Our homeowner called us to talk about installing a ductless air conditioning mini-split system in his home in Bartlett, IL. He’d been thinking about upgrading his hvac setup. After visiting a house with a mini-split, he wanted to learn more.
His ranch relied on window ac’s. It wasn’t equipped for central air. But, the window units were loud, ugly and cost too much to run.
Now, our homeowner wanted to see just how well a mini-split would work. He also needed to know how much it would cost. After learning more, he was ready to make the change.
Problem: A ranch in Bartlett, IL did not have central air. The homeowner used window ac’s. But, they were loud and cost too much to run.
Solution: Installed a Mitsubishi ductless air conditioning mini-split with air handlers in the family room and basement and a recessed cassette in the living room/dining room area.
Our homeowner would have installed central air years ago if he could. But, this house, built before the 70s, wasn’t equipped for it. So, he’s had to make do with portable cooling units up until now.
This house was built during the suburban boom of the 50s and 60s when models like this one were popular. But, the residential central air wasn’t around until the next decade. So, many houses weren’t set up for it.
In many cases, an hvac tech can simply use forced air heating ductwork to also cool. But this home uses radiators for heating. It uses pipes, not ducts, to circulate air. And, an ac can’t work with piping.
So, our homeowner used window ac’s in the summer. They did the job - kind of. The house was a little cooler, but not as much as he’d like. Meanwhile, his electric bills skyrocketed in the summer thanks to these inefficient units.
There were other problems, too. Notably, the sound. Each one roared, hummed and rattled. It was difficult to hear the television. Sometimes, it was hard to hold a conversation or fall asleep with all that noise.
What’s more, the window units posed a safety hazard. They’re designed as portable. So, they aren’t fully installed in a window.
It’s very easy, then, for a burglar to gain access to the house. All one has to do is push in the air conditioner and climb through the open window. That’s especially a problem with multiple ac’s in a one-story home.
The solution for this ranch home was a Mitsubishi ductless air conditioning mini-split. This would provide the cooling our homeowner wanted. But it’d be less expensive, more secure, and much, much quieter.
These systems are “split” between two parts: An outdoor condenser and indoor panels, or air handlers. Just like central ac, the outdoor condenser removes heat and humidity and sends back cool air.
Inside, the panel, or air handler, takes care of circulation. It draws in the warmth and sends back cooled air.
The two connect via plastic tubing. It’s flexible enough for our techs to snake it behind the walls without building out areas for ductwork.
We recommended three zones for this home: The basement, family room and living room/dining room area. Each air handler has its own thermostat and controls the climate in its own zone. They all work independently of each other.
Now, there’s more powerful hvac without the expense and hassle of adding ductwork. And, the mini-split is energy-efficient. It uses much less energy than window units or a central system to provide even better climate control.
For starters, the air handlers use inverter technology with variable speed engines. This means they can run at different levels, not just off or full blast. That helps it use much less energy.
Next, the iSee sensors detect heat, humidity - and people. When there’s no one in the zone, the unit goes into power-saving mode. When the sensors realize someone’s there, they add extra cooling to keep the temperature consistent.
Thanks to these features, people often see savings of up to 40 percent on their energy bills in the summer. It also made him eligible for a rebate.
ComEd, his electricity provider, offers cash incentives for people to install energy-efficient appliances. This system netted our homeowner $1,400 toward the price of the units and their installation.
Our homeowner’s new mini-split provides cooling he feels, rather than sees or hears. For him, that made a big difference. In fact, the noise and sight of the bulky old windows units were big parts of why he wanted to make a change.
The new panels are nearly silent. At the most, they produce less than 20 decibels. That’s quieter than a whisper.
Next, we always make sure to place the panels in out-of-the-way spots. There’s no reason to draw attention to them.
It helps that they’re designed to sit high up on walls. We placed them in corners near picture frames and windows, and out of sight for people sitting on couches. This way, they’re out of people’s eye lines. And, they follow the contours of other objects, so they don’t stand out.
For this homeowner, we took things a step further. Most of the air handlers are plain white. For this ranch, we opted for ones with colors that matched each room’s decor.
In the dining room, we offered a recessed cassette air handler. Rather than a panel like the other rooms, we installed this air handler in the ceiling near the dining room table. It’s offset enough for people not to notice.
Now, our homeowner has the climate control he’s always wanted. He feels it, but barely notices it around the house - or on his electric bill.
Are you looking to upgrade to a more efficient, quiet hvac solution? Contact us, and we’ll design a system that’s perfect for your home and budget.