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Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

Is Ductless Heating the Most Efficient Form of Home Heating?


Ductless heating has become an extremely energy-efficient and powerful form of home heating, but is it really as good as everyone says? Is it the most efficient, or could you actually get better heating efficiency from a different type of HVAC machine?

While we do ductless heating installation in Sussex County, DE, we also install other systems. From our experience, we have a few things to say about the efficiency of ductless heating. Let’s talk about it.

The Gas vs. Electricity Debate

If you want to heat your home fast, there’s no better way to do it than burning gas. It’s quick because the combustion-based system works differently than electric. Electric systems, like ductless heating, have a warm-up time.

While gas is more reliable, it comes with unnecessary risk such as the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. There are pros and cons to both types of systems, but ultimately, you’ll get more energy efficiency with ductless heating in the long run.

All types of HVAC heating systems will lose efficiency as time goes on, but it’s a steeper decline for combustion-based units. Electric heaters degrade slower, so ultimately, they end up being the better option.

Zone Heating

We can look at the AFUE system to see how efficient a gas furnace or an electric heater is. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more efficient the unit is.

Ages ago, gas furnaces were considered to be highly efficient when they hovered in the 80% range. However, electric heaters technically have a 100% AFUE rating.

Beyond that system, there’s something else you have to keep in mind: you don’t have to heat the entire house at once with ductless heating. With different heads, you can choose which rooms to heat and to what temperature. That gives you far more control over your heating. Instead of “ON” or “OFF” for a gas furnace, you can fine-tune and custom tailor your heating preferences.

Cold Climates

Because gas furnaces burn fuel, they’re definitely better in an extremely cold environment. Gas furnaces provide a more immediate heat than electric heaters, so there’s certainly a benefit for fast relief there.

However, how many times do you keep your house completely void of heating during winter? It costs a lot more money to heat your home when it’s cold than it does to keep the heat trickling and maintain a good indoor temperature. While gas can be better in a pinch, how often will those pinches realistically happen?

Efficiency Isn’t Linear Anymore

We used to think about the AFUE rating system and simply connect higher percentage AFUE ratings to better efficiency. While there is truth to that, you also turn on a furnace to heat your entire home—not just one or two zones. The benefits and energy efficiency that come with zone-controlled heating with a ductless mini split system outweigh gas furnaces. In the long run, it’s safer and smarter to opt for ductless heating for your home.

Contact Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. today to schedule an installation for your new ductless heating system.

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