BENICIA — Is your central HVAC system outdated or in poor condition? Are you looking at alternative options for heating and cooling your home? Are you planning for a home addition? Are you considering adding a solar energy system? If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you’ll want to know about an innovative HVAC option: ductless mini-splits.

Ductless mini-splits differ from central heating and air conditioning in that they function as independent units that serve individual rooms or areas of the home. Whereas a centralized HVAC system heats/cools the entire house to a uniform temperature, ductless mini-splits offer a customized approach to climate control by allowing the homeowner to adjust the temperatures in individual rooms. Additionally, the homeowner has the option to heat/cool some rooms and not others, which can save a lot of money.

Here are some additional benefits of ductless mini-splits:

Easy installation

Whereas expanding ductwork is often invasive and expensive, all that’s required to install a mini-split unit is a three-inch hole for running hook-ups to the outdoor unit. Once it’s hooked up (and plugged in to electrical power), the unit can be easily mounted to the wall or ceiling.

Non-vented

Mini-splits don’t require air ducts, which makes them a great option for add-ons or homes that lack existing ductwork. They can also be used to supplement other non-vented heating systems, such as hydronic heat.

Improved air quality

Since they don’t use air ducts, mini-splits help reduce the amount of dust, allergens and other particles that enter the home’s air stream.

Quiet operation

Mini-splits are near silent while they’re running.

All electric

Since they don’t burn gas, mini-splits are better for the environment (and if your home has solar power, better for your wallet, too).

If this is the first time you’ve heard about ductless mini-splits, you might be surprised to learn they aren’t new. While they’ve only recently started to gain prominence in the United States, Europe has been using mini-splits for decades. So, you don’t have to worry about being a guinea pig for a new technology—their effectiveness is well-established. To learn more about ductless mini-splits, consult a local HVAC professional.