The majority of us are still trying to escape the summer heat by ducking indoors into air conditioning whenever possible. Heating systems are the last thing on our minds. However, when considering upgrading or installing a new heating system – waiting until cold weather hits are not the way to go. Now is the perfect time to begin looking into options for a better functioning and more efficient HVAC system. There are several options available for eating your home. Choosing the best option for you starts with learning how each option works.
Traditional HVAC Systems
Most modern homes are equipped with a traditional HVAC system. These systems include ductwork run throughout the home that disperses heated air to each room via registers. Typically, you set the temperature for the home from one thermostat, and the system runs until it reaches that temperature. It’s important to note that ductwork requires maintenance. If not kept up, the efficiency of the heating system decreases, and utility bills increase.
While traditional HVAC systems are more common, another option continues to grow in popularity each year. Ductless heating systems generally involve a unit mounted inside on a wall along with a compressor outdoors. Unlike a window AC unit, the hole required for this installation is small. Additionally, as the name suggests – it requires no ductwork. There are several benefits of a ductless system:
In a traditional system, the air has to travel for long lengths throughout the ductwork. This is especially true in large buildings where certain rooms are located far from the heat source. As the hot air travels, it loses energy (aka heat). Ductless options remove the need for air to travel these lengths, therefore increasing the energy efficiency. Another thing that affects efficiency is how the system reacts to reaching the set temperature.
In traditional units, the heating shuts off once it reaches the target temperature. Then, it starts up once again when the temperature dips below that target. This shutting off and starting up of the system uses a lot of energy. Ductless units, on the other hand, don’t completely shut off. They have inverter-driven compressors. These compressors either slow or speed up based on how close the current temperature is to the target temperature.
Ductwork Maintenance is Obsolete
Because no ductwork is involved in these systems, the need to maintain that is eliminated as well. This saves money and hassle over the years. For those buildings with existing ductwork from a previous system – converting to ductless is possible but the benefits may not outweigh the cost-savings from installing another traditional system.
Ease of a Zoned Approach to Heating
Some rooms in the home rarely get used, so spending energy (and money) pumping heat to them isn’t always needed. With traditional systems, individual registers can be closed so that no heat enters that particular area. However, because most of these systems rely on one (or sometimes two) thermostats, achieving different desired temperatures in different areas is difficult. Ductless systems are designed to heat and cool a particular area in the home. Therefore, you can easily set the temperature for multiple areas to suit your preferences and conserve energy.
Potential Downsides of Converting to Ductless Heating
With every major home decision, there are both pros and cons to weigh in. With ductless systems, there is a higher upfront cost associated with installing these vs traditional systems. While homes with traditional systems and ductwork can easily be converted over, it does cost to do so. Additionally, ductless units are mounted on the wall, meaning they take up more space than a traditional heating register. Most units are relatively neutral in color and shape, designed to fit in with any decor. However, having an object mounted on the wall does deter some from making the change.
How to Know if Switching to Ductless is Right for Your Home
There is no correct answer when it comes to the best option to heat and cool your home. Every building is different, and homeowners often have various priorities to consider. The best first step in contemplating a new heating system is to consult a professional. Flotechs Plumbing & Heating has been serving homeowners in Westchester County for many years, bringing expert industry knowledge, product expertise, and impeccable service to all of our customers. We strive to help customers create an energy-efficient, easy to maintain, and most importantly – comfortable home.
Helping you choose the right HVAC system is just one way in which we do this. We’d be happy to discuss both traditional and ductless systems and help you decide which might work best for your home. Whether you are building a new home or thinking of upgrading an existing system, we are here to help. Don’t wait until winter – contact us today to get started on your heating project!