Air Conditioner Options For Homes That Don’t Have A Ductwork System

Many homes throughout Pennsylvania were constructed without a ductwork system. While this may have been okay back in the day, the summer temperatures have grown increasingly warmer. This leaves homeowners questioning what they can do in order to stay cool and comfortable during the hot and humid summers. Going without an AC system is out of the question. Therefore, homeowners in this position need to explore what options are available to them. In this article, we will go through some of the air conditioning options for homes without ductwork. This includes the option of a window AC unit, adding ductwork, and a ductless air conditioner.

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window AC unitIndividuals who have homes without a central air conditioning system…

have opted to use a window AC unit in order to solve their issue. However, after installing one of these units, they quickly come to realize that a window unit did not solve their problem. They still feel uncomfortable when temperatures rise. Also, their home feels humid. They immediately notice that their energy bill is out of control. Window units are notoriously known for consuming an excessive amount of energy. Homeowners have also stated that they are unable to enjoy quiet activities such as reading a book or watching a movie since window units are excessively loud. Some homeowners even claim that they notice a decrease in their indoor air quality since window units do not filter air adequately.

Another solution for a home that does not have a ductwork system is a ductless air conditioning system. These systems are becoming quite popular throughout the United States and they are widely used throughout Europe. It is common for these types of systems to be installed in homes that already have an existing system. They are used as an energy efficient AC unit to supplement their existing system. However, they are also a great alternative for homes that do not have an air conditioning system set in place.

The reason that ductless systems are so appealing is because the installation of ducts presents other complications that many would prefer to do without. Installing ducts in a home is quite costly and it takes a lot of time. Anyone who has done this will, more than likely, agree that if they had to make the choice again, they would have opted for a ductless system instead.

Installing ducts is a major construction project…

that requires the significant alteration of the walls and ceilings. Not only that, but the time that it takes to install a new duct system is time consuming. The occupants of the home have to put up with living in a construction zone for the duration of the project. Also, many older homes cannot handle the electrical needs of a new central AC unit. This incurs an additional expense of upgrading the circuit breaker box that gives this option a poor return on investment. WHen it comes down to it, no one really wants to rebuild their home.

couple with a ductless AC systemOne of the most attractive features of a ductless system…

is that they are quick and easy to install. For most homes, the installation takes about a day. The HVAC contractor places a hole in the wall that is about three inches in diameter. This small hole is used to run electrical wires that connect the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. The installation of these units is not invasive and homeowners can enjoy a cool and comfortable environment by the end of the day. These systems offer:

  • quiet operation
  • high SEER ratings to help reduce cooling costs
  • improved indoor air quality due to state-of-the-art filtration systems
  • extreme comfort levels
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Ductless Air Conditioner Reviews

ductless air conditionerThere are a few factors to consider before buying a ductless air conditioner. As with all appliances, some manufacturers produce a higher quality product than others. The same goes for ductless AC systems. It is important to explore what is available so that you can find the best one for your home.

The factors that you should consider before making such an investment include:

  • BTU’s
  • the number of cooling zones in your home
  • the type of installation that your home requires

Single zone homes only need one indoor air handler which connects to one outdoor unit. If your home is relatively large, then you may need a multi-zone system where there are many indoor air handlers that connect to one outdoor compressor. The only way to determine how many zones your home has is by taking a measurement of the square footage of your home and figuring out how many BTUs your home requires to properly air condition it. Installation type is also another consideration that you need to take into account before purchasing your unit.

Ductless systems offer a lot of flexibility…

when it comes to installation. There are ceiling units and wall mounted units available. However, it is important to note that ceiling units are available to single zone homes only. You can choose to install these as recessed, concealed, or suspended units. If you have a larger home, then you will need to explore multi-zone units. The only way to correctly determine your air conditioning needs is by consulting with a professional HVAC contractor.

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Mitsubishi vs. Fujitsu

AC options for homes without ductworkThere are many ductless air conditioning brands available. However, there are two of all of them that seem to outshine the others. They are both reliable and energy efficient. Both brands offer long warranties and increased levels of comfort. The first is Mitsubishi and the other ductless brand is Fujitsu. Although both brands are far superior out of all the ductless air conditioner brands, Mitsubishi has surpassed Fujitsu and other other manufacturers in various aspects.

Mitsubishi offers ductless AC systems…

that have high SEER ratings. Some units have a SEER rating that goes as high as 20-22. These systems offer a cooler and more comfortable environment for a fraction of the cost. No one can contest that, when they open their energy bill, they are pleasantly pleased that they can feel so comfortable while paying less at the same time.

Also, as with all appliances and HVAC systems, long warranties indicate that the manufacturer stands by its product. Mitsubishi offers impressive warranties with their ductless systems. They cover parts for 5 years and they cover their compressor for 7 years. Even better, if you install a Mitsubishi ductless system and register it within 90 days, then you receive at 10-year warranty for both parts and the compressor. If you hire a Mitsubishi Diamond Contractor, they further extend the warranty, where the compressor and parts and covered for 12 years. Not only does Mitsubishi offer increased comfort and energy efficient operation, but they stand by their ductless systems with long warranties which is a great indicator of a high quality product.


Ductless Cooling Costs

Naturally, when exploring air conditioning options…

homeowners will question the cost of each option. Ductless air conditioner costs vary. There are various factors that come into play. These include:

  • The unit’s size
  • The type of unit
  • Installation type
  • The number of zones that your home has
  • The capacity of your circuit breaker
  • Configuration

As mentioned earlier, there are different options available when installing a ductless AC system in your home. The configuration of your system can affect the ductless installation cost, depending on these factors. A more complicated configuration will cost more to install. Therefore, the configuration of your system can move your ductless air conditioner installation cost from the low end of the pricing scale to the high end.

Single Zone Ductless Systems

reduced energy costsIf your home only needs a single zone system, then the installation consists of one indoor unit and one outdoor unit, Of course, there is a line that runs through the walls to connect the two. Costs for this type of setup range from $3,500 to $5,000. Usually single zone ductless systems are appropriate for offices, sun rooms, additions, garages, and other small areas. These systems are installed in homes that do not have an enormous amount of space that needs cooling. They work well in small homes that do not have a ductwork system or additions where the existing ductwork is unable to extend into it.

Multi-Zone Ductless Systems

As with all HVAC installations…

the cost of installing a multi-zone system varies. A large home may require three or more units. However, this depends on the actual layout of the house, along with the cooling demands of the occupants of the home. The cost for a multi-zone setup ranges between $7,000 to $10,000. A home that consists of 4 cooling zones costs between $14,000 to $17,000. Therefore, as you can see, the configuration and installation type of your system can greatly affect the cost. It is important to note that once you install a ductless system, you have the option to add more units to your home if you need to at a later time. You can add a zone when it fits into your budget plan.

The cost of installing a ductless air conditioning system may seem steep at first. However, all homeowners who have had a ductless AC system installation will agree that an investment like this pays for itself quickly. Since they are so energy efficient, you will pay less for your home cooling costs. Thus, the installation of a ductless air conditioner is a smart investment for your home.


nate certifiedR.F. Ohl specializes in heating and air conditioning systems for residential and commercial use. We can install, repair, and maintain all makes and models of HVAC equipment. If you have a home that does not have a ductwork system or if you want to improve the comfort levels of your existing AC system, contact us today. We can make air conditioning recommendations that are highly energy efficient, reliable, and that will enhance the comfort levels of your home. Better yet, we can do this while staying within your budget. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our NATE certified technicians.

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Contact us today or give us a call at (610) 377-1098 if you have any questions.