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Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort, Inc. Blog

Ductless or Not Ductless, That Is the Question

ductless-heating-systemsIn the world of air conditioning, there are two major categories of air conditioners:

Those with a duct system, and those without.

The ducts are the series of tunnels and vents that blow air into your home. Some systems have them, and some don’t.

When it comes to installing a new HVAC system, it’s not really about choosing which one you like more, or which one has the best features. More than anything, it’s all about which system is going to work well for your home. This could vary for a number of reasons, like if you already have some kind of heating or cooling system. It’s a lot to cover, so read on to learn all about them.


As briefly stated above, the duct system is what pushes cold and warm air through the home. Without them, your heated or conditioned air will have no path to follow!

Ducts are great because:

They provide a way to cool or warm your entire home. Plus, installing a central air conditioner and a duct system is relatively cheap compared to ductless models. Most homes use duct systems because they are effective and affordable.

The same set of ducts can be used by your furnace in the fall and winter. Most homeowners may already own a furnace, so it becomes the logical option to install a central air system to take advantage of the existing ducts.

Indoor air quality accessories like air purifiers, filters, and humidity controllers only make sense to install in whole-house applications, such as that provided by the ducts.

Ducts are bad because:

They can lose air after years of wear and tear. If the ducts aren’t sealed completely airtight, they can lose some of your precious warmed/conditioned air. It’s estimated that up to 30% of air can be lost in the ducts! Luckily, duct repair services do exist to have them patched up for you.

They don’t always cool or heat all rooms equally. Some rooms are naturally colder or hotter than the rest of the home, and a duct system can’t help fix this problem.


Ductless systems only come in the form of mini-split systems. To make up for the lack of ducts, an indoor air handler is required to be installed in each room you plan to give air to.

Ductless is great because:

No air loss. The air directly feeds into the room it’s meant to cool, meaning they are highly efficient, thus lowering energy costs.

Individual control. Each handler has its own remote and can be controlled to suit your needs.

They’re heat pumps, which means they have both heating and cooling functions built in.

Ductless is bad because:

They can’t make use of indoor air quality accessories that require ducts.

They are more expensive to install up front.

The Verdict

When it comes down to it, it’s all about what makes sense for your budget, your lifestyle, and your existing HVAC systems (if any). Before committing to any installation, you should talk with an HVAC company in Auburn, CA to make sure that you’re getting a system that makes the most sense for your home.

Get in touch with Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort, Inc. today to request an estimate!

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