Not every home comes equipped with central heating and air conditioning. And often, homes that have central heating do not provide a cool air counterpoint, especially in climates that don’t tend to experience extreme heat. Although modern homeowners generally prefer central air all around, you might not want to shell out the dough to add an expensive AC unit and any other equipment needed to make it work with your current infrastructure. First you should take the time to weigh the pros and cons of a ductless system. You may find that you’re better off using this method to cool all or part of your home.
1. Save money. The main problem with central air is that you have to set one temperature for the whole house, meaning that you’re often paying to cool rooms that are vacant or that don’t need it (like the basement). With ductless AC you’ll save money by heating or cooling only the areas of your home that are in use and that are subject to high summer temperatures.
2. Easy access. Suppose you’re having an issue with one of your units. It’s easy enough to access the interior by simply removing the faceplate, and then repair the problem on the spot. And if the unit needs to be replaced at some point, you’ll find that this task is quickly and easily accomplished. In addition, replacing a single wall or window unit won’t cost nearly as much as replacing a whole-home AC unit. And window units can be removed during the winter to make way for storm windows.
3. Temperature control. Not everyone in your home is going to feel comfortable at the same temperature. With central air, you’d have to deal with other family members monkeying with your thermostat settings, sparking fights and jacking up the electric bill. With ductless units throughout the home, every inhabitant can set their space for optimum comfort.
1. Unsightly. The main complaint about ductless AC is that units are visible, and they don’t exactly add to the decor. Unfortunately, there’s really no way around this. A whole-home unit can be hidden in the attic, the basement, or outdoors. But ductless AC must be exposed in order to pump the air you desire into your space, so you’ll just have to live with the eyesore.
2. Extra work. With central air there is only one unit to be serviced. When you opt for ductless units you’re going to have to have them all inspected and maintained, which could end up being a major hassle. In addition, you’re going to have to set them all manually rather than adjusting a single thermostat.
3. Not a selling point. The truth is that most prospective home buyers prefer central air to the use of localized units. Even though there are potentially more hassles to deal with when forced air must travel through ductwork that is hidden in the walls, the ease of use provided by a single thermostat cannot be denied. You don’t necessarily have to install a dehumidifier or other bells and whistles since not everyone wants them, but a central air system is what most buyers expect, and they’ll likely be disappointed if your home has ductless units instead.