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All You Need to Know About Ductless Systems

It’s hard to imagine living without proper home cooling in our part of the state. Most homes keep cool by way of a central air conditioning system, and many homeowners feel like they don’t have a lot of options for cooling if a traditional central air system won’t work well for their home. They may assume that their only option is to add a noisy and less efficient window unit. This is where a ductless system can be a lifesaver.

If you haven’t considered how a ductless system can benefit your home, then you’ll want to read on.

How Ductless Systems Work

Unlike central air systems, which require adding a good deal of ductwork throughout your home, a ductless system only requires feeding a small tube (containing refrigerant) from an outdoor unit to an indoor unit. This is far less invasive than a traditional central air system and requires less time to install. Instead of utilizing ducts to circulate air, there is a system of blowers that are installed in each room to cool that area directly. Since these blowers are installed high up on the wall, homeowners will notice very little interference from a ductless system.

Energy Efficiency

Ductless systems are considered more efficient than central air conditioning units mainly because of their lack of ductwork. A large reason that central air cooling systems become inefficient is due to holes and leaks in the ductwork, which can result in a 25 to 30% loss of efficiency. With a ductless system, you can still get a high efficiency unit with an excellent SEER rating, and you won’t have to worry about losing efficiency over time as you would with a central A/C.

Range of Features

In contrast to typical central air conditioning systems, ductless systems offer a variety of handy features which heightens convenience for the homeowner. These features may include options such as remote operation, programmable settings (so that you can easily control the temperature indoors during certain times of day), easily washable filters, and adjustable air flow.

It’s Not Just for Cooling

Ductless systems aren’t just great for keeping your home cool, they can also heat it as well. Many ductless systems utilize heat pump technology, which means that in addition to cooling your home, they can be used to heat it during the cooler months by reversing the direction that the refrigerant flows so that it transfers the heat into your home instead. These types of two-for-one systems work perfectly in home’s located in and around San Jose, where the weather is mostly warm.

It’s Worth the Investment

Even though there is an initial investment involved with ductless systems, just like there is with central air systems, the benefits of a ductless system are well worth it. Ductless systems last longer and are far more efficient than a window unit. And, compared to a central A/C, ductless systems use less energy overall during operation. You also get more control over your indoor temperature, which results in much greater energy savings over time.

If you’re in the market for an energy efficient solution to cooling your home, consider a ductless system. Benefits like increased energy-efficiency and improved air quality and handy additional features, make it a great option for many homes all year long. Give us a call to learn more about whether a ductless system is right for you: (408) 899-8878. Or visit our products page to browse the variety of ductless options we have available.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Home’s Insulation

People expect their home’s insulation to last a lifetime. In most cases, those expectations are met — especially if the home is newer and has quality insulation. There are some circumstances, though, that call for insulation to be replaced. Know how to spot the signs that a replacement is due before it becomes an issue.

Settling and Compacting of the Insulation

One of the biggest grievances that people have about potato chips is the amount of air in the bag. The bags actually are quite full when they leave the production line, but settle along their way to the supermarket shelves. Insulation behaves in a similar way.

Most insulation materials are designed to maintain their shape for decades, but lower-quality options might lose some mass over time. This can lead to gaps and wasted energy. It might not be necessary to replace all of the insulation (you may be able to add another layer in certain areas), but if the material continues to settle, replacement might be the best option.

Insulation and Water Damage

Roof leaks are always serious, but they are much worse if they go unnoticed for a time. When insulation gets wet, it suffers physical damage, which creates the risk for mold. Mold and mildew within the ceiling or walls can become airborne and travel through your entire ventilation system. These mold spores can cause respiratory infections and other health complications.

The water damage may be limited to certain sections of insulation, which makes replacement easy and cost effective. While settling and water damage can happen in homes of any age, this is often an issue with older homes.  

Material That is Too Thin or Too Decayed for Proper Insulation

In the past, there were no regulations about the depth of insulating material. Contractors could use as little insulation as they liked. Some builders left customers with just a few inches of the material to protect their homes. Now, the United States Department of Energy provides guidelines on insulation requirements depending on the state in which you live. Florida, for example, generally has a recommendation of 10 to 15 inches. If your older home is too hot or too cold, it’s a good bet that the home has inadequate insulation. The solution, of course, is to add more insulation or to replace what little is left.

Before fiberglass insulation was available, materials like cotton and wool were popular for home insulation. Fiberglass is durable and has a long lifespan, but these older options are at risk for rot. Over time, they’ll provide poorer and poorer protection. In this case, a replacement is necessary. If fiberglass is added to the existing insulation, the old materials underneath will simply continue to degrade.

Evaluate your home’s age, condition, and current insulation. If you recognize any of the situations described above, it could be time to invest in new insulation. Contact us for more information about our insulation services.