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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

Ductless Heating and the Vintage Home: A Good Combo

ductless-ac-unitThe vintage homes of Southern California are often beautiful, styled in classic Spanish and Art Deco designs. If you live in one of these homes, you want to preserve as much of the beauty as possible…

…but having a central air conditioning system—that’d be great too. Unfortunately, these vintage homes were built before central ventilation was common in residential buildings. There isn’t much space to put in ductwork unless you are okay with major renovations that can harm the original integrity of the home. You can rely on window ACs, but those look ugly when put into the windows of a beautiful vintage home.

Is there a solution? We wouldn’t bring the topic up if we didn’t have one!

Enter Ductless Heating and Cooling

Ductless heating and cooling, also known as ductless mini split heat pumps, are popular throughout Europe, where many buildings date back centuries and ductwork is rare. A ductless system is very similar to a conventional heat pump in its basics: refrigerant circulates between indoor and outdoor units to either move heat from inside to outside, or outside to inside (cooling and heating mode). With a standard heat pump, there’s a single indoor unit that has a blower fan and connects to the ductwork to distribute the conditioned around the building.

With a ductless system, there are multiple, smaller indoor units. These mini air handlers (that’s where the mini comes from in ductless mini split heat pump) are attached up on walls, often over windows and doors, and connected through a small hole in the back to the outdoor unit. Each air handler has its own blower and refrigerant coil. The conditioned air goes straight into the room from the air handler, no ducts needed.

Flexibility and No Drastic Changes

For a vintage home, a ductless system allows for cooling (and heating) to be placed in many different rooms for an even spread of comfort—and all that needs to be changed is mounting a small air handler unit on the wall and drilling a hole. The air handlers are designed to be unobtrusive. Aside from the better comfort, most people won’t notice them.

Not Just a Good Choice—Maybe the Best Choice

In some ways, ductless systems are improvements on conventional central ACs and heaters. For one, the individual units can be controlled separate from each other, so only rooms that require heating and cooling receive it. This saves money. Ductless systems also consume less power with their smaller motors, and without ductwork, they don’t suffer from air loss along leaks and breaks.

A ductless system can also benefit homes with people who have allergies and asthma. Ventilation systems gather dust over time, and they end up spreading it out each time the blower comes on. Ductless systems don’t have ducts, so they don’t have all that extra dust.

We’re the HVAC contractor in Los Angeles, CA to contact not only for ductless mini split installations, but also any other services to help with improving heating, cooling, and electricity for older homes.

Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical is an older home specialist serving Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Make an appointment today.

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