As technology continues to impact and shape the world, it is already doing wonders for the heating and air industry
. One of the most expensive, time-consuming, and dreaded things about HVAC systems is the ductwork. If the stuff isn’t installed where you can no longer access it, it is usually wrapped with asbestos or some other insulation that’s sure to make your scratchy and itchy for a week. This is where technology has prevailed. The industry now offers what is known as ductless HVAC systems
that offer even more energy efficiency without the use of nasty, time-consuming ductwork. That being said, the system and installation can be unique and there is more you’ll want to know and consider before just going ahead with an installation of one of these systems.
A More Complicated Installation
The ductless system might seem like less of a hassle because it doesn’t connect to existing ductwork. And, this would be the case if you were also choosing to replace the ductwork along with the system. However, if you are just choosing the change the equipment alone, you might find a ductless installation more complicated. And, this is because the installation of the system will require drilling new holes in the exterior walls so that the technician can run lines, wires, and drain piping. This is a bit more complex than just connecting to the existing piping and wiring.
Everything will have to be properly sized out. In addition to drilling holes in the exterior walls, the air handler unit will be mounted on the other side of the wall where the holes were drilled. This might mean that you’ll need to move some pictures or decorations. It could also mean that you’ll need special brackets to hold the unit if your home does offer the right amount of studs or the right studs in the right locations.
This is why it is best to turn to a heating and air professional
when considering a ductless installation. Every step of the installation process is crucial, as it could be the difference between a good running system and one that doesn’t keep up. A highly trained and ductless licensed tech will be able to walk you through the entire process.
Air Handler Breakdown
The major difference between the ductless system and a traditional ducted system is the ductwork. Since there is no ductwork, the ductless system will only be able to serve the room in which it is installed. Think of a window air conditioner or a hotel air conditioner. This type of setup is usually only able to maintain temperatures in one large area. This is why ductwork is utilized in the first place. So that air can be distributed to other parts of the home or building.
This is, however, combated by the installation of more than one air handler. Unlike traditional systems, a ductless condenser is capable of supporting more than one air handler. Depending on the type and manufacturer you go with, some can support as many as three or four air handlers. Of course, more air handlers mean more mounts on the wall, more copper piping, more wire, and more drain piping. It certainly adds to the complexity of the entire installation.
This can be considered a good thing though because it doesn’t mean that all the pressure is placed on one unit. Think about it. Every time you want your bedroom to cool
off a few degrees, you have to turn on the main air handler, which in turn blows out cold air in the other rooms as well. This won’t be the case with dual ductless air handlers. You can simply only turn on the unit in the bedroom. This will say you a bundle of wear and time on your system as well as run time. Add this with the fact that ductless air handlers are usually installed in easy-to-access locations and it’ll make your tech all that much happier when there is a technical issue.
Refrigerant Line Leaks
Unfortunately, refrigerant leaks are always a possibility with any type of air condition system
. However, it could be more of a problem with ductless units. Especially if you have more than one system installed. This is because the lines have to travel from the condenser to the air handlers.
When leaky lines are left untreated it can lead to major future problems. This refrigerant also holds special oil that oils moving parts, so your compressor or motors depending on the substance will likely fail. Not only this, but the system will never run right unless it has the right amount of refrigerant. This is why it is always advisable to keep a diligent eye out for potential leaks. Some signs of a refrigerant leak might be:
Strange hissing noises near the units
Frozen lines and coils
Higher than normal electrical bills
Your system runs for long periods before shutting down or never cycles down at all
Instead of cold air, you get hot or lukewarm air
Your system won’t come on or simply stops running
Your Are Limited
As was already mentioned, with ductless systems when you want to heat
a room, you’ll have to have an air handler installed in that room. This means you’ll have a new little device hanging on the wall. And, while they can be compact, sleek, and modern looking, they will take up room. In addition to this, the unit will need at least 1 to 2 feet on the top and sides. You can’t install the unit and then cover it up with decorations and décor. The unit needs to remain free of obstructions.
Along with this, there usually isn’t a lot of leeway as to where the air handler can be installed, depending on the materials and shape of your walls. The system needs studs and has to be situated in a location where the copper lines and wiring will reach it. The sometimes leads to so unique requirements in some instances. You might end up moving a sofa or TV, but other than that, these units don’t cause a lot of problems.
Water leaks are never good, as they can be destructive. And, just like refrigerant leaks, every HVAC system
is susceptible to water leaks. An HVAC
is always removing excess humidity from the air, this is where the creation of water comes in. This water needs a place to go, which usually ends up being out a drain pipe and to the outside world.
Spotting a leak in traditional systems can be a bit easier because the drain pipes usually run through the ceilings or floors. In the event of a leak, you’ll likely notice water on the ceiling or floor right away. Unfortunately, this might not be the case with the ductless system. Since the air handler is installed right on the wall, the drain piping will protrude through the wall before going outdoors. There could be a minor leak for years and years before you ever even detect it.
Simply put, this could lead to a big, huge soggy mess. This is why it is always a good idea to have the drain pipe cleaned every year, as well as keeping a diligent eye out.
Complex Control Systems
Ductless systems can be fairly system as far as controls go. They come with remote controls and can be controlled while relaxing in your easy chair. They also have a thermostat installed on the side of the unit that can be adjusted. However, if you want to install smart thermostats and the like things get a bit4 more complicated. It is entirely possible to change the way a ductless system is controlled and operated, but it is a lot more complex.
This is something that’ll likely take the assistance of someone familiar with control and low voltage wiring. It is not as simple as connected red to 1 or green to green. In addition to this, some brands of thermostats may sync with a house-wide controller or programmable thermostat, while other brands might require the additional installation of Wi-Fi adapters or sensors in each room.
This might sound more complicated, but might be worth the extra effort if it is going to help your system be more efficient. The best thing to do is get in touch with a local New York HVAC professional
. He or she will be able to answer any questions you have and guide you through any concerns.