Central Air Conditioner Alternatives
When the summer heat hits its peak, who wouldn’t love the comfort of a centrally air conditioned home? It’s like a life-saver for many, especially those who live in a hotter part of the country. In the South, for instance, the Energy Department says 85% of homes use centralized air conditioning system. And 90% of new houses today are installed with this type of home HVAC solution. That’s how popular central air system is. The thing is, it’s like everyone’s go-to cooling solution, outside room air conditioners of course. But what if you learn that some alternatives to central air are available? To help you learn about the best alternative to your centralized AC system, this article aims to answer the following key questions: 1. What are the common concerns related to centralized air conditioning system? 2. Why do you need to substitute central air system with a better solution? 3. Why ductless mini split system is arguably the best substitute to centralized air conditioner? In many ways, these questions are relevant if you’re trying to find out what’s really the best system for your home. Helping you find the best alternative doesn’t mean that a centralized air conditioning system is not a good solution. In fact, it is a very good system in so many ways. Don’t make any mistake about it; centralized air is a proven system, and it would not last as long and be as popular as it is today without its many advantages and benefits. But just like with the rest of traditional systems, owning a centralized air conditioning has more than its share of drawbacks, if not a fair amount of disadvantages that warrant us to look for a better alternative. For starters, let’s break a few bubbles regarding centralized AC system.
The raison d'être of an air conditioner is to provide comfort—nothing more and nothing less. It is safe to say that it is the most basic, super-simplified reason why we’re using an air conditioner in the first place. So, when a household installs an air conditioning system, what everyone expects is to enjoy an exact, if not the highest level of comfort. It is very much true with centralized air conditioning system just as it is true with the rest of all available air conditioning solutions. The problem is, a centralized air conditioning system is designed in such a way that makes it prone to limitations that affect its performance and efficiency. Remember that one of the unique characteristics of a central air system is its requirement for ductwork. The setting up of a network of ducts throughout the house enables the system to effectively distribute the conditioned air in specific rooms which are targeted for cooling through the use of vents. The problem arises when the duct network becomes ineffective due to several reasons. Among these reasons are leaks in the ductwork, which is a very common issue when it comes to centralized air conditioner. When the ductwork or some of its parts have leaks, some areas of the house get more air while the other areas get less. Due to unequal distribution of air that passes through air vents, some rooms are colder or hotter than the rest of the house. This is what is commonly known as the hot spot and cold spot issues. A household that has to tackle hot spots and cold spots would never achieve the best temperature comfort from their system. Oftentimes, this result to having some rooms being unused. At times, this even causes family members to engage in a little thermostat war because everyone has a different temperature needs or preference. The other biggest drawback is the waste of energy, which can translate to higher electricity bills. And speaking of higher energy bills, it brings us to the issue on cost.
Centralized air conditioners don’t come cheap. You know this if you have one installed at home. If you don’t currently use central air but planning to get one, be prepared for a very steep price and high costs—from the initial cash outlay during the purchase, to installation expenses, to maintenance costs, and dwon to energy consumption. Being typically expensive, a central air system is not for everyone. Unless you are ready to spend several thousand dollars, then this is not a system that’s right for you financially. And we’re only talking about equipment and accessories here. Even if you can afford one, your pocket would keep hurting because the expenses would not stop even after the purchase. Now, the installation costs, which can be compounded by the need for ductwork, add another layer to your expenses. And there’s the costs related to maintenance. But then, it’s the high electricity bills due to inefficiency that will hurt you most with regard to this system. And do you know what’s the worst part of it all? It doesn’t always work.
There comes a time when you need to install a system for a specific room but your existing centralized air conditioning system just would not work as a viable option. There are a several situations when this usually happens: • There’s just no way that you will be able to extend the existing ductwork. • The whole project would be too costly. • Even if it is structurally possible, adjusting the ductwork to accommodate the new space or spaces is both impractical and aesthetically wrong. Some unique cooling needs require unique HVAC application. Unfortunately, centralized air conditioners are oftentimes proven to be not the best system in many unique situations. When the centralized air conditioner is not the best option, you of course deserve a better alternative. And contrary to what most people know, the HVAC technology has grown tremendously since a few decades ago until now. Today, systems like ductless mini split present greater opportunities for effective cooling and heating that are otherwise impossible if you use a centralize AC solution. Just remember that we are past those times when we have very limited options when it comes to residential cooling and heating. While room air conditioners and portable AC systems can make their own case as a system, no system today can match the viability of a ductless mini split as your best alternative to centralized air conditioning solution.
A ductless mini split system simply works best where central air system often fails. Designed for better performance and efficiency, ductless mini splits can help you work your way around the typical limitations that are associated with home cooling and heating. First of all, ductless systems provide precise cooling or heating comfort. Designed with advanced air conditioning technology—whether in terms of compressor, fan and ventilation system, filtration, and control system—ductless units are able to operate at a higher level than other systems, enabling you to achieve maximum comfort in a very efficient way. And speaking of efficiency, ductless mini splits are among the most energy-efficient HVAC systems that are available today. Available in different efficiencies, mini splits consume less amount of energy without any impact on its performance. The tangible results from these higher efficiencies are pretty obvious—you get to lower your electricity bills and earn some money savings. Although significantly priced higher than traditional window ACs or portable units, ductless mini splits are way more affordable than having to install a whole-home cooling solution through centralized air conditioning system. Even if, let’s say, you purchased a really advanced ductless model which has a very high price point, your initial cost outlay would be compensated by the higher energy-savings. In other words, a ductless system is a type of solution that can pay for itself. Thanks as well to the absence of requirement for ductwork. By being able to ditch the ducts, ductless mini splits require no complex setups and configurations, enabling you to save significant more money. Additionally, one of the biggest advantages of a ductless system is its capability to allow temperature zoning. In temperature zoning, you usually divide your home into different segments or zones, where each zone is targeted for cooling. The mini split design of the system plays a critical role in carrying out this procedure. To make this work, you install one indoor air handler in each specific room of the house and link all these units to an outdoor compressor/condenser unit. These two units are typically connected by line set that carries the refrigerant lines and the wiring system that is used to connect the unit to the power outlet. Through temperature zoning, you are now able to control the climate in each of your room, allowing you to set the temperature based on your specific need as well as regulate the use of temperature by turning on or off the indoor unit in each unoccupied room. These benefits not only give you more convenience and control over your comfort but also allow you to significantly reduce your electricity bill.