Ductless HVAC helps homeowners beat the summer heat
Summer officially begins June 20, and this year, it also may mark a time when the U.S. love affair with central air conditioning starts to cool off.
According to Friedrich, a U.S.-based air conditioning manufacturer, the hot trend for summer of 2016 is a rising consumer interest for more precise and efficient air conditioning.
That includes a bigger demand for ductless air conditioning systems. Unlike central A/C, ductless systems work by cooling only the rooms in use, not those that aren’t. Because they offer the advantage of being extremely quiet, sleek and energy efficient, more homeowners are opting for ductless for its ability to cool rooms faster, maintain a more accurate temperature and reduce energy costs.
Many new ductless systems also use inverter technology to better maintain desired temperature more effectively.
“The problem with central air conditioning is that it’s basically all or nothing,” said TJ Wheeler, Friedrich vice president of marketing and product management. “That’s inefficient for how most families live. Ductless systems allow homeowners to customize their cooling needs, focusing on certain rooms or zones of their home they use most and tailored to the comfort level of individual family members.”
Ductless systems come in a range of sizes and capacities. Friedrich offers ductless systems for as many as up to eight rooms on one system and homeowners can choose from single-zone cooling models, single-zone heat pumps that cool and heat, and multi-zone heat pumps that cool and heat multiple rooms.
Options include wall-mounted units, slim ceiling cassettes and concealed duct units. Costs for ductless systems are comparable to installing central air, but long-term saving potential is greater due to increased efficiency.
Because there is no ductwork required, efficiency is also gained by not losing up to an estimated 40 percent of conditioned air through leaky, dirty ducts, also resulting in fresher air.
Ductless air conditioning systems work via a condensing unit with the compressor installed outside the home, and indoor units that contain a fan in the area to be cooled. Refrigerant lines connect the units through walls, and electricity is supplied by the outdoor unit, so no additional wiring is needed in rooms where units are installed.
To gear up for the predicted growth and popularity of ductless systems, Friedrich has made an aggressive effort to conduct contractor trainings through the company’s Advantage program, and has trained over 1,000 contractors throughout the country on ductless system technology and installation methods this year.
KEEPING YOUR COOL TIPS
No matter what your summer cooling solution, Friedrich offers six simple tips for how to help beat the heat this season:
GET WITH THE PROGRAM
Install a programmable thermostat. Setting higher temperatures for the hours when you’re not home can dramatically cut your costs. Set properly, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 per year.
SAVE BY DEGREES
Remember every degree matters.
BLOCK IT OUT
Close the shades and drapes. Keeping the sun out can reduce the temperature inside your home by several degrees.
MAKE IT A BREEZE
Use the unit’s fan settings wisely. When it’s humid, keep the unit’s fan running, even if the air conditioner is off. It will circulate the air and keep you more comfortable. Ceiling fans are also a big help, but remember, fans cool people, not rooms. Don’t waste energy running them if you’re not in the room.
KEEP IT TIGHT
Close any gaps or leaks. Don’t lose cold air to gaps around your window frames and doors. Caulk outside around windows and use weather-stripping indoors to seal in the cold air.
PRACTICE SEASONAL CLEANING
Regularly clean your filter. The official beginning of each season is a great time to set a reminder to check, clean and replace your filters if needed. This helps your unit perform optimally, which saves you money while keeping your home fresher.
Read more about home heating and cooling.