Author Topic: Ductless HVAC System  (Read 5717 times)

V

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Ductless HVAC System
« on: May 11, 2015, 09:51:59 AM »
My husband and I are buying a home that was built without any kind of HVAC system.  Living in GA, AC is a must.  We have been weighing our options, but I was curious if anyone here has experience with the ductless systems.  Do you prefer it over the traditional HVAC system?  What are some of the things you don't like about it?

Bob W

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Re: Ductless HVAC System
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2015, 09:58:15 AM »
Window units are cheap.   I assume there is a heat source?

thd7t

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Re: Ductless HVAC System
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2015, 10:17:14 AM »
How big is the house?  As Bob W says, window units are inexpensive and give you a lot of control of how much space you cool.  Ductless systems offer similar control, but for a lot more money. 

thd7t

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Re: Ductless HVAC System
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2015, 10:56:23 AM »
The house is about 2100 sq feet.
Sorry, should have also asked how many rooms, as well.  Mini-splits (ductless) require a unit in each space you want to cool.  This gives the chance not to cool every space, but you have that option with window units as well.  Also, how old is the house?

mikesinWV

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Re: Ductless HVAC System
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2015, 11:36:53 AM »
My current house is 115 years old.  I am about to sell one that I lived in for just over 2 years that is about 110 years old.

The current house has a heat pump for the second and finished attic.  Gives me A/C and moderate heat.  The first floor doesn't have A/C.  It does have one large window unit that works pretty well.  Now, this is an old house where first floors were designed to stay cool in the summer.  Not sure about yours.

The other house I'm about to sell had no central A/C.  We had window units in bedrooms and one big one downstairs.

My advice to you regarding A/C is to buy window units. Small ones that can cool a bedroom can be had for about 100 bucks.  See how that works for you for this summer.  I would also try a window unit or two downstairs.  If you have a lot of open space get a bigger unit that can handle more space.  That's what we did in both houses.  The bigger energy-efficient units will run you 300 plus dollars.  You might find that these units do the job well enough and they are a lot cheaper than ductless and/or duct systems.  They are pretty expensive. 

One concern I would have is how you will heat this winter.  Is there baseboard heating?  How did the previous owners heat? 

thd7t

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Re: Ductless HVAC System
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2015, 11:37:53 AM »
The house was built in 1979.  There are 2 bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.  The main floor has the master and bath, 1/2 bath, living room, kitchen, sunroom, and laundry room.
Do you need to cool all of the rooms?  This does sound expensive with a ductless system.  You'd probably be looking at splits in both beds, living, master bed, kitchen and living room, at least.  You can get quotes on the work and real recommendations from installers, but it will probably be expensive.  However, they are very efficient and have a lot of control.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Ductless HVAC System
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2015, 11:59:22 AM »
Split systems can also include heat pumps, which would provide heat in the winter as well, and fairly efficiently, too.

How much does a house in Georgia without AC cost? I never saw one in Houston for over lot value.

mikesinWV

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Re: Ductless HVAC System
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2015, 12:14:11 PM »
The ductless do provide heat but my understanding is that they don't have auxiliary heat.  But, I could definitely be wrong as I didn't look into it too much.

 

Gone Fishing

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Re: Ductless HVAC System
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2015, 12:20:50 PM »
What did the previous owners do for cooling?  Not to say it is as good as AC but I have been in some southern homes without AC that were quite comfortable in the summer.  They relied on shade trees, high mass building materials (brick, concrete, plaster walls), good whole house ventilation (attic fans),  interior air movemement (ceiling fans) plus some ice tea or lemonade.  The house is then vented at night and closed up in the morning.  If your house has these characteristics, it might be better than you think.  Just a window unit in the master for hot nights might be enough. 

Bob W

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Re: Ductless HVAC System
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2015, 09:15:11 AM »
You could try thermal adaptation ---- In the past we have gone without AC in Missouri.   It was 100+ for 6 weeks straight at 90%+ humidity.   No AC in car either.   Strangely the heat never bothered us.   

At night we slept in the lower level with a box fan blowing on either of us.   The whole house fan works at certain times of the year when you can suck cool air in at night and then close up the house in the day.   

I find that air blowing directly on you will cool you pretty damn well.  Think of the wind chill factor.  It works to rapidly evaporate the moisture from your skin. 

Most people are so adapted to AC they can't imagine what it was like pre 1960 when virtually no one had AC anywhere.    Gee,  everyone seemed to have survived and did nicely back then with not AC and wood stoves.

You should try it this summer just to see if you can be a bad ass or what used to be known as "normal."

Spork

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Re: Ductless HVAC System
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2015, 09:37:16 AM »
Window units are cheap.   I assume there is a heat source?

In my (very limited) experience ... there is a reason for their cheapness.   They tend to be made to last only a few years and very inefficient.  We paid more to cool a 600sqft out building using window units than we now pay to cool a 2400sqft house using modern central AC.