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The Pros and Cons of Ductless HVAC

Thinking about getting a ductless mini-split HVAC system? Small but mighty, these dynamos are highly efficient and can make all the difference in home comfort. They’re perfect for homes without ductwork, like our historic homes here in Philly. If you like your bedroom as cool or cooler than the rest of the home, a ductless system can cure that. They work great in additions, workspaces, man-caves and she-sheds, too.

But many people aren’t familiar with these systems. As your Philadelphia air conditioning experts, we get a lot of questions about ductless HVAC. Is it right for your home and situation? To be honest, it depends. Like any system for your home, there are pros and cons to these systems. Here’s a list to help you learn more about ductless mini-splits:

Pros

  • They don’t need ductwork. If the space you’re trying to condition doesn’t have existing ductwork, a ductless mini-split could be right for you.
  • They can help your existing HVAC system. Are you relying on window units to cool upstairs rooms in the summertime? A ductless mini-split can help.
  • Installation is relatively easy. A ductless mini-split just needs a three-inch hole in an outer wall to reach the outdoor condenser unit.
  • They’re energy-efficient. When installed by a professional in the right application, these units are highly efficient.

Cons

  • They’re not for large spaces. A ductless mini-split isn’t a replacement for your traditional forced-air system. They can’t heat and cool your whole home efficiently.
  • Too much humidity. Ductless mini-splits may not remove humidity as well as conventional systems, especially low-cost models.
  • You’ll need to clean the filter. To keep a ductless system operating well, you need to wash the filter monthly, more if you have pets. If you go too long without cleaning, you might have to pay for a professional cleaning.
  • They don’t blend in. If interior design is a factor for you, be warned that it’s hard to hide a ductless mini-split. The indoor units are distinctive white or beige, and you can’t cover them up.
  • Too much cold air. Most ductless systems are designed to blow cold air directly on you. You could wake up with a sore throat or stiff neck because of this. But the Samsung Wind-Free offered by Giannone doesn’t blow air directly on you, so you can feel great every morning.

Ask a Pro

As always, be sure to consult a professional about what’s best for your space. Sizing HVAC systems — including mini-splits — requires detailed calculations. Getting it wrong means that you might have humidity that’s too high or low, hot and cold spots, or other problems.

At Joseph Giannone Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we have the experience necessary to make the best recommendations for your comfort. We have years of experience with Philadelphia homes, too. To find out if ductless HVAC is right for you, call us at (215) 375-7134 or use our online scheduler to book an appointment.

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