Baltimore, MD, has some of the most beautiful historic homes in the region. With beautiful craftsmanship and fascinating histories, Baltimore’s historic homes are not only charming but also important visual reminders of the city’s past. Maintaining these homes comes with its own set of unique challenges, one of them being climate control. It can be difficult to find the right way to keep these homes comfortable, especially since many of them don’t have the infrastructure for ductwork.
Ductless mini-split systems are rapidly becoming the most popular way to introduce climate control to historic homes. Here is a quick guide to these systems to answer all your questions and help you decide if a ductless mini-split system is the right choice for your historic Baltimore home.
What Are Ductless Systems?
Ductless mini-split systems are significantly different than their central counterparts. While central HVAC units use one large unit to cool or heat air and distribute it through the house using a system of ductworks, a ductless mini-split system is much more compact. The system works similarly to a heat pump. Instead of taking external air and pushing it through the climate control mechanism that cools or heats the air, a ductless mini-split system deals exclusively with heat.
During the sweltering Maryland summers, the system works by drawing heat out of your home and depositing it outside via refrigerant. When the temperature drops, the system removes heat from outside and moves it inward. Both heating and cooling processes are performed by the same unit. Typical units are connected to just one room, but systems can be expanded to encompass several rooms for maximum comfort. Air is distributed via whisper-quiet fans located inside the interior component of the system.
Traditional central HVAC systems require a large exterior component and a series of ducts that distribute heated or cooled air throughout the home. For historic homes, ductwork can pose a serious issue. Many homes don’t have enough space in between floors to run ductwork throughout the home. Some only have central air in the main rooms of the home, leaving the rest without climate control. Plus, installing ductwork is a costly process that requires significant construction work on the interior of the home.
Since it doesn’t require ductwork, a mini-split ductless system can go places that a traditional central unit can’t. There are two components required for one of these systems: an interior and an exterior unit. The exterior unit is responsible for distributing or intaking heat while the interior unit has most of the temperature-related components, fans, and vents. The only construction requirement is a hole through the wall which connects the two components.
Placement options are very flexible for ductless mini-split systems. The only requirement is that the interior and exterior components be reasonably close to each other. Some systems can connect several interior components to one exterior. Because there is no ductwork, they’re connected with outside tubing, so the multiple units need to be close to each other. Besides that requirement, the interior component can be placed anywhere inside a room. Modern ductless systems have much sleeker interior portions which can be tucked up in the ceiling or close to the floor, depending on the home owner’s preferences. This is ideal for historic homes that may have unusual layouts or small rooms.
Another perk of ductless mini-split systems is that they allow for climate control zoning. Each interior component has a separate thermostat, allowing homeowners to select which rooms get climate control and which are turned off or on low to save on electricity. In larger homes, this is a great way to improve efficiency while still staying comfortable. Many of the modern systems have remote controls as well, adding ease and convenience to changing and setting temperatures. The systems are highly effective, taking relatively little time to heat or cool their respective rooms. This is ideal for families who have different temperature preferences or who have rooms that aren’t used as often.
Ductless mini-split systems are an excellent retrofit choice for historic homes. The experienced technicians at Griffith Energy Services can help you pick the perfect system for your home and install it quickly and professionally. Give us a call at 888-474-3391 to set up an appointment today!
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