When it comes to your residential cooling system, you have options. Since indoor cooling equipment first became common in the United States, living accommodations and situations have changed. The cooling systems that were installed in homes decades ago were appropriate for their day, but times have moved on, and technology has progressed significantly.
The homes from decades past are aging. Many of those didn’t have ductwork installed originally. Others are demonstrating that the ductwork they do have is inefficient. To deal with the needs of both these older residences and their modern counterparts, innovation was required. The result was the invention of the ductless AC, and this type of system is very energy efficient.
At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we can walk you through the ins and outs of the concept. We install, repair and maintain ductless air conditioning systems in Sacramento, CA. We’d be happy to arrange a consultation, but in the meantime, here is a primer on why ductless air conditioners are efficient.
The main reason why the ductless AC is receiving more attention is that it requires no ductwork. This is often the type of cooling system that is being installed in new multi-unit buildings. The ductless AC does not depend on centrally located equipment, so it provides more independence to the user. To install this unit, a professional simply needs to make the correct size of hole in a wall. Then, the unit is hooked up and sealed into its place. Once it is tested and all the connections show that they are properly working, the unit is good to go.
Since the ductless AC does not require ductwork, it automatically improves energy efficiency. Ducts were installed in older homes because it was the best solution available at that time. Once the ductless AC unit began to be produced on a mass level, choices expanded. Ducts get the job done, but they also lose about 25% of output. As the air travels from the unit through the ducts to its destination, output is being lost. The most common culprits are leaks in the ductwork. That’s one reason why homeowners are encouraged to insulate the ducts. This does not mean that leaking will stop, but it will be reduced. A ductless AC does not require the extra step of putting in insulation because it does not use ductwork.
Independent Cooling Zones
Ductless AC units are also more energy efficient because they are used to create independent cooling zones. With a central cooling system, the entire home receives the output. A homeowner can close vents in some rooms to prevent the air from going into empty places. That still leads to a loss of output because the air has to be routed differently. The ductless unit, on the other hand, is set up in as many rooms as the homeowner desires. Each room has its own controls, so when it is in use, the occupants can adjust the temperature as desired. This saves money by improving energy use.
The SEER rating is another reason why ductless AC units are so energy efficient. The rating is also known as the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The minimum rating that an AC unit must have is 13. The highest rating is 25, but if you purchase a unit with a rating of 22, you are still in good standing. This rating is calculated by analyzing the performance of a cooling system over a year. It measures how much energy is required to produce a satisfactory output. The greater the efficiency, the higher the rating.
Most ductless AC units score between 16 and 22, so you can rest assured that you are purchasing a system that is going to deliver outstanding results. You should understand that the more efficient a cooling system is, the more of an upfront investment you will need to make. However, that efficiency also leads to a quicker return on the investment.
Output Reaches Destination Directly
Since the output produced by a ductless AC unit reaches its destination in a direct manner, the energy efficiency is improved right off the top. As a group, seniors can benefit from this HVAC technology. Older Americans who prefer to live in their own home will not have to worry about cooling an entire house, which increases their energy costs at a time when their budget may be more constrained. They can have the ductless AC installed in a room where they spend a good portion of their day. Then, they can turn it on as necessary. They don’t have to worry about their entire home being cooled off when they are not able to move around it as easily as they once did.
If the output reaches its destination quickly, there is no waiting period. Consider waiting for the water to heat up before you wash the dishes or step into the shower. Water that comes out of the faucet cold instead of hot is wasted. The analogy applies here. A ductless AC is like a modern water heater that supplies what you want on demand.
The HVAC industry is a field that is based on technology. It may not be the same technology as your smartphone or computer software, but an HVAC system is still tech. Now that it is evolving at a more rapid pace, one of the outcomes is the evolution of the compressor. The single-stage compressor is the type that was built into the majority of cooling systems. It runs at one speed and does not make adjustments, so it eats up more energy. The two-stage compressor is a different story.
On a ductless AC unit, the two-stage compressor is a common feature. This compressor gives you the option of running the fan on high or low. The HVAC industry found that it is not always necessary to run the compressor on high. The low setting is the more energy-efficient option, and it gets the job done just as well. You can also put the compressor setting on auto. This means that the compressor can automatically switch itself from high to low based on how hard it has to work to produce the desired output.
A ductless system can be installed in a room that has been added to an existing home. It can also replace an existing cooling system. Installation gets tricky when you would like to install it in a room where ductwork exists. For this situation, you are encouraged to speak with professionals like ourselves. If you schedule an appointment with us, we can assess the situation in person and then make our recommendations. Ductless units are more common in newly constructed residences because the goal is to build energy-efficient homes that are able to adapt to smart home technology.
To receive more information about ductless AC units and their energy efficiency, call us today at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning in Sacramento and set up an appointment. We provide heating and cooling installation, repair and maintenance as well as indoor air quality services and a full range of plumbing options.