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With the weather changing, it’s normal to want to live in a comfortable environment. Home temperatures are crucial to our enjoyment and play a big part in breathing clean air. 

Your North Andover home’s HVAC system is important to invest in. If it’s been a while since you have repaired or replaced your heating and cooling system, now is the perfect time to do it! It’s time to start preparing for the colder weather North Andover, MA, is susceptible to every year. 

Instead of thinking a central unit is the only option you have, it’s time to learn about ductless systems. There are many advantages to placing a ductless heating and cooling system in your home. If you’ve never considered that option before, here’s what to expect upon and after installation.

What Is A Ductless Mini Split

A ductless mini-split is a heating and cooling service that does not require air ducts as standard central units do. However, ductless systems still provide the same amount and quality of heating and air with more control belonging to the homeowner and less room in the house being used by big compressors.

Homeowners who use a ductless mini-split love the complete control they have over their heating and air conditioning, including reducing energy usage. Compared to standard central units, homeowners with ductless mini-splits can save up to 40% of energy usage because these systems are incredibly energy-efficient. But, of course, this also means no high energy bills for wasted or overuse of energy! 

Ductless systems also offer a lot of flexibility with where these systems are placed in a home and do not require significant renovations to fit a substantial indoor component that central units have. Ductless systems come in the shape of smaller boxes that are placed either on your windows, walls, and ceilings or along the baseboards. 

How North Andover Homes Can Benefit from Ductless

Residents in North Andover, MA, can benefit significantly from using a ductless heating and cooling system! Since Massachusetts is a northern state with varying, unpredictable weather, the flexibility a ductless mini-split offers is significant for North Andover residents. 

North Andover, MA, sees a lot of snow and sometimes scorching weather. The unpredictability can leave residents in dire situations if they do not schedule a maintenance check on their systems and leave problems undiagnosed. Or worse, if they don’t replace their units in time. 

Instead of using a central unit that runs on a routine and heats or cools the entire house, homeowners can control the hot or cold air produced in rooms from a ductless mini-split and how long they run. They also choose which rooms receive which kind of air. 

Homeowners who use ductless systems choose where they place these systems in the house, controlling where the home needs the air the most. For instance, if you live in an older house where there was no air installed in either the basement or a particular room, a ductless system can be added into these areas.

Suppose you build a home in North Andover, MA, own a business, live in an old house, or recently added a room to your home. In that case, you can surely benefit from these systems, especially during the extreme weather seasons when it calls for complete abnormal control over your home’s temperatures.

Know When It’s Time To Upgrade Your Heating

If you are unsure whether it is time for you to upgrade your heating and cooling system, there are signs you can look out for. Other than your system outliving its lifespan, which is typically between 20-30 years for a central and ductless system, there are subtle and not-so-subtle ways to tell if it is time to upgrade your service.

Here are some tell-tale signs to look out for:

  • Smells or sounds when the system is turned on
  • High energy bills
  • Prolonged or stalled use
  • Heat/cooling not working
  • Constant repairs

An obvious indicator that your current unit is going bad can be distinguished from sounds or smells. If your unit is stalling to work or staying turned on for more extended periods than it usually is, then your system is either getting old and breaking down, or parts are going bad. This can create air distribution problems where your system does not push out heat or air like you have it set to.

Another indication that your system needs to be updated can come from you having to make constant repairs. Instead of paying a technician to replace your system often, it will save you money to replace it entirely, especially if parts keep breaking. 

Have you noticed those unusual high energy bills lately? That could be because your current system has to use more energy to try and produce the right temperatures, and your unit is too old to function properly. Also, if there are any cracks or leaks, this could be causing more energy to be used to make up for what is being lost. 

Luckily, ductless systems can help with saving energy and money. Installing a newer system will show its money-saving effects and efficiency pros after installation. 

Central HVAC vs. Ductless 

Trying to decide between Central HVAC or ductless? It is important to know both the similarities, differences, and benefits of making your final decision. With these systems being a significant investment, it is vital to make the right choice from the very beginning. 

Let’s start with cost. Ductless systems cost more up-front for installation than central units, but ductless systems conserve more energy, saving money on the back end. Central units may also cost more to repair since more parts are involved, whereas ductless units are simple and more minor.

Central units also do not come with the same amount of flexibility as ductless units do. Central units are placed in one location of the house wherewith ductless systems, and the homeowner can choose which rooms get heat and air and for how long. Homeowners can also choose to have heat and air going on at the same time with ductless systems.

Central units only put out heat or air conditioning at a time to the whole house. Ductless units can produce heat in one room and air conditioning in another at the same time. So, if one area of your home is predominantly colder during seasons, a ductless system can produce the heating it needs and vice versa and can be turned on or off at any time. 

Different Types of Ductless Systems

If you are going the ductless route, you have several options for selecting your new heating and cooling service. For example, there are single zone or multi-zone units for the specific rooms you would like to install these systems in.

Single zone is used for individual rooms. So if you have a recent addition or just one room in your home that does not have heating or air, this is the best option. Multi-zone is used for several rooms that are being heated or cooled from the same unit. So if you have a recent addition to your home or just one room/building that needs heating or cooling, single-zone or multi-zone is the route to choose. 

