Ranch homes have been a very popular style of home in suburbs around the country for decades. That means many of them have been around since before central air conditioners were available in houses.
That was the case with this ranch home in Concord, MA. It’s spacious with an attached garage. But, it never had central air. And, installing it would have been a big job. That’s prevented our homeowner from putting one in.
So for years, she’s used window air conditioners to stay cool in the summer. But, they’re not exactly the best option. They’re loud, they’re clunky and they use up lots of energy.
It was time for a change. Our homeowner wanted something that was quiet, efficient, cost less than the window units and is easy to maintain. This, basically, is the opposite of the window units she’d had for years.
Our homeowner called NETR after reading our outstanding reviews. And, she saw that we are the number-one Elite Diamond Dealer for Mitsubishi products. Sure enough, we designed a ductless cooling system that met all her requirements.
Problem: A ranch home never had central air conditioning. The homeowner used window air conditioners.
Solution: Installed a two-zone Mitsubishi Ductless System in the living room and family room and a matching outdoor heat pump condenser.
Ductless HVAC Versus Central Air or Window Units
Ranch homes became popular in the 1950s. After World War II, suburban communities began springing up all over the country. Ranch-style houses began in the southwest and then caught on all over the country.
However, central air conditioning for homes wasn’t widely available until the 1970s. So, for at least two decades, homes like this weren’t built with that option. This house was one of them.
Of course, adding central air is an option. But, it’s an expensive one. You have to buy a large, outdoor condenser for starters. And, installers have to connect it to existing ductwork.
This isn’t necessarily a problem. But, if the ductwork is also old, it may not be in tip-top shape. That means even a new a/c unit may not work at its best. And, you can’t put the vents in the best places for air conditioning. You have to use what’s already there.
That’s why so many people, like our homeowner, opted for window units. But, there are drawbacks here, too. They are not energy-efficient, for starters. Electric bills skyrocket in the summertime when people use them.
They’re also noisy. And, they require work over the years. The average window unit lasts ten years — if you treat it right. You have to store it under the right conditions and clean out the coils every year. You also need to watch for warning signs of a problem like ice or frost buildup or signs of insects.
That’s where a ductless HVAC system comes in. It works just as well, if not better than a central air system. But, it doesn’t require all the installation work. And, you can place the units, which distribute the cool air, anywhere you want.
More About the Benefits of Ductless Mini Split Systems
Ductless mini split systems are also whisper-quiet, unlike a window air conditioner. And, since the units stay up year-round, there’s no need to move or clean them out each year.
Much of this is due to how they work. The ductless mini split system is similar to central air in that the outdoor units deliver air throughout the house. But after that, they’re very different.
With ductless, the cool air travels through very small, flexible tubing. This is in place of ducts. Our installers simply drill a small hole, less than three inches around, in the side of the home near the outdoor unit. Then, they snake the tubing through the walls until it reaches the room where the unit goes.
This makes ductless HVAC installation simple. We can install the unit anywhere on a wall. Usually, it goes up near the ceiling. Then, installers drill a small hole behind where the unit goes to bring in the tubing. You’ll never see the hole because the units cover it.
From there, the tubing connects to the unit, which distributes the air. It’s as simple as that!
Zoned HVAC for Increased Comfort
Of course, the advantages of ductless HVAC don’t stop with the installation. Using more than one unit, like our homeowner did, allows the user to create multiple zones of heating and cooling in their home.
Each unit uses has its own thermostat. This is unlike a central unit, where one thermostat controls the whole house. Instead, each unit handles a zone of the house.
In this case, our homeowner made her home office one zone and the living room another. She can control the temperature in each one separately.
This means that if one zone cools down before the other, that unit will turn off. Then the other unit stays on until that zone is the right temperature. This way, the first area doesn’t get too cold because the whole house needed to be cooled until the warmest area was treated.
Or, our homeowner can set each one different temperatures. Perhaps she likes it a little cooler in her office, where she works during the day. Or, it’s ok for the family room to be a bit warmer.
With ductless units, she can set each zone to a different temperature. This means she’ll have the right climate control no matter where she is in her house.
Saving Money with a Mitsubishi Heater and Air Conditioner
All these great benefits come with yet another big upside: cost savings. Our homeowner’s monthly energy bills will now be much lower in the summer now that she’s not using window units. In fact, they’re likely also lower than if she installed central air.
This happens for a few reason. First, the technology is just more efficient. The ductless system is designed to use much less energy than window units. Less energy means lower monthly bills.
Second, the zoned approach means the system runs less than a central system. Since each zone turns on and shuts off by itself, overall they all run for less time than air conditioning that cools the whole house as one piece.
From there, our homeowner can even opt to run them less if she wants. For instance, if she is never in her office past 6 p.m., she can turn off that unit around then. At the same time, she can use the one in the living room much less during the day if she’s usually not in there.
All this adds up to a great improvement over the window units this ranch home had for years.
Do you want a better and more cost-effective and efficient option for heating and cooling your home? Contact us and we’ll design the perfect Mitsubishi ductless HVAC solution for you!