Both boilers and ductless systems have long existed in the shadow of the more popular furnace heating systems. That time is fast drawing to a close, however. Both systems have experienced a dramatic rise in popularity over the past couple of decades, and for good reason. Each system has its own distinct advantages to recommend it. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each system, and how you can choose the one best-suited to your needs.
Ductless Mini Split System
A ductless mini split system is a type of heat pump that, as the name suggests, completely eschews ductwork in favor of only heating the room in which it is installed. There are two parts to a ductless system, one indoor unit and one outdoor unit. The indoor unit is installed directly into a room, usually on a wall or the ceiling, while the outdoor unit is installed on the outside of the house. The two units are then connected by a conduit containing power and refrigerant lines.
When the heat is turned on, the outdoor unit evaporates refrigerant using a coil inside its casing. This leeches thermal energy from the surrounding air, which is carried by the refrigerant gas to the indoor unit. The indoor unit then condenses the gas back into a liquid, releasing the thermal energy to heat the room.
Ductless systems are great for people who want to save money, as they are quite energy efficient. They are also convenient, in that installing multiple ductless systems offers finer control over the climate in each room of the house.
Boiler-based systems are often simply referred to as “radiant” systems, due to the method with which they distribute heat. A radiant heating system involves the installation of a network of water pipes in the floor of each room of the house. The boiler then heats and distributes water through these pipes, causing heat to radiate through them and up into the room.
Radiant heating systems are much more energy efficient than forced air systems. They also tend to heat rooms much more evenly, creating a more comfortable environment.