Several weeks ago, we proposed the question, “Is going ductless worth it?” If you’ve read this post and have been considering your options, great! If you’re ready to go ahead and have a ductless system installed—please be sure to call a professional.
Without professional installation and follow up maintenance, you could end up with a ductless system full of problems. Improper installation leads to a number of unique repair needs not found in other HVAC systems. Going ductless is, of course, still worth it for many homeowners. However, if you make the mistake of going with an amateur, you might suffer. Here’s how:
1. Water Leaks Can Occur Behind Air Handlers
Ductless systems are different in set up than other, more traditional, heaters and air conditioners. A ductless heating and cooling system is comprised of a single outdoor unit and up to four individual air handlers. These air handlers are mounted high up on the wall in each room they’re installed in. They’re connected to the outdoor unit via a conduit containing a power line, refrigerant line, and a condensate line.
The condensate line is responsible for getting rid of any—you guessed it—condensation, which occurs during the cooling process in the summer. Sure, this is a summertime problem, but we’re going to guess since you’re buying a year-round system, you’re going to use it when spring rolls back around! And what happens is that water leak slowly dampens the drywall, and eventually it can cause the air handler to split from the wall as it loses its integrity.
This causes property damage, first off, but also can damage the air handler, which brings us to our next point.
2. You May Have an Air Handler Break
There is a bit of good news here. Like we just alluded to above, each air handler operates independently from one another. This means if a single air handler breaks, you don’t lose heating (or cooling) to your whole house, just to a section of it. So, while it’s still very inconvenient to be without part of your heating system, you can at least close off that room and move to another comfortable area of the home while you wait to have it fixed or replaced.
Of course, the bad news is, you would have to deal with getting it fixed or replaced! A broken air handler is a lot less likely to happen if your ductless system is professionally installed by a highly experienced and trained team of technicians. It’s also less likely to happen if you have your ductless system professionally maintained twice a year—ideally once in the spring and once in the fall, before you need it for cooling and heating, respectively.
3. Refrigerant Leaks Can Enter Your Living Space
Refrigerant leaks are not reserved for just ductless systems. They occur in central air conditioners as well as heat pumps, too. But what makes them different and more insidious in ductless systems is that if they occur behind an air handler, they can drip behind drywall or even into your living space.
Like the previously mentioned problems, this is a lot less likely to occur when your system is properly installed. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. Ductless heating and cooling systems are great for so many homes in our area, as long as you get the right team to do the work!