Ducts are necessary for most forced-air heating systems to operate. The heater raises the temperature of the air, or removes the heat from the air, and then the blower in the air handler sends the air through the tight seal of ducts toward the vents, where the air enters the living or working space. It seems hard to imagine a forced-air heater could work without ducts.
However, ductless heating systems have existed for decades, and after many years working almost exclusively in business environments—particularly restaurants—they have become more common in homes. If you’re curious about ductless heating, call Downtown Air & Heat and ask about ductless mini split heating services in Orlando, FL.
For the moment, here’s a short explanation about how ductless heating works.
Ductless mini split heat pumps
Ductless heating systems are essentially heat pumps that use multiple indoor units instead of a single, central indoor unit. Like any heat pump, a ductless mini split operates using heat exchange: a flow of refrigerant from the outdoor cabinet to the indoor unit(s) carries outside heat and brings it inside, where a blower sends the heated air into rooms.
(Also like a heat pump, the process can reverse during the summer and remove heat from indoors, functioning as an air conditioner.)
The difference between the standard system with ducts and the ductless system is the multiple indoor units. Each of these indoor units is a small air handler with a refrigerant coil, blower, and individual controls. The unit is mounted up on a wall, and the refrigerant line runs out the wall and outside to the outdoor unit. The blower is powerful enough to provide heat for one area of the home, and it blows the air directly inside, without using vents.
Because ductless mini splits are placed in different spots in a home, they allow for “zone control,” with individual rooms capable of shutting off the heat to that area. This allows for energy savings, since you don’t need to heat rooms that aren’t in use. You’ll also receive savings from no longer needing to schedule duct cleaning or sealing. The lack of ducts also increases indoor air quality.
Should you go ductless?
To answer this question, you’ll need a consultation with professional who can analyze your home’s heating (and cooling) needs as well as its construction. If your home does not already have ductwork, or if you are planning a new home, ductless mini splits are often the ideal way to go. If you already have ducts from a furnace or heat pump, ductless may not bring you the same benefits. Listen to the advice from the professional installer to find out what your best options.
Downtown Air & Heat has NATE-certified technicians on staff to provide you with knowledgeable assistance and heating services in Orlando, FL. Talk to them if you think you may want to go ductless with your next heater.