New Orleans certainly has some fine examples of historic homes, but the owners of those homes know all too well that some of these beautiful prizes come with some drawbacks. One of the primary drawbacks is getting efficient heating and cooling installed in these older homes. Many of them were simply not made with any sort of ductwork in mind and, because of that, extensive retrofits are sometimes utilized as a way to get modern HVAC system into these homes. Particularly in raised New Orleans homes, this can lead to issues for the homeowner.
One of the options that homeowners can choose may or may not be one that you have heard of. It is called ductless air conditioning, oftentimes referred to as a ductless mini split. These air conditioning systems can be installed in homes that were never intended to have ductwork installed in them. What’s more, not only can they accommodate the designs of older homes, these air conditioning systems actually have some advantages over some central air systems.
How They Work
Rather than running ductwork to each room a ductless mini split uses a small air handler in each area to be cooled or heated. This option not to use ductwork is not a compromise. In fact, it gives these systems something of an advantage. Because there are no ducts, there is no air lost thru duct leakage. 100% of the conditioned air is delivered to the desired space. According to Energy.gov, losses of energy through ductwork – particularly ductwork that is located in very hot or cold areas – can account for as much as 30% of your total HVAC bill throughout the year.
The internal part of this HVAC system is made up of air handlers, which are small units that can be stationed very discreetly by the HVAC installers. These are connected to an outside condenser unit, usually a heat pump, providing a complete air-conditioning system in what amounts to a comparatively compact package, versus installing a ducted system.
When the systems are installed, only very small holes need to be put through the walls to accommodate the copper line-set, drain, and control wire. This also reduces the amount of alterations that typically need to be done to the building to accommodate a ducted HVAC system, which may be a primary concern for people who own historic homes that need to be preserved as much as possible.
Ductless mini splits have real advantages where efficiency is concerned. They can be set up so that each room has its own temperature control, and that can be a way to make a home significantly more comfortable, particularly if it is an older home. Many older homes have rooms that tend to be drafty in the colder months or too hot in the summer. With a ductless mini split system, the amount of energy expended in conditioning the space can be customized and, if nobody is in the room, turned off altogether, if desired.
Berner A/C & Heat can install ductless mini split systems, which is not a job that many HVAC companies can handle. It requires specialized knowledge and specialized tools, and we are fully set up to handle these jobs and to help people who have historic homes, bonus rooms, sunrooms, restaurants, bars, offices, places of worship, etc. – with state-of-the-art efficient air conditioning and heating. If you have an historic house or another structure that you thought could never be centrally air conditioned, be sure to call us about ductless mini splits.