There are more benefits to ductless air conditioners (mini split systems) than the ability to just cool a space. Sure, the primary goal of a mini split system is cool a room. After all, it’s an air conditioner. But let’s take a look at what some other benefits are. They are:
- Saving money on your energy bill
- Possibly qualifying for a federal tax credit
- Flexibility to move around
Money savings and flexibility are the two main benefits (outside of cooling a room) of mini split system. Let’s take a deeper dive to better understand why a ductless air conditioner can save you money on your monthly energy bill.
Lower the Energy Bill
If you’re like me, you like to save money. Think about it. If you really tried, I bet you could save at least one hundred dollars each month by making a few adjustments. You can cancel cable in favor of a streaming platform like Netflix. You can make more meals at home instead of eating at restaurants. And you can use a ductless mini split more often than using an HVAC system. Let’s focus on the third point, which is the topic of our guide.
It boils down to this: you are charged for the amount of energy you use. What uses more energy, an HVAC system or a ductless mini split air conditioner? To answer this question you need to know how much energy the HVAC system or ductless mini split air conditioner uses. But I think it’s safe to say that the HVAC system will almost always use more energy. They are normally more powerful and therefore use more energy than ductless mini split air conditioners. Running a ductless mini split air conditioner will then translate into you saving money. The downside is you are only able to run the ductless air conditioner in one (or a couple) rooms.
Owning a ductless air conditioner creates a “ductless zone” in the home. The more rooms there are with mini split systems, the more ductless zones there are in the home. An Angie’s List article details why having ductless zones is a good thing. “If there are multiple ductless zones in a home or structure, you can control the temperature in each room instead of using a thermostat for the entire house — making them more energy efficient. As much as twenty percent of air moving through a traditional central air duct system can get lost due to holes or leaks, according to Energy Star.”
That information presents an important fact about air loss. In HVAC circles, the term is air leakage. Nevertheless, you won’t have that problem with a ductless mini split system. The air goes straight from the system into your room! There are no ducts to patch. We’ll learn more about how mini splits work soon.
Another reason to use a mini split system is if you spend most of your time in one specific room. Why turn on an HVAC system that will cool the entire house if you’re not using the entire house? That’s a waste of energy! And when you get your monthly energy bill, you might regret using that much energy, especially in the summer. There are many times that I’ve opened my power bill after a hot July and recoil in horror at the price. A mini split system can, to a degree, compliment an HVAC system. Let’s say your HVAC system is old. Over time, the HVAC system might lose some of its strength. Running a ductless air conditioner will give the HVAC system a break so it won’t have to work hard at all times.
Still, there’s another financially-smart reason to buy a ductless mini split system. You may get a tax credit!
Tax Credits and Rebates
There are, at times, financial incentives to buying certain appliances or systems for your home. These incentives can come from the federal, state, or local government. Sometimes incentives are offered through your local energy company. So make sure you stay up-to-date and check with them! What is the rebate, tax deduction or credit, or incentive for anyway?
The government and energy companies are concerned with energy efficient systems. They want you to own an energy efficient air conditioning solution! If the ductless mini split system is ENERGY STAR-rated, it may qualify for a deduction or other type of financial incentive. “ENERGY STAR certified ductless heating and cooling systems are eligible for rebates from some local utilities — up to one-thousand dollars per unit depending on what system is being replaced.”
Tax deductions and tax credits are not always available. Neither are rebates or incentives from your local energy company. Therefore, and as you read this, make sure you check with them! Give your local energy company a call to see what deals they have available. You might be surprised by what they offer. Please remember that you won’t actually buy the ductless mini split through your local energy company. We’ll talk later about how to find the best deals on ductless air conditioners. The important thing is letting your energy company know you now own an energy efficient air conditioner. And they might grant you some type of incentive.
Let’s now take a look at the third benefit to owning a ductless air conditioner. You’ll have the flexibility to move it around.
Ductless Mini Splits are Flexible
When it comes to flexibility, ductless mini split systems are right between HVAC systems and portable air conditioners. An HVAC system is stationary. It isn’t going anywhere! And there’s no reason to move it around to a different room or otherwise. The HVAC system is connected in part via the duct system.
On the other side of the spectrum, you have portable air conditioners. These are extremely portable units which you can freely transport room-to-room and home-to-home. Most of them are not as powerful of ductless air conditioners, however. And, portable air conditioners are most often noisier than ductless mini split systems. Speaking of “mini split”, recall that I said one unit is indoor and one unit is outdoors. Guess which unit is the loud one? The unit outdoors is the loud one! That’s perfect for many reasons, which I’ll touch on later.
Where would window air conditioning units fit on the scale of flexibility? They would be in between a ductless mini split and a portable air conditioner. So all three are quite flexible. Service Champions, and HVAC service company, lauds the flexible nature of ductless mini split systems. They write “ductless AC systems are incredibly flexible since the tubing or conduit allows for the indoor air-handling unit to be moved and positioned exactly where you want it. This unit can be placed on the floor or installed on a wall, and since it is remote controlled, you can customize the cooling or heating as per your preferences with zero hassle.”
Let’s ponder on the tubing or conduits aspects for a moment. You can add more tubing or conduit if you want the indoor unit moved! That alone attests to the flexibility of ductless air conditioners. And using our example from before, about adding a new room to a home you would have the option of moving the unit to the new room. Ductless air conditioners are turning out to be a great air conditioning solution!
But what are some possible drawbacks? Are there cons to owning or buying a ductless air conditioner? You guessed it. Just like with anything, there are always drawbacks. And some of it depends on your current situation and your personal or family needs. Let’s dig a little deeper to learn about the possible drawbacks of ductless air conditioners.
Well, there you have it, folks! I hope that I was able to answer your question and also shed a bit of light on ductless air conditioners in general. If you find yourself wanting to read and learn more about ductless air conditioners then I highly suggest you take the time and read our in-depth buyer’s guide which can be found by clicking here.
Remember though folks, that ductless units aren’t your only option. After reading this article if you find that you are leaning towards an alternative air conditioner such as a portable or window unit consider checking out our best of guides on these. Click here for our best window air conditioner article and click here for our best portable air conditioners. There are many ways to stay cool nowadays, the question is which one will you choose?
If you have any further questions about ductless air conditioners you can contact us. Also, if you want more guides and articles like this, make sure you subscribe to our email list. As always, thanks for reading! And make sure to return in a few days for a new article from RefrigerantHQ.