Commercial buildings benefit from ductless heating and cooling systems in a number of different ways. If you own, manage, or are designing a commercial building, you should consider upgrading to a ductless system. Here’s a look at the nine top reasons commercial buildings should go ductless.
1. Zone Controls
Ductless systems feature an outdoor compressor unit attached to one or more indoor units. If you own a small commercial building, a single indoor air handling unit allows you to meet your heating and cooling needs easily. In contrast, large buildings require multiple indoor air handling units, but you can control each unit separately.
With zone controls, you can set the thermostat in response to the activities in each space. For instance, if you have a lot of heat-generating equipment in one area, you can set the thermostat in that area lower than you do in other areas. Similarly, if some areas aren't used that often, you can reduce the heating or cooling in those spaces so that you don't unnecessarily drive up your bill.
In commercial buildings with multiple businesses, zone controls allow each occupant to control their own thermostats. With many ductless systems, you can even track the usage in each area so that you can see how much energy each of your tenants are using. At the same time, you can also set limits on the master controls to ensure building occupants don't go outside of your desired parameters.
2. Improved Indoor Air Quality
Ductwork harbors a lot of dust and allergens, and that blows into your commercial building, degrading your indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality can increase allergies and illnesses among your workers, and that affects your bottom line with reduced productivity and more sick days.
Additionally, ducts connect multiple areas in a commercial building, which allows dust, chemicals, and allergens to move from one area to another. When you opt for a ductless system, you can ventilate different parts of your commercial building separately, which helps to prevent the migration of unhealthy particles.
3. No Energy Loss Through Ductwork
When warm or cool air moves through ducts, approximately 20 to 30% of the air seeps out through holes, uninsulated ductwork, and poorly connected ducts. Generally, the air seeps into the spaces between walls, under floors, or in ceiling cavities where it has no positive effect on the climate of your building, but it increases your bill. By switching to a ductless system, you eliminate these inefficiencies and save money in the long run.
4. Eliminates Ductwork Maintenance
In addition to saving you money by reducing inefficiencies related to ductwork, a ductless system also saves you money by eliminating ductwork maintenance. In particular, you don't have to hire anyone to seal or clean your ductwork.
5. Quiet Operation
Ductless systems also offer quiet operation. The exact noise levels vary depending on the model you select, so you should talk with your commercial HVAC contractor to find out about the noise levels on the system you are considering.
With some of the top HVAC units for commercial buildings, the outdoor unit generates about as much noise as background conversation in a restaurant or less noise than the average vacuum cleaner, and the indoor units run at about the sound of a human whisper. Most commercial buildings are full of workers who need to concentrate or customers who are trying to enjoy their time shopping, dining, or relaxing. A ductless system helps to make this possible.
6. Easy Installation
Putting in ductwork is a laborious and time-consuming process. Ductless systems are relatively fast and easy to install. The commercial HVAC contractor puts in the outdoor unit, runs flexible piping housed in conduit through the walls, and installs the interior units. With large projects, you can even opt to have the system installed in zones so that you don't have to disrupt your entire building at once.
7. More Consistent Heating and Cooling
Ducted systems are notorious for creating hot and cold spots. Some employees may be draped in blankets, while others have personal fans on their desks even during the winter. Ductless systems help to prevent this issue because of the zone set up, but also due to the consistent heating and cooling created by the indoor air handling units.
8. Combines Heating and Cooling
Most ductless systems combine heating and cooling. They use a heat pump which generates hot air during the winter and works in reverse to cool your space in the winter. Because they share the same heat pump, ductless systems usually have a smaller footprint than the heating and cooling equipment required for ducted systems where you have to invest in a separate furnace and air conditioner.
In that same vein, if the other option is to combine a ducted furnace or baseboard heaters with window mounted air conditioners, a ductless system provides heating and cooling in a more aesthetically pleasing way. Ductless systems are also more efficient, and unlike window units, they don't compromise your ability to open the windows in your commercial building.
9. Potential for Rebates
Heat pumps are very efficient, and they also rely on electricity rather than gas, oil, or propane. To encourage people and businesses to make the switch to heat pumps and ductless HVAC systems, electricity co-ops and some government organizations offer rebates and low interest financing. Those programs can help to offset the cost of investing in a ductless HVAC system for your commercial building. Talk with your commercial HVAC contractor to learn more about programs in your area.
Want to learn more about the benefits of ductless HVAC systems for commercial buildings? Then, contact us today. At N.E.T.R., Inc., we work with commercial clients to help them find, install, service, and maintain ductless HVAC systems, and we look forward to helping the heating and cooling in your commercial building become more comfortable and more efficient.