If you have a room that’s impossible to heat with a forced-air system because there’s no ductwork, you do have options. Basically, they’re one or more portable heaters or a ductless mini-split system.
Portable heaters, also caller space heaters, typically run on electricity but can also be fueled by propane, natural gas or kerosene. Portable heaters have the advantage of being an easy fix. Electric heaters in particular are ready to go once they’re out of the box. But depending on the room size and the outside temperature, a portable heater might not produce enough heat to raise the indoor temperature satisfactorily. This, coupled with safety concerns–more than 25,000 fires a year are caused by portable heaters–can be a serious consideration if you want more than a modicum of comfort (and safety) in your ductless space.
Ductless Mini Split Systems
The alternative is a ductless system. A ductless mini-split can provide excellent heating and cooling to one or more rooms in your home. As the name suggests, it does not require ductwork and so can be installed relatively easily.
Ductless systems have three basic components: one or more air-handling units inside your home, a compressor, which is outside, and tubing that connects the two sides. With their small size and flexibility–the air-handling unit can sit on the floor or hang on a wall–ductless systems can be installed in almost any home.
Cost and Value of Ductless Cooling and Heating
While installation does bring with it a higher up-front cost, compared with portable heaters, a ductless system typically costs less to run. This type of system is also more efficient than a system that uses ducts, because typically up to 30 percent of heat is lost through air ducts.
And there’s a bonus over other types of non-central heating. A ductless system also cools your home in the summer–which, of course, a portable heater cannot do.
Preferred Air Conditioning & Mechanical, Inc. has been providing comfort services in the south Florida area since 1991. Contact us for answers to any of your ductless mini-split questions.