If you know anything about ductless mini split systems (a.k.a. ductless air conditioning, ductless heat pumps), you’ve probably heard about how they can help a home save money on cooling bills. This is true, but it’s also a bit more complicated than simply saying, “Ductless systems save you money!” They reduce the cost of cooling a home in several different ways.
First, A Few Basics
To understand most of the reasons a ductless system consumes a smaller amount of electrical power compared to a standard central air conditioner, you first need to know the basics of how it operates. A ductless air conditioning system is similar to the standard residential AC in that it has both outdoor and indoor components. Refrigerant evaporates indoors to draw heat out of the building, then condenses outdoors to release heat. A compressor in the outdoor unit raises the refrigerant pressure so it circulates.
The difference with a ductless AC is that instead of the outdoor condenser connecting to a single indoor unit with a larger air handler that pushes cooled air into ducts, it has multiple small indoor units. Each unit contains an air handler and refrigerant coil, and it is mounted up on a wall. It connects through the back of the wall to the outdoor condenser through power, refrigerant, and condensate lines. The units are able to cool air and send it straight into the living spaces.
The Energy Savings Effects
Now we get to the good stuff—why this is a less expensive way to cool a house!
- Small Motors: A standard air conditioner must use a powerful blower motor in the indoor air handler to force volumes of air through the ductwork. It takes a great amount of energy to push air through the entire length of the ducts to each room. A ductless system only has to send air into a single room, and the individual units have smaller motors that require less power to run.
- No Heat Gain: The cool air traveling through the ducts to rooms doesn’t remain at the same temperature. Some heat enters the air through the ductwork, especially in hot spots in the house like the attic. This lowers the system efficiency because it must make up for the heat rise. Ductless systems don’t experience this heat gain because they don’t have ducts.
- Zone Control: The indoor units in a ductless system can work independent of each other. Only the ones in occupied rooms need to run. This can add up to significant savings in large homes.
- Easier Repairs: One of the indoor units may malfunction and require calling for repairs. This is easy and fast for a repair technician to do—and therefore cheaper—because only a single unit needs the work. Not only does this cost less, but the rest of the cooling system can continue to operate during repairs.
To schedule installation of ductless air conditioning in Santa Fe, NM or to find out more about them, speak to our heating and cooling pros.
Why wait for service when you can get it Express? Santa Fe Express Plumbing & Drain serves Santa Fe, Espanola, Los Alamos, and Pecos.