Ductless air conditioning systems go by many names: DLS (ductless split system), DFS (duct-free split system), and mini-splits. But they all solve the same problem for homeowners: they provide efficient, comfortable cooling where a traditional system can’t. Ductless systems are becoming increasingly popular, although they’ve been around since the 1970s. Still, many homeowners aren’t that familiar with what great problem-solvers these units can be. Here are answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions about ductless systems.
Where Do Ductless Systems Work Best?
Homes with conventional ductwork that’s correctly sized to deliver the right amount of air for balanced cooling (and heating) comfort typically use a conventional split system or central air conditioning. But everything else is up for grabs. Homes with rooms that have inadequate or no ductwork, home additions, and converted porches all present challenges when it comes to cooling.
Rather than tear open ceilings and walls to install or upgrade a duct system, all of these examples could benefit from ductless air conditioning. In fact, most ductless systems are installed to solve one or more of these common problems — and they do a great job of it.
Does it Matter if a Home is Newer? Older?
Hot water heating was very popular in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and earlier, so it’s common that an older home may not have ductwork. Even homes built in the ‘70s and ‘80s frequently had hot water baseboard heat — also with no ductwork. Many homeowners cool these homes with window air conditioners — or what some HVAC pros call “window shakers!”
While window units may cool adequately, they have several drawbacks: they tend to be noisy, aren’t great at removing humidity, take up precious window space, and can be a pain to install and remove with the changing seasons. That’s where a DLS system can come in really handy. Not only are they high-efficiency units, but they are very quiet and do a great job of removing humidity.
What About the Size of My Home?
The size or style of your home really doesn’t make any difference. DLS systems are available to cool a single room or for multiple zones in your home. They can readily be installed wherever you need or want them.
But Isn’t it Difficult to Retrofit a Home with a DLS?
Not at all, according to Keith Hill, our resident HVAC expert at Stay Comfy. "The big advantage of the system is, being ductless, there is little impact to the home," Keith says. "A typical installation is the indoor unit located high on an outside wall and some tubing run out the back and down the exterior wall to the condensing unit outside. Most of these systems use a wireless remote, so no thermostat or thermostat wiring is needed.”
Time for Better Cooling in Your Home?
When the time comes to seriously consider quiet, high-efficiency air conditioning that does a great job on humidity removal, the DLS systems are a perfect option. As Keith sums up, “these mini air conditioners are great little problem solvers. And I can’t emphasize enough how quiet they are and what a great job they do on dehumidification.” At Stay Comfy, we recommend the Carrier systems, which can solve almost any cooling problem your home may have.