The latest models feature a seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER, of up to 22, compared to the federal minimum of 14 SEER for Southwest Florida.

Easy Installation

With an outdoor unit, one or more interior air handlers, and a few refrigerant and electric lines connecting them, ductless systems are easy to install. They require only a small 3 to 4 inch opening through a wall or ceiling to route the electrical and refrigerant lines, minimizing damage to your home and remodeling. In comparison, a central air conditioner or heat pump requires custom ducts to be fabricated, a centralized location for the interior air handler and evaporator, and several openings for electrical and refrigerant lines.

Optional Heating

Many ductless systems can reverse the refrigeration cycle during the winter, providing heating instead of cooling. This eliminates the extra cost of a separate heating system, which is only occasionally needed in Southwest Florida. With a multiple-room system, each zone can be adjusted to the perfect temperature for the occupants, winter or summer.

To learn more about the advantages of a ductless system, talk to our cooling experts at Conditioned Air today. We serve Southwest Florida, from Bradenton to Marco Island, and we have been providing quality, reliable HVAC services throughout the area since 1962.

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ac not workingAir conditioning systems tend to be relatively reliable, and with proper care and maintenance, they can often last well over 10 years. As a system ages, however, it will lose both cooling performance and efficiency, especially compared to the latest models, and it will eventually become more cost-effective to replace the system, rather than paying its ever-increasing repair and operational costs. You should consider A/C replacement when any of the following are true:

  • The system is over 10 or 15 years old: Once an A/C unit is over 10 years old, it is nearing the end of its expected lifespan and major problems will be far more likely to occur. By upgrading to a new system, you can enjoy improved comfort, reduced energy costs, and the many improvements in technology and design that have occurred over the last decade.
  • Energy costs have increased: Gradual increases in your energy usage are to be expected as the system loses efficiency, and you can often save significantly on your long-term energy costs with an A/C replacement.
  • Your system is less than 13 SEER: Modern systems have SEER ratings of 13 to over 20, and with the proper A/C replacement, you can reduce your cooling costs dramatically.
  • Your A/C requires frequent repairs: If your air conditioner requires service or has a major problem like a damaged compressor, it is often more cost-effective to replace the system than to continue repairs.
  • Your system uses an outdated refrigerant: If your system uses R-22 or an earlier refrigerant, it may be more cost-effective to install a new system with R410A than to retrofit an existing system.
  • Your home is no longer comfortable: As the performance of your A/C unit degrades, it may no longer be able to keep up with the heat and humidity in Southwest Florida. A new system can offer better cooling and dehumidification, as well as improved reliability.

If you are considering A/C replacement, talk to our team at Conditioned Air today. We can help you find the right system for your needs and your budget, and we serve homeowners throughout Southwest Florida.

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central air conditionerAir conditioning is essential for comfort in Southwest Florida, and if you are considering adding a cooling system to your home, there are several options. Central air conditioning tends to be the most popular, because it cools the entire home, but it is also a significant investment. Room air conditioning, or window units, cost less initially, but they have some disadvantages.

Room Air Conditioning

Window units are easy to install and are a quick, inexpensive way to add cooling to one or more rooms, and each room can be set to a different temperature. Because they lack air ducts, there are no losses from leaks in the ductwork or missing insulation, which can increase energy usage significantly. They are far less efficient, however, than a properly-installed, well-maintained central air conditioning system, especially as multiple units are added to cool individual rooms. They also do not dehumidify as well as central air conditioning systems, making it feel hotter than it actually is in the humid climate of Southwest Florida.

Central Air Conditioning

Central air conditioning systems operate more efficiently than window units, and they are far better at removing moisture, making you feel cooler on a humid day. They also provide more even cooling, with air distributed from multiple ducts, rather than a single location. Central air conditioners also add to the value of your home, and are a wise investment, especially high-efficiency models that can reduce your long-term energy usage and utility costs. However, without a zoning system, the temperature cannot be adjusted independently in each room, and, if the air ducts are not maintained properly, energy could be lost through the ducts as the system ages.

For an area like Southwest Florida, where humidity is a major concern, a central air conditioner will tend to provide better comfort, especially if it has a zoning system to allow temperature adjustments in each room. The initial investment will be higher, however, though that can be earned back through lower energy costs.