Is Ductless Right For Me?

Ductless Mini Split Installation in Frederick MD

Is Ductless Right For Me?


A ductless mini split system can be a cost-effective, scalable way to add cooling or heating to individual rooms in a house or to replace an entire conventional system. 

We’ve certainly been getting a lot of questions about it here at Dave’s!

With all the options that are available and the rising costs of energy starting to squeeze the life out of your wallet, it can be a daunting task trying to figure out if going ductless is right for you.

But if you are looking for an energy-efficient, eco-friendly, and cost-effective way to cool and heat your home, then keep reading…as by the end of this short article, you’ll have a better understanding of going ductless. 


What is a ductless mini split exactly?

Simply put, ductless air conditioning and heating works without the need for ducts or ductwork!

They are made up of one or more indoor units installed on the wall, floor, or ceiling that are connected to an outdoor compressor using a refrigerant line and wiring.

Compressor: In layman’s terms, the compressor is the outdoor unit. It has variable-speed and compresses refrigerant, which then flows to the coils where air is heated or cooled before being sent the different evaporator units throughout your home. 

The Blower/Evaporator Unit: This is the indoor unit you will see and interact with. These units can be wall, floor or ceiling-mounted or ducted and will cool and heat your home depending on your needs. There is an option for every need. 

Refrigerant Line and Wiring: This is what connects the condenser to your indoor units to provide cold or hot air to your home.

In reality, mini split systems can be installed with or without ductwork. 

However 95% of ducted systems in the United States are inadequate according to independent studies. Poorly designed or installed improperly, most have problems such as mold, holes, and poor connections that result in further leakage. 

Ductless Pro’s vs Cons. 

To help you make a better decision, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a ductless system vs traditional system that requires ductwork. 


A ductless mini split can provide both cooling and heating or just cooling. 

The cost to run is significantly less than the cost involved with running your traditional duct system.  One can turn on heating or cooling in just the areas being occupied instead of the entire house and different rooms can have different temperatures to suit everyone . Grandma’s room can be 80 degrees and dad’s room can be 72 for example. 

With the evaporator being directly in the room you are cooling, there will not be any wasted energy through heat and air loss throughout the rest of your home.

These units are energy efficient. This involves less electricity used which is good for your bank account and also good for the environment.

The small units can hide in an inconspicuous space inside your home and take up less space on the outside of your house or roof.

Having multiple units allows you to better zone off your home for more efficient energy usage and conservation. With your larger units incapable of zoning except through closing vents, your cost to run is significantly less.

Ductless mini split units are easier to install than a brand-new HVAC system. There is no need to include ducts throughout the home, often making installation easier and cheaper than a ducted system

There are often federal and tax incentives to installing energy-efficient heating and air systems in your home (and often manufacturer and utility company rebates). Look into your local benefits to see if it applies to you.

The air filters in ductless systems do not require more frequent care in addition to the standard semi-annual maintenance. Filters are easy to remove, wash and reinstall. Monthly air filter maintenance is recommended in homes with children or pets where more frequent attention will be required. Fans must also be cleaned on a regular basis because they will not function correctly if debris has accumulated however this can be done during preventive maintenance

Ok, slow down. These benefits seem like enough for you to make the call today, but let’s take a look at the cons just in case.



Installation costs. Ductless mini splits “might” cost more to install than upgrading your traditional ducted AC system. However, if installing new ductwork, the ductless is often cheaper. If we are including the cost involved with the installation of a new ducting system, these costs will vary significantly. These costs are quickly offset by the savings you receive running the unit. Some of our customers have replaced oil boiler systems with ductless throughout the entire house, and the fuel savings paid for the new system in just a couple years. 

Another downside is the aesthetics – indoor units are typically more visible than traditional indoor AC ducts. This has everything to do with personal preference and might be a non-issue to you, especially considering the savings and positive impact on the environment. There are also options that are a bit more discreet than others where the indoor unit fits flush against the wall or can be mounted to a ceiling, resembling a central air unit.

This is not necessarily a con for you, but ensuring the correct size is installed for your home’s needs is a science that has little room for error. Your trusted HVAC consultant will make sure you have the right unit for your needs, but if the unit is too big or too small, you will lose efficiency and will cost more, and potentially burn out the unit.

This is not a DIY project. Installing a ductless mini split seems like a simple enough project considering the small unit sizes, but you will need a professional to not only make sure everything is safe, meets or exceeds building codes but also to ensure your equipment is running top notch so it actually saves you money in energy costs. Taking on this task on your own is neither safe nor a cost efficient way to heat and cool your home. A professional will do a professional job, with the best exterior and interior aesthetics from experience, knowledge and quality workmanship.

Cost and Investment (And final thoughts)

The cost of your ductless mini split can vary greatly but generally falls within the realm of $3,000 to $15,000. On average, you are looking to spend around $4,000 with single indoor unit installation, but this all depends on your home needs. 

These units work well in older homes, newer homes, and also in conjunction with your central air system. 

Ductless installation can run quite expensive but still be cheaper if you require new ductwork.

Especially if you’re building a totally new house from the ground up. But if you have existing ductwork, an upgrade to your existing system might be cheaper.

Since ductless systems are scalable, they could be perfect for a new addition to your home or turning that garage into an office or for rooms that never seem to be cool or warm enough like some upstairs bedrooms

And the energy savings in the long run might outweigh the initial installation costs. 

If you’re looking for ductless minisplit in the Frederick, MD area…and have more questions or need to schedule an appointment…give us a call at (301)-401-2780. 


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