This home in Sonora, CA, offered plenty of room to the homeowners — maybe too much! With no kids in the house anymore, they didn't need every room to get as much heating and cooling as the ones they used the most.
Besides, their current ductwork system barely did the job anyway. It was old and poorly designed. We recommended a mini split to provide heating and cooling to each room. They'd have more control over every section of the house and better comfort overall.
In this case study, we'll cover:
- Existing Ductwork Problems In A Large Home
- Customizable "Zoned" HVAC With A Mitsubishi Mini Split
- Ductless And Indoor Air Quality
- More Advantages Of Ductless Heating And Cooling
- Installing A Six-Zone Mini Split In Sonora, CA
Problem: A husband and wife wanted to isolate the heating and cooling in different rooms. They have a large Sonora, CA home but are the only ones living there.
Solution: Installed a six-zone Mitsubishi ductless mini split to provide customized heating. Now, they can set individual temperatures for each part of their home. It's more comfortable and costs less to run.
Do you want to control the temperature in each part of your Sonora, CA home separately? If this is the kind of customized control you need, reach out to Performance Based Heating and Air for a free consultation.
Existing Ductwork Problems In A Large Home
This home had two problems with the existing ductwork. First, there were very long duct runs to reach the entire house. Second, There was only one thermostat controlling the whole house.
Long Duct Runs
A forced-air system relies on air pressure to push the warm or cooled air through the ducts and into each room. But, the longer that air has to travel, the weaker the pressure gets along the way.
Then, you factor in the vents all over the house. Each opening releases more of that pressure. By the time you get to the master bedroom, the circulation is very weak. It's the furthest from the furnace.
Even if we re-routed the existing ductwork, each room would still get uneven heating and cooling. That's because a single thermostat controls the entire house. And, it doesn't exactly do a great job.
As a result, the second floor never gets the treatment it needs. And, there's no way to make adjustments for other parts of the house. It's one-size-fits-all.
Customizable "Zoned" HVAC With A Mitsubishi Mini Split
These homeowners became interested in a Mitsubishi ductless mini split when they heard they could change an individual room's temperature. In the HVAC business, we call this kind of customization "zoned" HVAC. Each room or area of the house gets a separate thermostat and heating or cooling source.
With a mini split, each source is called an "air handler." Each of these indoor units has a built-in thermostat.
That way, the homeowners can set each thermostat to a different temperature when they want. They'll save energy by changing the amount of heating or cooling in the rooms they don't use as much.
But, their bedroom, living room, and other common areas will always be comfortable no matter what! And, the benefits don't stop there.
Ductless And Indoor Air Quality
The new ductless system in this home also addresses another important issue for Northern California homeowners: Air quality.
When we got the call for this home, Sonora and other towns were dealing with standing smoke from wildfires. Unfortunately, it's becoming more and more of a common occurrence for us here.
Fortunately, the ductless mini split will help improve the indoor air quality here.
The air handlers come with high-grade air filters. They do a better job of filtering out contaminants, including smoke, than the average one-inch filters you get with a forced-air furnace.
Next, the mini split won't circulate air from one part of the house and send it to another. Instead, each air handler warms or cools the air in its zone.
More Advantages Of Ductless Heating And Cooling
By now, the homeowners knew ductless heating and cooling checked all their boxes. And, there were still a few more advantages for them to enjoy.
With ductless, nothing forces air all the way through the house. As a result, there's much, much less noise when it's running. Even at full power, the air handlers make less noise than people speaking softly in a library.
And, it's rarely at full power.
Better, Consistent Heating and Cooling
The ductless heat pump uses Inverter technology to run at variable speeds. That means it can do a much better job of heating and cooling than if it could only run at full power or not at all.
Instead, each indoor unit gets its zone to the temperature the homeowners want. Then, the heat pump switches to a low-speed mode that uses much less energy this way.
During low-speed operation, it provides just the right, small amount of heating and cooling it needs to maintain a consistent temperature. There's no drift before the system turns back on. And, after paying for installation, it costs less to run than traditional HVAC.
Installing A Six-Zone Mini Split In Sonora, CA
This home required a six-zone mini split set up to do the job. That's one ductless heat pump outside running six air handlers throughout the house. Fortunately, installation is quick and easy. This job only took us four days!
The first air handler went in the third-floor dormer area. Next, we mounted another indoor unit on the wall in the master bedroom. It's powerful enough to blow into the bathroom attached to that room.
The third air handler went in the garage, which was much more than a place to park the car! This area was a home office and workshop with enough room left over to house two vehicles. Even with a space this large and wide-open, one indoor unit was enough to treat it all.
Back inside, we put one in the dining room that's strong enough to circulate comfortably into the kitchen. Next to it, we mounted one above the sliding glass door in the living room. Finally, we added two more air handlers in the other bedrooms to mirror each other.
Connecting To the Ductless Heat Pump
The last step was linking each indoor unit to the ductless heat pump outside. To do it, we run lines from the air handlers to the outdoor unit. Each one gets bundled into a line set that's about the same size and shape as a rain gutter.
We ran them from the top of each room right out and then vertically down the side of the house to the crawl space. They all linked up under the house and reached the heat pump in one neat, out-of-the-way grouping.
In less than a week, these Northern California homeowners went from lousy, expensive heating and cooling to state-of-the-art comfort with lower bills. And, you can easily enjoy the same upgrade! Reach out to Performance Based Heating and Air for a free consultation.