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Ductless Mini Splits Vs Window AC Units

When it comes to cooling your home, two popular options stand out: ductless mini-split systems and window air conditioners (AC). Of course, central AC systems are very common in the Carolinas, but today we are focusing on these 2 zoned HVAC systems. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, based on different needs, preferences, and budget constraints. This article dives deep into the features, benefits, and drawbacks of ductless mini splits vs window AC units.


I've been installing ductless mini split systems for years now, and have to say they are some of the best pieces of HVAC technology that is available. They require no ductwork, and have the ability to both heat and cool a space.


If you have any questions about keeping your home or business cool this summer, give us a call or check us out online. We'll be glad to help you choose the right HVAC system for your situation!


The Benefits of Ductless Mini Splits

Ductless air conditioning is one of our favorite ways to cool off any home or business, and once you go through the benefits, you'll see why.

  • Energy Efficient: Ductless mini-split systems are highly energy-efficient. They use inverter technology, which allows their compressors to speed up or slow down based on the needs of the system rather than turning off and on like traditional HVAC systems. This modulation reduces energy consumption, leading to lower electricity bills.

  • Zoned Comfort: One of the most significant advantages of ductless mini splits is their ability to create "zones" in your home. Each zone can be controlled independently, allowing you to adjust the temperature in different rooms or areas. This allows you to customize the comfort in your home, and also stop wasting energy treating spaces that aren't being used.

  • Can Both Heat and Cool: Unlike window AC units that only offer cooling, ductless mini splits can provide both heating and cooling. Instead of using 2 separate systems to keep your space comfortable at different times of year, a ductless mini split system can be used all year long!

  • Better Precision Comfort: Ductless systems offer more precise temperature control. Through the inverter technology we mentioned earlier, you can adjust the temperature very slightly to maintain comfort. Ductless mini splits also use remote controls, and you can even download an app on your smart device to control the temperature!

  • Environmentally Friendly: Due to their energy efficiency and the use of R410A refrigerant, which has a zero ozone depletion potential, ductless mini splits are considered more environmentally friendly than traditional HVAC systems. This is one of the reason heat pumps, which mini splits are, are eligible for rebates and tax credits through the Inflation Reduction Act.

  • Whisper Quiet: Ductless mini splits are known for their quiet operation. The outdoor unit, which generates most of the noise, is installed outside the home, while the indoor units are whisper quiet, ensuring a peaceful indoor environment. They average about 32db, as opposed to window units that have around 50-75 db range.


The Cons of Ductless Mini Splits

  • Expensive Installation: The only real drawback of a ductless mini split is the initial installation cost of ductless mini-split systems can be high. They typically start in the thousands of dollars, whereas a window unit starts in the hundreds range. The cost savings through rebates, tax credits, and energy savings usually end up helping to offset this up front cost.

The Benefits of Window AC Units

  • Inexpensive Installation: Window AC units are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. If you need a unit right away and don't want to wait for a professional installation, these work well. They are also a solid solution if you don't want to pay a big cost up front.

The Cons of Window AC Units

  • Can Only Cool: Unlike ductless systems, window AC units can only provide cooling. This is fine for the summer, but once the weather gets cooler, you need to remove these from your windows and find a heating solution.

  • Imprecise Comfort: Window units often struggle with distributing air evenly throughout a room, leading to hot and cold spots. If you've ever sat in front of one of these systems, you understand. It can be FREEZING in one spot, then a few feet over and it's too warm.

  • Very Loud: Window AC units can be quite noisy, both inside and outside the home. This noise can be disruptive, especially in bedrooms or quiet areas. If you have a window unit in your living room be prepared to turn the TV volume up.

  • Not Energy Efficient: Generally, window units are less energy-efficient than ductless mini splits. They can lead to higher electricity bills, especially if used extensively.

  • Take Up A Window: Installing a window AC unit means losing the use of a window. This can reduce natural light and fresh air in the room. It also can just be an annoyance!

  • Security Risk: Window units can pose a security risk, as they can be removed from outside, potentially allowing access to your home. If you do install a window unit, make sure that it is screwed in and secure so intruders can't get in, and the unit doesn't fall out and injure anyone.


