ACHRNEWS

Desperate Times Call for Ductless

August 17, 2009

The economy is a crazy thing these days, but what does that have to do with ductless mini-splits? In examining the economy, it is beginning to show signs of life. When the durable goods orders rose marginally in the first quarter of 2009, it told us that people were buying products that will last at least three years or more. Included in this favorable report from the Commerce Department were products like cars, washing machines, and air conditioners. When new construction started a small rise in the same quarter, it signaled a possible increase in air conditioner demand.

The stock market continues to change and with it all of the measurable economic indicators move up and down on a barely predictable roller coaster. Housing starts are not exempt from this bumpy economic ride, but according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) builder confidence was rising in April. Unfortunately this indicator continues to wax and wane as the economy works to settle itself.

In the midst of these changing numbers, President Obama introduced and passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Many contractors and homeowners have already heard about the major tax credits available for systems installed in 2009 and 2010, but let’s not forget about the ductless mini-split systems that qualify for these tax breaks. When ductless systems first entered the HVACR industry, the equipment was traditionally big, boxy, and used as a last possible alternative to solve a problem. These systems are now smaller and sleeker, and their range of application has increased to include whole home solutions. Inverter technology has made ductless more energy efficient with some systems over 20 SEER.

The units can also be used in low ambient conditions, as was not the case earlier. Depending on the manufacturer’s specifications, some units can operate in cooling as low as + 4°F and in heating to - 5°F. Besides the efficiency benefits, most ductless systems can be installed in just a few hours, saving time and money for the contractor and the end user.

The economy may be on a roller coaster, but ductless mini-split technology advancements are strictly on the rise.

Publication date: 08/17/2009