Last week I received a call from a prospective client in Philadelphia. He’d spent the past year and half restoring a turn-of-the-century Victorian in Spruce Hill, with wonderful results—but there was one problem. Like many older homes, this house lacked ductwork and had little to no space in which to install it.
The homeowner had nearly resigned himself to using window units—a costly and inefficient means of cooling a large house at the height of another steamy Mid-Atlantic summer. But there must be a better way, he mused. Might Sila have a solution? That’s when I told him about…
Thanks to advances in HVAC technology, split ductless air conditioning has become the choice for homes and businesses where traditional cooling systems cannot be feasibly installed. Comprised of an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air handler, ductless systems work in a similar way to central air systems but on a smaller scale.
Ductless systems have a whole lot to recommend them, especially for owners of older homes. Recently I polled Sila cooling experts about what they do best, and they identified seven advantages of ductless air conditioners versus central units:
Ductless air conditioners are much simpler to install since they do not require the expansive ductwork used in traditional central air configurations. Our experienced technicians are the best in the business at setting up ductless systems, and we pride ourselves on leaving your home exactly as we found it—only cooler.
Ductless air conditioning systems are up to 30% more efficient than central or window units, which means they cool your home faster and keep it that way. On those hot summer nights, you’ll feel the difference that comes with the greater capacity of a ductless system.
The ability to cool specific areas of your home at particular times allows you to control costs as well as temperature. The savings can be substantial, and many homeowners are pleasantly surprised to see how much their utility bills drop once they are no longer cooling an entire building all day long.
A ductless system is much quieter than a central or window air conditioning system—an important consideration for those of us who have spent sleepless summer nights listening to rumbly central systems or the rattle and hum of a window unit.
A ductless system is much smaller too—this is why we call it the cooling system that’s neither seen nor heard. The indoor unit delivering the air is installed in a low-visibility location (either high up on a wall or ceiling) while the outdoor unit is placed on a solid stable surface. A 3-inch opening is all that is needed to connect a pair of lines which delivers electricity and removes condensate. Once installed, most homeowners don’t even know it’s there.
Ductless units can be used to cool and heat areas that are difficult to reach. This explains why they are popular choice not only for older homes but in a variety of settings such as offices, hospitals, hotels, and even schools.
Ductless systems help you breathe easy, thanks to extremely efficient filters that remove larger allergens and particles. These filters can also be cleaned and used over again, generating less waste.
With a split ductless air conditioning system, one other element to emphasize is the importance of selecting the right-sized unit for the area. A unit that is too large or improperly installed can result in short-cycling, which would not provide proper temperature or humidity control. Always use a qualified installer since it is crucial to accurately size the indoor units as well as select the best location for the unit.