Most people today understand the basic concept of ducted or “central” air systems.
But the current prevalence of ducted air conditioning and furnace systems has cast an untimely long shadow over a newer and arguably even better solution for some spaces: the ductless HVAC system.
Here in North America, ductless systems are just now starting to catch on, primarily because people don’t know they are available!
In this article, learn about the benefits of ducted vs. ductless and what each has to offer you.
Ducts: What They Are & What They Do
Depending on the type of home you live in, air ducts may be located in walls, ceilings or under the floor.
Ducts are simply long, enclosed (often cylindrical) structures that run from the central HVAC’s air blower to each area in your home that needs heating and cooling.
You can spot ducts by looking for the presence of vents. Vents help the ducts get air to where it needs to go inside or outside of your space. The type of vent reveals its job description.
There are three basic types of vents in the typical central HVAC (ducted) system: supply vents, return vents and exhaust vents.
Supply vents, as their name suggests, supply air to your rooms. These are the vents you have to thank for all that cool or warm air blowing into your space.
If you hold your hand up to an indoor vent and feel air blowing at you, it is a supply vent.
Return vents are the unsung heroes of the air duct system. Their job is to retract stale air from your space and send it back to central headquarters (your HVAC unit) to be exhausted outside.
If you hold your hand up to an indoor vent and feel a suction-type effect or if it’s a larger vent than the majority, it is a return vent.
Exhaust vents are exterior, in charge of allowing that stale air to return to the great outdoors outside your home.
Exhaust vents are always located outside your home. When they are in use, you will feel air blowing at you.
But What If You Don’t Have (Or Don’t Want) Ducts?
Ductwork is not for everyone. For starters, if you live in an older or historic home, your space may simply lack ducts.
There are mini-duct systems available if traditional ducting is not possible or desirable.
But the new gold standard alternative to a traditional central HVAC system is not installing mini-ducts but going ductless altogether.
Ductless systems operate quite differently to keep an even flow of temperature-controlled air flowing throughout your space.
Instead of ducts, ductless systems use zones. This has given them the nickname “mini-split” (not to be confused with mini-duct).
Like conventional HVAC systems, there is an outside and an inside component. Unlike conventional systems, however, the inside component is mounted in each room rather than behind and above, below or beside each room.
While initially some people balk at the idea of having their indoor unit visible, these units are sleek and attractive, compact and typically mounted high on a wall or on the ceiling so they are out of the line of sight.
They are minimally invasive, requiring just one three-inch hole to connect the indoor and outdoor components.
9 Reasons to Choose Ductless HVAC for Air Conditioning & Heating
Here at Shipton’s Heating and Cooling, we happen to be big fans of ductless systems – so much so that we are now carrying a whole line of ductless A/C models.
What do we love about ductless? Here are the highlights:
1. Ductless is affordable
On average, installing a ductless system costs half of what it would to install a traditional ducted central HVAC system. This is because you don’t have to pay for installing a system of ducts along with the air conditioning and furnace components.
2. Ductless is easy to install
Ductless can be installed in a fraction of the time it takes to install a ducted system.
3. Ductless is efficient
Ductless can be up to 30 percent cheaper to operate than traditional ducted systems.
4. Ductless can save you money
With ductless, you get a zoned system that allows you to program different temperature settings for up to eight zones inside your space.
5. Ductless is safe for kids and pets
Ductless is inaccessible to kids and pets and never gets hot.
6. Ductless is quiet
Ductless units are not completely silent, but they can come pretty close!
7. Ductless helps balance humidity
Ductless systems can also support indoor humidity balancing.
8. Ductless can provide air conditioning and heating
Two main types of ductless HVAC systems exist: air conditioning only and A/C plus heat.
9. Ductless is flexible
Many of our customers have used ductless systems to air condition and heat add-on spaces or outbuildings where rerouting or adding on ductwork would be impossible or cost-prohibitive.
Some customers who have non-ducted heat but want to add on A/C have found ductless systems perfect for this need.
Customers who only need to cool or heat a small space love ductless as an alternative to the traditionally noisy window unit, which also presents certain known safety risks.
Get in Touch
Are you ready to give ductless air conditioning or heating a try? We think you will love it and we are happy to help!
P.S. For our ducted customers, don’t miss this special limited-time offer! Purchase any furnace and A/C combo and get a FREE duct cleaning https://shiptons.ca/free-duct-cleaning.php (a $535 value)!