Should I Replace Window AC’s With a Ductless Mini Split?
Replacing Window Air Conditioners With a Mini Split Near Ocean City, NJ
If your home in Ocean City uses window air conditioners in the summer, you know what’s coming soon: High electric bills and trying to talk over a loud machine humming away in the background.
That’s to say nothing of the hassle that comes with dragging them out of storage, cleaning them out, and shoving them into windows.
Sure, they have their advantages, especially in smaller homes without ductwork.
However, more and more people in South Jersey are learning more about ductless mini splits.
And many, from year-round residents to second homeowners and those who own rental properties, are considering them a fantastic alternative to those older units.
But are they worth it?
That’s the question we’re addressing in this article. We’ll weigh the pros and cons of traditional window air conditioners and those of ductless mini splits.
Meanwhile, if you have any questions, or are looking to upgrade the cooling in your home, call us here at Broadley’s today.
We’ve been helping people in Ocean City, Marmora, Avalon, and other towns in Cape May and Atlantic counties stay comfortable in the summer since pretty much the invention of air conditioning.
Pros and Cons of Window Air Conditioners in Ocean City, NJ
For decades, people have used these units in shore homes. Since residential AC wasn’t around until the 70s, homes built before them weren’t always equipped for central air. So, window units were popular until then and well after.
Benefits of Window Units
Let’s put aside whether or not your home has the capacity for central air. Considering window ACs on their own, people enjoy the low upfront cost and flexibility.
Even today, these units retail for as low as $70. You can get one of the better models for just a few hundred dollars.
So, purchasing a few for your home is easy enough. And that flexibility offers other benefits.
People like controlling the temperature in each room. With window units, that’s what you can do: Set the bedroom a little cooler than the main living area, for instance.
Or, use open windows and fans for dining rooms and living rooms, where it’s easier to circulate the air.
This way, you’re not basing the temperature of the entire house on one thermostat that doesn’t get readings from every room.
Drawbacks of Window Units
If one of the benefits is low cost for the units, well, then in many ways you get what you pay for.
Common complaints we hear about these cooling units? Too noisy and too expensive to run.
It’s common for them to produce up to 60 decibels of sound. That’s the same as a conversation — which means you have to fight to have your conversation over them.
Watching TV can be equally challenging.
Then, you have to consider the operational costs along with the price tag. Anyone who’s run these regularly knows how much they drive up your electric bill in the summer.
And, for all that, they don’t always work that great. Sure, it’ll keep one room cool, especially with the door closed. But, put it in a living room or open area, and you’ll get warm spots all over the place.
It’s for these reasons that people look for alternatives.
Pros and Cons of a Ductless Mini Split in Ocean City, NJ
Ductless mini splits are becoming more and more popular not only as upgrades from window units but also as alternatives to traditional central air. Let’s see what people like about them and what makes them hesitate before investing in these setups.
Benefits of ductless mini splits
In many ways, then, they counter each drawback of the window units. And, they even offer the same benefits, only better.
Let’s compare sound for starters: At their highest level, the air handlers on a mini split produce about 20 decibels of sound. That’s the same as leaves rustling outside.
And, that’s at peak power. Usually, they’re humming away in low-power mode to maintain the temperature you want.
This cuts down a significant amount of electricity they require. It’s why virtually all of them are Energy Star-certified for their high efficiency.
Next, you can place one in each room you want to treat, just like window units. But, it usually only takes one to cool an entire first floor evenly with one wall-mounted unit.
Each one has a thermostat. And, each one uses sensors and fans to identify warm spots and direct the cooled air toward them.
Drawbacks of ductless mini splits
The one thing that gives people pause about the mini splits is, again, the opposite of the window units: Upfront price.
A one-zone system, fully-installed, with a heat pump and single air handler inside starts at around $3,000. After that, you add more money for each air handler.
It’s expensive when compared to portable ACs, but not as much when you stack them against central air. And, when you add in the energy efficiency and rebates you can get thanks to New Jersey Clean Energy, that cost gets even lower.
The other concern people have is where we mount the air handlers in their homes. These systems work without ducts because we only need to run refrigerant lines from the indoor units to an outdoor heat pump.
Ideally, we place these on exterior walls, so it’s easy to run the lines. But, occasionally, we have to get creative when using an interior wall.
People concerned about changing the look and feel of their home, however, usually feel much better once we map everything out.
Many times, we can use crawl spaces, closets, or space between rafters to run the lines and keep them out of sight.
It’s also why they’re popular in historic homes: You get state-of-the-art cooling while keeping the old-fashioned charm.
In just about every category, ductless mini splits do a far better job of keeping you comfortable in the summer than window air conditioners.
Even people’s main concern — the price — works out to their advantage in the long run.
If you’re curious about how a system like this would look and feel in your South Jersey home, reach out to Broadley’s today.
Starting with a free consultation, we’ll have your home all ready for summer before the warm weather gets here.