HVAC: Traditional VS Ductless Mini-split?
HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning)
The former looks seamless throughout the house while the latter has a bit of a bulky look which requires one to be mounted on the wall generally close to the ceiling, in every room. The short answer is what’s more important to you? Looks or comfort? If you’re shopping for a newly renovated or built home then chances are you’ve seen the differences. The question is have you heard them? A traditional HVAC system has to be in a closet or mounted in the ceiling somewhere (usually a bathroom). The main issue is it produces a significant amount of noise when it’s on which can be a nuisance. The second issue is that because it does provide heating and cooling to large areas and multiple rooms the temperature is never even throughout the space. Essentially, it’s a one-zone system. I will sometimes alter a home to have more than one unit installed. This allows for separate zones and therefore one level of the home can have a different temperature. It also helps give more air pressure to each room, since each unit has to handle fewer ducts.
The benefit is the look. It’s seamless, with a few vent covers. It’s also easier to maintain and more serviceable. We’ve seen many HVAC repairs, and the mini-splits are much more difficult and therefore, expensive to maintain. They have more error codes than buttons on their remotes.
The great thing about these mini-splits, if you can get over the look, is that they are (mostly) independent of one another. If one breaks down, the others (generally) continue to work. They do all connect to condensers, aka compressors, as do the ducted units, however, that’s the only place that will create noise. They are located on the outside of the home. Each mini-split is its own zone, so every room it’s installed in can control the temperature. Some even come with a small duct that can be routed into another small room, such as a bathroom.
So now the choice is yours, traditional HVAC or ductless mini-splits?