Our homeowners in Eagle, ID had a common problem: Their master bedroom was always too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. It even happened when other rooms felt fine.
They called Snowflake Air to find out how they could fix this. And, we quickly found the problem: Poorly-designed ductwork.
Starting from scratch would be way too expensive, and we’d have to rip up the entire house to do it. But, our homeowners were determined to sleep more comfortably. So, we walked them through some better options.
They quickly found the right choice for their home: A ductless mini split. This system would offer heating and cooling as comfortable as the best forced-air systems out there.
And it would concentrate solely on the problem room.
In this case study, we’ll review:
- Ductwork Problems In This Home
- Heating And Cooling WIthout Ducts And Vents
- Mini Split Installation
And if this all sounds familiar, call or email Snowflake Air for more information about how we can make your Eagle, ID home more comfortable.
Problem: A bedroom on the second floor of this Eagle, ID home was always too hot or too cold. The ductwork provided poor circulation.
Solution: Installed a single-zone ductless mini split for more accurate, comfortable heating and cooling for the one problem room.
Ductwork Problems In This Eagle, ID Home
This article focuses on the solution to the problem. But, the ductwork in this home deserves a case study all its own! For now, here’s a brief rundown of what we found:
- Ductwork Was Too Long
- Too Many Bends
- Bad Return Vent Placement
The long-story-short is that bad ductwork designs mean at least one room is never at the right temperature. Remember, the whole idea here is “forced air.”
That means the HVAC system generates pressure to push the air through the house. But, it doesn’t get more “push” along the way. So, the pressure — and then the circulation — gets weaker as it goes.
So, having your ductwork optimized is essential. You want it to take the shortest route to each room. And, you want your return vents to pull as much air back in as possible.
None of this was happening here.
First of all, the ducts were just too long. They didn’t take the shortest route possible through the house. And, there were a couple of sharp bends in them.
The problem with that is you lose pressure when the lines aren’t straight.
Finally, one or two return vents weren’t in great places — one was in a closet! As a result, the system couldn’t pull enough air back into the system to circulate it all.
There wasn’t much we could do about all that. So, let’s get on to the solution our homeowner found — and why it worked so well!
Heating And Cooling Without Ducts And Vents
A ductless mini split was the way to go for this bedroom. As we discussed, the ductwork left a lot to be desired. With this room so far from the furnace, it got the worst treatment in the house.
But, we could fix the problem with ductless. Using an air handler inside and a heat pump outside, we created zoned heating and cooling that provided amazing comfort.
Now, let’s explain what all that means.
Zoned Heating And Cooling
We’ll start with the indoor unit: The air handler. The key component here is the thermostat built into it.
The rest of the house relied on one thermostat, on the first floor, in the living room. But, not every room stayed at the same temperature as that one. And, the rooms upstairs, in particular, would end up hotter or colder.
Now, the master bedroom has a thermostat in it. It gets heating or air conditioning based on the exact temperature reading in that part of the house.
We call this “zoned” heating and cooling: When you split the house into separate areas and treat them individually. This way, we focused on the exact problem spot in the house.
And we used state-of-the-art HVAC technology to do it.
Air Handlers And Heat Pumps
Let’s talk about that indoor unit a little more: The air handler has tiny fans and sensors that direct warm or cooled air to the exact spots that need it. So, it doesn’t just treat the room with a one-size-fits-all approach.
Instead, it can find a pocket of cold or hot air in a room and address it. So, you get an even temperature in every nook and cranny. It’s a significant improvement for large master suites and bedrooms with vaulted ceilings.
Next, we have the heat pump outside. The outdoor units for mini splits have Inverter technology, which is like cruise control for HVAC equipment.
Here’s what we mean.
Instead of only turning on at full blast or shutting off, the heat pumps run at variable speeds. So, it can offer just a little bit of heating or cooling to maintain the temperature all the time.
This keeps the climate in the room much more consistent. And it uses less energy than conventional HVAC.
It’s kind of like how highway miles in your car use less gas than city miles. You use less energy when you’re coasting rather than starting and stopping over and over.
And, there’s one more, very practical, consideration with these systems.
Installing Ductless Heating And Cooling In Eagle, ID
Building and putting in ductwork is a long, labor-intensive, and expensive job for a house. With a mini split, our homeowners sidestepped this process altogether. And, they got even better heating and cooling without it!
Installing a ductless mini split is a breeze. Especially when it’s a simple, single-zone setup like this. With just one room to treat, the setup only took a day.
All we had to do was mount the air handler on a wall in the bedroom. We found a nice, out-of-the-way spot. Then, we ran a line from the back outside and down the side of the house.
Next, we placed the air handler outside close to the house. It looks like an AC condenser, only smaller. Once we connected the lines between the two, we were done!
Now, this master bedroom stays cool all summer and warm all winter. It’s an easy fix, and it can work just as well for any problem room in your home! To learn more about how a ductless heating and cooling system could fit into your Treasure Valley home, call or email us for a free consultation.