According to the American Time Use Survey, Americans now spend on average about 62% of their total waking hours at home, compared to 50% in 2019. This means home comfort and clean indoor air are more important than ever. Which performs better – a wall-mounted ductless unit or central HVAC? Here’s what you need to know and how N.E.T.R., Inc. can help.
The Key Differences Between Wall-Mounted Ductless Units & Central HVAC
The two most popular options for residential air conditioning are central and ductless HVAC. Window AC units are also frequently used, but their performance doesn’t come close to either of these whole-house cooling systems. Of the types of ductless HVAC setups, wall-mounted units are the most common.
Here are some of the key differences between wall-mounted ductless units and central heating and cooling:
- Warm air is only moved – warm or cool air is not generated. Ductless mini-splits don’t cool air down and push it through your ducts and vents like a central HVAC system does. Instead, it moves heat. In the summer, a ductless wall-mounted unit will remove heat from inside your home and pump it outside, doing the reverse in the winter and pumping heat from outdoors into your home. This is why it’s called heat pump technology.
- Ducts are unnecessary. Central systems have one source of heating or cooling, and that air is moved around the home to reach desired temperatures. With a ductless system, an indoor cassette heats or cools a specific space called a “zone.” Up to 5 indoor units can be attached to one outdoor condenser.
- Although central HVAC uses the same ducts for heating and cooling, you will need a separate furnace for heating and an outdoor condenser for air conditioning. Ductless systems are able to do both using the same unit.[MT1]
Let’s take a look at how a ductless wall-mounted units and central HVAC systems stack up against each other, point by point:
- Temperature control. Mini-split technology has precise temperature control that allows homeowners to independently control the temperature in each “zone” where there is a wall-mounted ductless unit.
- Reliability. Both HVAC systems provide reliable cooling for several years with proper maintenance.
- Operating costs. Ductless mini-splits use significantly less energy to heat and cool a home because they do not generate warm or cool air, but rather just move heat from one place to another. Monthly electric bills are typically much lower with ductless than with central HVAC.
- Energy savings. Ductless heating and cooling can save homeowners 30-40% on their average annual energy costs.
- Carbon footprint. Ductless systems put out significantly fewer carbon emissions than furnaces and central air conditioners and are an important part of environmentally sustainable housing initiatives.
- Investment cost. Ductless HVAC installation tends to have a higher overall upfront cost compared to central heat and air, but this isn’t true in every case.
- Airflow. Wall-mounted ductless units are placed in specific locations on the wall in certain parts of your home to maximize efficient airflow and healthy air exchange in your home. A central HVAC system only blows warm or cool air through ducts that snake through your home.
- Air quality. Central HVAC systems collect dirt, dust, and other allergens in your ducts, which are usually in your ceiling but may also be underneath your floor. These particles are pushed out through the vents and into the air you breathe every day.
- Home comfort. Ductless air handlers are programmable and can be set to precise temperatures, even when you are away from home.
The Winner: Wall-Mounted ACs
Overall, wall-mounted ductless units are the clear winner, with many more advantages than disadvantages. Although the investment cost for a ductless HVAC system is usually higher than central, the efficiency, lower operating costs, and superior comfort put wall-mounted ductless units ahead.
Are you considering switching from central heating and cooling to ductless HVAC? This is a great step to better home comfort, lower energy bills, and more sustainable and environmentally friendly housing. At N.E.T.R., Inc., we can help you select a Mitsubishi ductless wall-mounted unit or set of units designed to meet your home’s heating, cooling, and ventilation needs.
Contact us today to speak with one of our Mitsubishi Diamond Elite contractors or to request a quote for residential HVAC service in Boston by calling (781) 933-6387. Our experienced technicians are available now to assist you.