In a conventional HVAC system, as much as 30 percent of the energy used for heating and cooling is wasted, due to leaking or inadequately-insulated ductwork. A better alternative, especially for homes without an existing HVAC system, may be a ductless heating and cooling system. By placing the air handler directly in the room to be heated or cooled, and eliminating the air ducts, a ductless heating and cooling system can be far more efficient and easier to install. Before installing a ductless system, there are a few things to consider.
Ductless or mini split systems consist of an outdoor condenser and compressor unit, one or more interior air handlers that contain and air filter, evaporator and fan, plus a conduit that connects the two halves. The air handlers are available in a variety of styles, including floor-level, wall and ceiling-mounted models, and a conduit containing the refrigerant and electrical lines connects each air handler to the condenser through a small 3 to 4-inch opening in a wall or ceiling. Ductless systems require minimal remodeling to install, and are perfect for homes or additions that lack a complete cooling and heating system.
SEER and HSPF Ratings
SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and represents the amount of electricity used for a cooling season. Ductless systems typically have a SEER from 16 to 20 or more, with higher ratings indicting greater efficiency. The HSPF, or heating seasonal performance factor, measures the electricity used for a heating season, with average systems receiving ratings of 7 to 8, and high-efficiency models receiving an 8 or above. By investing in a more efficient system, you will reduce your long-term utility costs.
Single or Multiple-Zone Systems
Some ductless heating and cooling systems serve one room or area only, while larger systems have an upgraded condenser and typically up to 5 air handlers to provide whole-home heating and cooling with independent temperature controls for each zone.
To learn more about ductless heating and cooling systems, talk to our team at Conditioned Air, serving Southwest Florida, including the Sarasota and Ft. Myers areas.