When choosing HVAC components for your Columbia, Maryland, home, you might consider a ductless HVAC system. It’s an ideal solution for heating and cooling small spaces or for maintaining different temperatures in separate areas of your home or office. Learn how spare bedrooms, sunrooms, garages, work sheds, and other rooms in your home could benefit from a ductless HVAC system.
Installing a Ductless System: Deciding on a Room
The inside unit of a ductless system looks like a small version of the air conditioners you find in hotel rooms. To install them, our HVAC technicians drill holes into the walls where they plan to mount the unit and run copper wires and other connection cables to the outside of the house.
After they mount the unit on the wall, they set up the outdoor unit, release refrigerant into the lines, calibrate the equipment, and do other tasks to make sure the system is ready for use. We always check the lines for leaks and install the correct couplings.
Due to the installation complexity, you should always use a certified HVAC technician who knows not only how to install the system, but also how to test the system so that it’s ready for everyday use.
If you’re considering a ductless system for your home, the following rooms are ideal for a ductless system solution:
A sunroom gets more light than most other rooms in the home. The expansive windows also let in more heat, which means your furnace doesn’t have to run as long in the winter, but you might need more cool air in the summer.
If you equip your sunroom with a ductless system, you can set the ideal temperature for that room without impacting the temperatures in other rooms of your home. Additionally, if you want to open the doors or windows to the outside, you can shut off the ductless system so that it doesn’t run unnecessarily.
Many homeowners convert their garages into living spaces, home offices, or spare bedrooms to take advantage of the extra square footage. Since most garages don’t have ductwork infrastructure, homeowners may often find it easier and less expensive to install a ductless mini-split system. You don’t have to worry about retrofitting the space with ducts and other complicated components.
Like sunrooms, converted garages might have different heating and cooling needs than the rest of your home. Builders use different grades and amounts of insulation in the walls since garages typically house vehicles and other equipment instead of people. Depending on the windows and doors you install, you might achieve better energy efficiency with a ductless system.
Ductless systems work particularly well for small, confined spaces. Maybe your bathroom doesn’t get warm enough for your morning shower. In this case, a ductless mini-split system can heat up the room quickly. You can also use a ductless mini-split system for your master bedroom and bathroom together.
Many historic colonial and Victorian homes still stand in Columbia and other Maryland cities. If the bathrooms don’t feature central heat and air conditioning, a mini-split system might cost less to install and require less intensive remodeling work as you update the home.
In both homes and commercial spaces, ductless systems can offer convenience and comfort for offices. In a home, for instance, offices sometimes feel warmer than the rest of the house because of the computer, printer, and other electronics. Ductless systems let you set the thermostat independently from the rest of the house.
For commercial spaces, ductless mini-split systems give each office its own set of controls. Workers can adjust the temperature based on their personal preferences. Further, commercial spaces within pre-existing ductwork might prove expensive in the remodeling and retrofitting process. Having our trained HVAC technicians install mini-split systems instead can reduce the project’s impact on your company budget.
Maybe you build furniture, tend a garden, craft stained glass panels, or weld metal. Work and potting sheds can benefit from ductless mini-split systems because they typically are detached, self-contained spaces with small footprints. It usually doesn’t make practical or financial sense to fit the shed with ductwork.
Since you don’t spend all your time in your work shed, you can shut off the system every time you leave. You’ll save money and reduce energy usage. Additionally, during comfortable weather, you can open the doors and let in fresh air without wasting conditioned air inside.
Perhaps you’re building a separate apartment over your garage or next to your house. Such a space can be ideal for long-term visits from relatives or for generating rental income from your home. However, ductwork and other HVAC infrastructure can add thousands of dollars to the project cost.
A ductless mini-split system offers a cost-effective alternative for your mother-in-law suite. Whether you rent the space on a full-time basis or use it only when family or friends come to visit, you’ll control the HVAC system from its own thermostat. Since mother-in-law suites often prove short on space, you won’t have to take up valuable real estate for bulky ductwork either.
A spare bedroom makes inviting guests to spend the night much more comfortable for your guests, but you probably won’t use the room all the time. Unless the space pulls double duty as a separate family room or home office, you might want to install a ductless system. You can turn off air conditioning and heating to that space when you don’t have guests.
The ductless strategy works particularly well in large homes. If you have several rooms that you don’t use on a daily basis, you can create separate HVAC systems for each space. You’ll reduce your heating and cooling bills, but when friends or family members come to visit, they’ll have a comfortable place to sleep.
The tiny house movement has become increasingly popular for families of all sizes. Retirees who want to reduce their living expenses often prefer living in tiny homes. However, even larger families have found ways to make tiny homes work through ingenious storage solutions and creative lifestyle habits.
However, you’ll want to use every available square inch of your tiny house’s square footage for living and storage. Ductwork takes up space that you could use for shelving units or loft sleeping areas, so ductless mini-split systems might offer the ideal HVAC solution.
It’s an economical choice, especially if your tiny house consists of only one or two rooms. Ductless systems don’t work as well with larger spaces, but when your entire home has a small footprint, you can save money and space.
Attics and Basements
Like garages, attics and basements often don’t have the infrastructure necessary for heating and cooling. In an attic, the pitched ceilings and awkward wall placement might make installing ductwork more complicated and expensive than you’d like. Similarly, basements sometimes feature complicated configurations that don’t pair as well with ductwork.
Consider a mini-split system to heat and cool your attic or basement. Finishing either of these rooms can prove expensive, but eliminating ductwork installation from the project might help keep you on track with your budget. Additionally, you’ll have a separate thermostat and other controls so you can decide exactly how you want to heat and cool the space.
If you’re renovating a historic home or building a new home from scratch, you might consider a ductless mini-split as a whole-home HVAC solution. Our technicians can install a unit in every room of the house to offer more precise control over temperature, air quality, and air flow.
For a home that already has ductwork, a ductless system probably doesn’t make sense. However, adding ductwork to a home that doesn’t have it might become expensive. Additionally, a ductless system can help you control your energy bills as long as you adjust the thermostats to suit your needs and the outdoor temperature.
Comprehensive Ductless Solutions for Columbia-area Residents
Maybe you’re not sure what type of HVAC system will work best with your home. If you’re struggling with this decision, we’re here to help. Our experienced HVAC technicians can inspect your home and describe your options so you can make an informed decision. Give Griffith Energy Services Inc. a call at 888-474-3391 to learn about a new ductless HVAC system for your home.
Image provided by Shutterstock