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Should I Get Multi-Zone Ductless AC?

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Summer is a wonderful time to get outside and enjoy your favourite activities. Inside can be a completely different story. Some areas of your home can feel almost unlivable without an air conditioning system.

While we all have our tricks for staying cool in the summer, sometimes an open window with a fan just isn’t enough. A multi-zone ductless air conditioning system may be the energy-efficient answer when it comes to cooling your home this summer.

If you’re considering an upgrade for your home’s cooling system, Cross Heating has you covered! In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the features and drawbacks of multi-zone ductless AC.

What is Ductless Air Conditioning?

Ductless AC is a cooling system that works without ductwork. It pumps cool air through a wall-mounted head unit into your home from an outdoor condenser. Once cooled, the air is passed directly into the room (or rooms) where your ductless AC is mounted.

The indoor and outdoor units are connected via conduit containing wires, refrigerant tubing, and suction tubing. Since there are 2 parts to this system, it’s often referred to as a “mini-split.” The system is a great alternative to conventional AC and a great option when adding ductwork is impractical.

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When is Ductless AC Ideal?

Ductless AC is ideal in homes where existing HVAC ductwork is impractical or non-existent. New additions to a home can benefit for this reason. Versatile and efficient installation means you can have cool air wherever you need it.

For some, the summer months bring restless nights of sleep, and ductless AC in your bedroom is the perfect solution.

Some families have members that prefer varying temperatures in different rooms. Ductless air conditioning solves that problem like a breeze…no pun intended.

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The Multi-Zone AC System

Ductless AC is capable of cooling multiple rooms and areas of a home. Each area can be controlled independently; this system is called multi-zone air conditioning.

Several rooms can be cooled with a single outside AC unit. One single outdoor condenser can power as many as 5 indoor head units. So there is flexibility for each home’s cooling demands and size.

Multi-zone systems cool the existing air where each indoor head is located. So it’s very easy to manipulate temperatures throughout the house.

Since each head unit’s temperature is controlled independently, it’s easy for everyone to stay comfortable in their own room. This system gives you control, whether you like to sleep in frigid temperatures or just need a break from the heat in your home office.

Benefits of Multi-Zone Ductless AC

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Energy Efficiency

Ducted air conditioning systems tend to lose cool air through ductwork from splits, holes, and loose-fitting joints. With ductless AC, temperature-controlled air is cooled directly at the comfort site.

Additionally, the ductless system is only cooling the areas you want it to cool. No wasted energy trying to maintain temperatures in unused spaces around the house. Ductless AC can be up to 40% more energy-efficient than central air conditioning systems.

Selecting your indoor install locations means you can target the spaces that need cool air the most. As opposed to central AC, which may require you to run at high power just to get a little cool air to those tough spots.

Young couple laying on couch, adjusting indoor temperature with remote control.

Cooling Versatility

Not everyone agrees when it comes to comfortable temperatures in a living space. You may prefer an ice palace, and other family members might thrive in the Sahara Desert. With multi-zone ductless AC, these differences are a problem of the past.

The temperature in any given space can be tailored to your individual needs. Each indoor unit is controlled by its own remote. Everyone can stay comfortable and happy with fewer battles over the thermostat!

Some central AC systems integrate zoned cooling, which may separate temperatures by floor or region. But you don’t get the same level of dexterity as you do with ductless multi-zone cooling. Each room can be set to an independent comfort level.

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Installation Versatility

While traditional AC systems require a lot of ductwork which isn’t always feasible, ductless AC units can be installed virtually anywhere in your house. The outdoor condenser needs only a flat surface to sit on, while the indoor blower just has to be somewhere a hole can be drilled in the wall.

A ductless AC multi-zone cooling system can be installed in stages. After the initial condenser is installed and indoor heads are mounted, additional blowers can be added down the road.

As long as cables and tubing can reach new indoor ductless units, the system can be pieced together over the years.

Drawbacks of Multi-Zone AC

Closeup of Lennox AC unit outside home.

Higher Up-Front Cost

The initial purchase and installation of a ductless AC system can be a little more costly than central AC. The main reason is that central AC utilizes existing ductwork and through-lines from your home’s furnace. If it’s a multi-zone AC system you’re looking at, chances are it will be more expensive to go ductless.

Fortunately, the increased efficiency of ductless AC saves money in the long run. Contact an HVAC specialist for comprehensive price and product comparisons.

Closeup of AC indoor head unit.

The Aesthetic Impact

The indoor head units for a ductless AC system are not ugly, although they can be noticeable. But it’s nothing like the old window AC units you remember from your grandma’s house.

Many modern designs make a ductless AC unit seem natural inside. And a ductless AC blower may only be obvious in the smallest rooms.

Keep in mind that our installation experts will always help ensure the location of AC equipment goes with the flow of your living space.

Is a Multi-Zone Ductless AC System Right For Me?

If you don’t currently have an AC system and you want to cool an entire home, multi-zone ductless cooling may be the answer. Consider the following when making your decision:

  • Do you have existing ductwork in the areas you want cooled?
  • Do you need to cool an entire home or just certain rooms?
  • Do people in your family enjoy different temperatures?

The cooling versatility and ability to install ductless AC almost anywhere are huge upsides. But budget always plays a part in home improvements.

During the dog days of summer, running multiple fans and cracking a window just doesn’t cut it. Give us a call at Cross Heating to learn more about multi-zone cooling and ductless AC systems.

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