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What are the Pros and Cons of Ductless Air Conditioning?

If you were to make a list of the pros, cons of ductless air conditioning, you might run out of paper and ink in the “pro” column, with versatile installation and applications, superior energy efficiency, personalized zoning comfort and no home-security flaws, and the list goes on.

If your penmanship is suffering from cramps and exhaustion (and if you're at your wit's end as to how to easily cool that bonus room, new addition, retrofit or a number of other applications), you'll be pleased to learn the “con” column for ductless cooling is very short: ductless installation isn’t a do-it-yourself project, and whole-house ductless cooling installation costs more than conventional forced-air systems. Read on to understand and weigh the pros and cons of ductless mini-split air conditioning.

Pro Column: Ductless Air Conditioning

Ductless air conditioning was designed decades ago by Mitsubishi to provide energy-efficient cooling and versatile installation options for businesses and homes, using minimal space and serving as an alternative to sunlight-blocking window A/C units and the space-consuming bulky ductwork of forced-air systems. The following list proves that ductless air conditioning delivers.

  • Quick installation: The typical ductless air conditioning installation takes one day, perhaps two. Only small holes are needed where the air-handling units are to be installed, and a small hole is required in the home’s outer wall to extend the conduit containing the wiring, drainage and refrigerant tubing. The process is much faster for the certified Mitsubishi technician, and much less disruption imposed on the homeowner, compared to extending obtrusive ductwork into new additions or remodeled rooms.
  • Energy efficiency: Ductless air conditioning systems are designed to deliver efficient cooling in the area that needs it. Perhaps no other comfort system has experienced the rapid development and implementation of advanced high-efficiency features as ductless systems. Inverter-driven compressors are quieter and use less electricity than conventional air conditioners and window A/C units. No other home-comfort system surpasses the ductless systems' technology of computerized control and monitoring of air velocity, electrical components (including coil- and room-temperature sensors), self-cleaning air-filtration system and more. All are geared toward providing maximum energy efficiency and comfort.
  • Quiet: Inverter-driven compressors are literally whisper-quiet.
  • Indoor air quality: Ductless air conditioning systems may be fitted with three-stage air-filtration, combining odor removal, anti-bacterial and virus filtering, and a host of contaminant removal from indoor air for healthful and clean living spaces.
  • Versatile applications: Versatile installation options offer homeowners many practical applications for ductless cooling. It’s much easier and often more cost-effective to install one or two air handlers for supplemental cooling into new additions, retrofitted areas (such as an attic bedroom), extra cooling for stuffy bedrooms, sun rooms, out buildings and anywhere else you need supplemental cooling when extending ducts isn’t an attractive option.
  • Better security: It comes as no surprise to anyone that window A/C units pose a home-security risk. Ductless air conditioners require only a small 3- or 4-inch hole in the home’s outer wall.
  • No ductwork energy-loss issues: Air ducts are notorious for wasting energy, either through leaks and damage, or from heat-energy losses through thin metal walls, all of which may account for up to 30 percent of cooling costs in the typical home.
  • Zoning comfort and efficiency: Ductless air conditioning gives you total control of temperatures in each zone (room) where an air-handling unit is installed. For instance, if you spend a significant amount of time in a home office, you may cool that room only, if desired, rather than spend energy dollars to cool the entire home.

Con Column: Ductless Air Conditioning 

Ductless air conditioning may pose a few drawbacks, depending on the homeowner's perspective, application and installation procedure.

  • Initial investment: While ductless air conditioning is more efficient than conventional forced-air ducted systems, ductless installation usually costs more for whole-house installation – as the primary cooling system. At the same time, the return on investment may make whole-house ductless cooling a practical option. Consult your Mitsubishi Electric Contractor for a cost analysis to understand your best options.
  • Installation matters: While a do-it-yourself installation is possible with a ductless air conditioning system, it's not advised. For peak performance from your new Mitsubishi ductless air conditioner, the best available, installation should be performed by a licensed and certified Mitsubishi Electric Contractor who will properly size the ductless installation and make any necessary home-efficiency upgrades.

If you need ductless air conditioning service or installation for your Virginia home, contact us to find a Mitsubishi Electric Contractor near you.

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