There are also options for where these units will be placed in your home. Wall, ceiling, and floor (baseboard) ductless units are the most common. Where you place your ductless system depends on where it will fit best in your home for usage. When they come over to assess your home, your technician will look at the different rooms to see where a ductless system would work best and be the safest. Safety is another important aspect when installing these systems. Instead of being out of the way and in a remote location like a central unit, ductless systems are placed near everyday items that could be flammable.

Maintenance Tips For Your Ductless System

Once you get your ductless system installed, it is extremely important that you keep up with its maintenance to ensure the longevity and quality of the system. 

The indoor and outdoor compressors both need to be cleaned periodically. It is recommended that you clean your ductless mini-split every three to six months. Your outdoor unit can be cleaned just as often or at least twice a year, but you should always be on the lookout for any debris or twigs getting logged into the outdoor grill fan. 

To keep your system in its best shape, you should schedule a routine maintenance check twice a year for the productivity of your system. Having a technician come out before the summer months and before the winter months is a great idea to replace any broken parts or get your system fixed before it is too late. Your technician can clean your unit during this time, or you can do it yourself beforehand.

To clean your indoor compressors, you will need a damp rag and some mild detergent. When cleaning your indoor and outdoor unit, turning the power completely off is always important since water will be involved. 

First, wipe off the outside portion of the unit to get rid of dust that has collected on the box. The next thing to worry about is the filter.

The filter is a significant component of any type of HVAC unit. The filter is responsible for passing air through your home from the outside and trapping pollutants along the way. When a filter is backed up, the contaminants will either pass through or clog the system up. Preventing this is an easy fix.

Filters can be replaced every three months to keep the air pure in your home, or they can be wiped down with a damp rag and mild detergent. Although, keep in mind that filters will need to be replaced, and you should not just wipe them down all the time.

The outdoor compressor is more complex.

After turning the power off, clear away any sticks or debris before spraying the outside grille down and then the fans. Once you spray the fans, remove them to apply the coil cleaner and let it sit for 15 minutes. When the time is up, scrub the cleaner with a coil cleaning brush and hose it back down with water before reassembling. 

The more cleaning becomes a routine, the longer your system will last. Remember to schedule a maintenance check-up twice during the year to catch any problems before you’re in a position where the heater or cooler doesn’t work in extreme temperatures. 

How To Install Your Ductless Mini Split In Your Home

Ductless systems are not as complicated to install as traditional units are. In fact, ductless units can be installed by yourself. However, it is best to let an HVAC professional install your system since certain lines and wires need to be cut and hooked up. Without the help of a professional, you could hurt yourself or damage the unit if you are unsure how it is supposed to be hooked up. 

When you have your ductless mini-split installed into your home, there is a certain way you have to go about it. Basically, it is important to keep your mini-split away from items and to give it its own space.

If you install a window or baseboard ductless system, keep curtains, rugs, bookshelves, and several feet away. Curtains and other items can be easily overheated and cause a house fire if they are left against these heaters for too long.

The same rule applies to a wall or ceiling-mounted ductless systems. Picture frames and decorative arts hanging on the wall need to be spaced apart from wherever your ductless system is sitting on the wall. 

Things To Keep In Mind When Picking Out A Mini Split

When it is time to find a new HVAC system, you may be hesitant to pull the plug. But, unfortunately, every heating and air conditioning system is expensive. It is a big investment for your home and health, which is why you should be cautious of the brands you put in.

Cost should be kept in the back of your mind when looking for a new ductless system. Establish a budget that can be a little flexible in case you were to find a higher system that will best fit your house. Because of this, you must pay attention to the different systems your technician points out.

Research the brands to find which one is the best to purchase. Look for how long each brand typically lasts and common issues other customers have had with the systems to get an idea of what you could face and pay for repairs. 

You should also look for the appropriate size system for your needs. Your technician can help you with this after they visit your home and observe your needs. They will know the right size of a system to put in your home for the rooms you want them in. Too small or too big of a size can result in the overuse of energy and produce higher monthly bills when that’s an effect you are trying to prevent with a ductless system. 

How To Prepare For The Installation

Preparing your home for a ductless mini-split installation is easy. Since your installation will not require a major renovation indoor to accommodate the larger indoor unit a central HVAC has, you just need to be prepared to pull stuff down from the walls or floors and accept a home intrusion for a few hours.

If you have several units installed in various rooms, the process can take a few hours to hook up wiring. First, your technician will observe your home to tell you where they feel is best in the room to install the system, then you will need to remove any pictures or furniture in those areas.

After the technician has installed the systems, they will turn them on and the outdoor compressor to test the units while they’re running. If there are no issues with the heat and cold air settings, your technician will pack up and leave you to it! 

You do have to prepare for the aesthetic contradiction these units can pose to certain rooms. Since ductless systems are chunky boxes, they can stick out in certain areas or clash with the decor. Because of that, it would be a good idea to find a place where they are less visible in your rooms. 

Get Your Mini Split Installed Today

Don’t wait for the cold weather to get here to upgrade your heating system! With it being the time to start transitioning to fall soon, 128 Plumbing is ready to place the proper ductless heating and cooling unit in your home.

Our company has been helping residents in North Andover, MA, for over 29 years, providing excellent service for all heating and air conditioning matters.

We know how significant this investment is to your daily life. So if you are looking for expert advice on if a ductless system is right for your home and which one you should install, we’re the people to hire! Not only can you trust 128 Plumbing, but you can be confident in your unit after installation. 

Call us today at our office to get started with your ductless heating and cooling system and be a step ahead of the colder weather. 

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