Why We Prefer Ductless Mini Splits Over Window AC Units

Why We Choose Ductless Over Window AC Units

Considering the benefits and drawbacks of both ductless mini splits vs window AC units, ductless mini splits are our preferred choice for a few reasons. The versatility of being able to provide both cooling and heating is a huge plus. The fact that these systems can be used year round, and not have to be removed seasonally is fantastic.


Of course, the initial investment in a ductless mini split system is far greater than a window AC unit. Luckily, this can be offset with rebates, tax credits, and energy savings. Ductless mini splits also just provide better, quieter comfort than window AC systems. We even prefer these units over most central air systems.


If you are looking for a new cooling system, and your focus is mostly on traditional air conditioning systems, give ductless mini split air conditioners a look over. These can be used for a single room, or you can install a few to cover the whole house. The installation process is simple, as they require no ductwork, and you can have your home or business comfortable in a few days.


Give Blue Ridge Heating and Air a call, or contact us online to set up your free ductless mini split estimate!

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One of the questions we get asked frequently here at Blue Ridge Heating and Air is whether a heat pump can be used as an air conditioner.  Simply put, Yes! The name of "heat pump" can sometimes lead people to believe these systems are just meant for heating, but that is not the case. A heat pump can be used all year long to both heat and cool your home or business.

Can A Heat Pump Be Used As An Air Conditioner?

We've been installing heat pumps for years, and these systems have only grown in popularity. Between the energy savings, and the effort to be more environmentally friendly, there are a lot of appealing aspects of installing a heat pump for your HVAC needs.


In this article, we will explain a bit more about how heat pumps work, and why they are a terrific option to keep your home comfortable. If you have any questions about your home comfort, and how a heat pump may benefit your situation, give us a call here at Blue Ridge Heating and Air, or contact us right here on our website!



Understanding How a Heat Pump Works

At its core, a heat pump operates by transferring heat between the indoors and outdoors. During the colder months, it extracts heat from the outdoor air (or ground, in the case of geothermal heat pumps) and brings it inside to warm your home. When summer rolls around, the process reverses as the heat pump extracts indoor heat and expels it outside, effectively cooling your living space.


This dual functionality is what makes a heat pump a versatile choice. It not only saves you the hassle of installing separate heating and cooling systems but also contributes to energy efficiency.


Heat pumps come in different types, from large systems that look like traditional furnaces/forced air/Air conditioning systems to smaller mini-split systems that help you create separate zones of comfort throughout your home.


Energy Efficiency: A Green Choice

One of the standout features of heat pumps is their energy efficiency. Unlike traditional heating and cooling systems that generate heat or cold air, a heat pump simply moves existing heat around. This means less energy consumption than traditional methods of heating or cooling. This increased efficiency also translates into cost savings on your utility bills and a reduced carbon footprint. You get to save some money on your energy bills while being kind to the environment as well!


In addition, the high efficiency of heat pumps make them qualified for rebates from energy companies and they currently qualify for tax credits up to $2,000 under the Inflation Reduction Act, making switching to a heat pump a cost-effective choice all around if you are looking to replace your home’s current HVAC system.



Pros and Cons: Weighing the Options of Heat Pumps

Pros:

  • Versatility: The ability to both heat and cool your home makes a heat pump an year round solution, as opposed to needing separate heating and cooling solutions for different seasons.

  • Energy Efficiency: Operating on the principle of heat transfer, heat pumps are more energy-efficient than traditional HVAC systems. They also run on electricity, as opposed to burning fuel like a traditional heating system does.

  • Quiet Operation: Heat pumps are known for their quiet operation, ensuring a peaceful indoor environment.

  • Long Lifespan: With proper maintenance, heat pumps can have a long lifespan, up to 20 years.

Cons:

  • Cold Climate Challenges: Air-source heat pumps may experience reduced efficiency in extremely cold temperatures, necessitating supplementary heating sources. Thai is rarely a problem here in our area, but more of a concern for people who live in colder climates.

  • Upfront Cost: While the energy savings can offset the initial investment, the upfront cost of a heat pump may be slightly higher compared to traditional systems. If you compare it to purchasing a new furnace and air conditioner, the cost may actually be cheaper.

Why Choose a Heat Pump?

  • Year-Round Comfort: The ability to efficiently cool and heat your home throughout the seasons. Getting rid of a second system and using this all year round is convenient.

