Summer temperatures are rising, which is never good news for your pocketbook. Climate control is the largest single utility expense that most households face, and for good reason: it takes a lot of energy to cool down all that air inside your home during the summertime. However, you can stay comfortable and save energy on your AC costs by using a technology known as ductless air conditioning.

Avoid Leaky Ducts

The system is sometimes called “mini split” because it uses an outdoor compressor and one or more indoor air handlers. If you don't already have a forced-air HVAC system, they are significantly easier and less invasive to install than a traditional unit.

The key to ductless air conditioning's efficiency is in the name – there is no ductwork, which eliminates the common problem of cool air leaking out through small openings in the ducts.

“In a typical house, however, about 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts,” the federal Energy Star program notes. “With ductless heating and cooling, duct losses are eliminated – improving comfort, and saving you money.”

Get in the Zone

In addition to saving you money by eliminating leaky ducts, ductless systems also offer savings potential by allowing you to set up climate zones. Instead of having one giant unit to send air through the whole house, air handlers in individual rooms can be set to different temperatures or turned off entirely. This way, you can save energy by only cooling the areas of the home that are occupied.

Mini split systems usually have a heating component, as well. Depending on the model, the system may not be powerful enough to replace a traditional furnace or boiler during cold winters, but it can provide a cheap heating alternative on milder nights or help with spot heating in certain areas of the home.

Sign Me Up!

There are numerous models of mini-split systems available, so you have plenty of options when searching for the one that best fits your needs. If you buy the most efficient, Energy Star-certified ductless air conditioners, you can reduce your cooling bills by up to 30 percent.

Although they are simpler to install than a traditional central air conditioner, ductless AC units are not DIY projects for most homeowners. You'll need a skilled HVAC technician to make sure that the system is installed properly, safely and in compliance with local codes.

If you are considering buying a ductless air conditioning system, contact your trusted HVAC expert today.

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