Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning is “all about” new technology, and we love introducing new products to our plumbing and AC customers that they didn’t know existed. We’ve done it with tankless water heaters, with smart thermostats, and we even have a device that can turn off your water automatically when leaks are detected. It’s always exciting when a new, revolutionary product is introduced to our markets, and while having been created in the 1980s, ductless air conditioners are just now becoming incredibly popular.
Let’s find out why together.
First of All, What is Ductless Air Conditioning?
In the 1970s, Japanese air conditioning manufacturers were tasked with developing an air conditioning system that would be a “step-up” from whole-home and window units that were inefficient and noisy. Rather than cooling entire homes with one extensive system that required large amounts of electrical energy to operate, the idea to create “zoned” cooling systems for individual rooms was born out of economic necessity.
Of course, window air conditioners are great for cooling individual rooms or as a supplement to a weak HVAC system, but they make a tremendous amount of noise. Couple the noise element with the fact that once an air conditioner is installed
in a window, you can no longer open that window to circulate fresh air, and you can see why an alternative was needed.
Ductless or “mini-split” systems are essentially a hybrid between a whole-house HVAC system and a window unit. Central AC systems
and their ductless descendants utilize an indoor evaporator coil to remove heat and humidity, along with a fan and blower assembly to circulate chilled air. An outdoor unit installed up to 50 feet away from the indoor unit contains the compressor and another fan assembly to release heat into the environment.
When or Where Are Mini-Split Systems Ideal?
According to one random internet site that I used to do a little research for this page, 87% of US households have some form of air conditioning. Quite a staggering statistic when you consider that just 80 years ago, in 1941, only 1 in every 400 homes had an air conditioner. If your Houston-area home was built anytime after the mid-1960s, the chances are good that you have a central air conditioning system.
If you own an older home and do not have a central HVAC system, you probably rely on window AC units to get through the summer. Window units can certainly cool a room easily, but many folks depend on a single air conditioner to cool several rooms simultaneously, which is not their intended design. Overworking any appliance is a bad idea that will eventually lead to having to replace it sooner than later.
Older homes without HVAC ductwork already installed won’t need to shell out for that expense, as mini-split systems are self-contained. The indoor unit is mounted on an exterior wall of any room; the outdoor portion is installed on a bracket outside the home. The two devices are connected via a communications cable, power connections, and a refrigerant line to chill the air being pulled through the system. Expanding your ductless air conditioning system is as easy as adding another indoor unit and connecting as many as 5 of them to the existing outdoor unit.
Even in a home with existing central AC, simply by installing a mini-split air conditioner in a garage or attic space, you can increase the usable square footage of your home by 600 square feet. Installing a ductless air conditioner system allows the homeowner to run the AC only in selected zones and will enable you to set different temperatures for different rooms. Are you one of those people that can only sleep when it’s 65 degrees in your room? Ductless AC is perfect for your home. Want to turn off the air conditioning to the kids’ rooms when they’re away at college? A ductless system can do that for you, too.
How Are Ductless/Mini-Split AC Systems More Efficient Than Central AC?
Central air conditioning systems generally lose between 15- & 20-percent of their energy while traveling through the ductwork. AC ductwork is usually run through attics and exterior walls of the home, where temperatures tend to be much higher (or lower) than inside the house itself. Since mini-split systems have their own “ducts” built in to deliver chilled air, there is no transfer loss involved in the cooling process.
Ductless systems also employ inverter-driven compressors that have variable speed motors to maintain temperatures with less energy. Instead of having to turn the air conditioner on and off several times at “full blast,” the variable-speed compressor allows your AC system to run longer but using less energy at a lower speed. Frequent on-and-off cycles take a toll on HVAC systems moving parts and require a lot of power at start-up to run compressors and fans. Switching from a central HVAC system to ductless mini-splits can save as much as 30 – 40% on monthly home cooling costs.
What Will a Ductless Air Conditioning System Cost?
If ductless air conditioning systems have an Achilles heel, it would have to be the initial cost to install it. Prices for the mini-split systems tend to run about 30% percent more than a new ducted HVAC system would cost, and at least 100% more than the cost of a new window unit. Fully installed single-room ductless AC systems can be priced as low as $2,000 – $3,500, with an additional $1,000 – $1,500 for each additional indoor unit connected to the outdoor unit. And don’t forget to add the $350 – $700 cost for having a concrete slab installed so that your outdoor unit has somewhere to sit.
Mitsubishi Ductless HVAC Systems
Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling solutions are some of the best available on the market. If you’re considering replacing your current system or are looking for ductless heating and cooling units, Mitsubishi ductless systems are the choice for homes in the Houston area. Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning is the preferred ductless provider in Houston.
Benefits of a Ductless/Mini-Split System from Nick’s
- Ease of Installation: No major renovations are required to install a ductless mini-split AC system, just access to an exterior wall and a 3” round hole for the wiring conduit.
- Flexible AC Zoning: With individual indoor units, you can set “just the right temperature” in any room of your home.
- Connect up to five indoor units to a single outdoor compressor unit, significantly reducing energy usage and noise.
- Ductless mini-split air conditioning systems use as much as 50% less energy, thanks to advances in technology, the development of better refrigerants, and more reliable small parts.
- Improved Security: Window air conditioners are a security risk unless they are correctly secured to the window frame. 90% of all installed window units can be simply pushed out of the way to enter your home. Installing a ductless air conditioner only requires a 3” hole to be cut on an exterior wall, helping to keep your loved ones safer.
- Installations take hours instead of days!
Does installing a ductless mini-split air conditioning system sound like something you and your family could benefit from? Give Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning a call today to set up an appointment for a consultation about a new ductless AC system. Take control of your energy costs. From single rooms to whole-house conversions, trust Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning to get it done right.
Call today; we’re on the way!