  • Economical Operation: Enjoy energy savings and lower utility bills.

  • Environmental Impact: Contribute to a greener planet by opting for an eco-friendly heating and cooling solution. This is part of the reason these systems are featured in the Inflation Reduction Act.

A Heat Pump Can Comfort Your Home Year Round

A heat pump is not only capable of being used as an air conditioner but stands as a great choice for comprehensive home comfort. It’s one of the reasons we recommend them as an option to consider for many of our customers here at Blue Ridge Heating and Air. The energy efficiency, versatility, and environmentally friendly operation of heat pumps makes them a wise investment when you’re looking to upgrade your HVAC system. '


If you are thinking of making the switch to a heat pump, or maybe just want to upgrade from your current HVAC system, give us a call or contact us online. We can send an expert out to take a look at your situation, and recommend the RIGHT heat pump for your home. Not every system is right for every space, and we want to make sure that we assess your home or business, and choose the best fit for your needs.


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One of the calls we get more and more of is to add HVAC to a home addition, or a garage that people want to use all year round. In this case, the homeowners in Mauldin, SC had a garage that they wanted to use more than just in the spring and fall. They wanted to convert it into a finished living space. 

Installing A Ductless HVAC System Into A Mauldin, SC Garage

In this case, their HVAC system in the home was fine, but there wasn’t a way to run more ductwork to the garage. Instead, a solution that works independently of their whole home HVAC was the best choice. A ductless mini split is perfect for these kind of situations. 



Why A Ductless Mini Split Is Perfect For An Addition

Ductless mini splits have a number of advantages over other heating and cooling solutions. It’s no surprise that we are seeing more people in Greenville and the surrounding areas choosing these particular types of heat pump systems for their homes. 


Ductless Mini Splits Can Heat And Cool  

For one thing, ductless mini splits have the ability to both heat and cool a space. Lots of other solutions can only heat OR cool. Ductless can be used as an air conditioner in the summer, and as a heating system in the winter. Instead of using a window AC unit, which is cumbersome, and would have taken the minimal window space, this was a much better option. 


Ductless Mini Splits Are Quiet

A Ductless Mini Split Will Heat And Cool The Garage

Unlike a furnace that makes a big boom when it kicks on, or a window AC that rumbles the entire time it's on, ductless mini splits are quiet. Ductless mini splits are around 32 db, compared to window units which range between about 50-70 db. 

I know that when I used to use window units, it would always mean having to turn the TV up, or move to the quieter part of the room to talk on the phone. For a space like a livable garage, a noisy unit would make the space much less comfortable. 


Ductless Mini Splits Are Energy Efficient 

Another great benefit of ductless mini splits is that they are energy efficient. These systems are heat pumps that run on electricity all year round. Instead of creating heat in the winter through combustion like a furnace that burns oil or gas, these systems use the minimal amount of heat in the air, and use that to treat the space. In the summer, the process is reversed to cool the air. 


This kind of system is going to have VERY little impact on the energy bills at the house, whereas other systems like space heaters or window ACs can run the energy bills up more rapidly. 


Ductless Mini Splits Require No Ductwork

The Condenser Outside Runs To The Mini Split Inside

This is pretty self explanatory, but ductless mini splits don’t need any ductwork to operate. Instead we run a small bit of tubing up the outside wall, from the condenser to the head or cassette inside. 


Ductwork requires room in the walls, and can be expensive to install. For a space like a garage, ductwork would be almost impossible. A single zone ductless mini split was almost made just for this kind of project. 


The Best Heating And Cooling Solution For An Addition

For additions and garages, newly renovated spaces, ductless mini splits are a perfect solution. For all the reasons listed above, this is one of the best ways to heat and cool the space permanently. You don’t have to remove the ductless unit season to season. This system takes care of you all year round. 


You save energy, don’t need to install any new ductwork, and can keep the space comfortable all year long. These systems are also very environmentally friendly. Most local utility companies offer rebates, and the government even offers tax credits on heat pumps based on how energy efficient they are. 


Heating And Cooling Solutions In Mauldin, SC

If you are looking for help with your heating and cooling in Mauldin, SC, look no further. The experts at Blue Ridge Heating and Air can take a look at your situation, and recommend a few different options based on what you are looking for. Give us a call or contact us here online to speak to an expert!



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