Is ductless heating and cooling always the right choice over traditional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems? We’ll be comparing ductless heating and cooling systems and seeing when they’re the better choice over traditional HVAC methods.

The Pros of a Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems

Ductless heating and cooling systems have several benefits over traditional HVAC systems.


Ductless heating and cooling systems contain some of the most sophisticated and efficient technology in HVAC. Using inverter technology, they convert high-voltage electricity into direct current, letting them run on very little energy.

This allows them Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios/Ratings (SEER) of 30 or higher for cooling. For a traditional HVAC unit, SEER ratings can vary from as low as 13 to as high as about 24.

In addition, ductless systems also use variable-speed compressors, allowing them to run as much or as little as needed. In contrast, a traditional unit may only have one or two speeds and have to be switched on and off more often.

Built-in Zoning

Ductless systems show their advantages over traditional HVAC best in individual living spaces. These include places like garages, patios, sunrooms, attics, and finished basements.

Some larger ductless systems have multiple indoor units (also called “heads.”) If you have multiple heads in the home, you can run one to cool a single part of the home while leaving the others off. This allows precise control over the temperature and comfort in your home.

This is an ideal solution for rooms that are consistently hotter than other ones, or ones used less often. Also, this allows for more energy-efficient targeted heating or cooling in the most important areas of the home.

Less Installation

Traditional HVAC systems require ductwork, which may require installations or other modifications to the space. With a ductless system, you can avoid the hassle and expense of modifying, cleaning, or maintaining ductwork systems.

Some homes even lack the space to install ductwork entirely. In situations like these, ductless systems are a necessity.


Ductless systems can control the specific heating and cooling in certain zones. Typically, this is much more flexible than traditional systems.

This also makes a ductless system a great partner in conjunction with a central air system. The system can then distribute cool air to rooms that don’t have the necessary ductwork for central air. Therefore, many rooms like garages, finished basements, attics, and certain guest rooms greatly benefit from a ductless system.

Ductless Heating and Cooling System Cons

A ductless heating and cooling system does have some drawbacks over traditional HVAC. This can make a traditional system preferable in certain situations.


While ductless systems have air filters, they typically aren’t as powerful as the ones found in ducted filtration systems. Ducted filtration systems will generally do better at filtering allergens, dust, and odors.

However, this can be mitigated with carbon filtration inserts. But they require periodic replacement. Depending on how often you use the system, this can be a particularly frustrating chore. Other systems may have options to fit for air purifiers but are limited by the system’s zoning.

Line Aesthetics

Ductless systems have a line that runs from the indoor to the outdoor unit. This line includes condensate drainage and electrical connectors crucial to its operation. Depending on the location of the outdoor unit, this can position the line in aesthetically unpleasing positions. These can include down the side of the home or around corners of it.

But, there is a possible solution, known as a “line hide” to cover up or obscure the system’s line. This hide also can better protect the line from elemental wear and tear and other weathering. However, due to the expense and effort, not all contractors include line hide with installations (or charge extra for it).


Moreover, ductless systems control humidity by collecting moisture in the condensate line. Usually, the line uses gravity to simply run the condensation outside to a drain. However, depending on the setup and layout, this isn’t always feasible. In these cases, you should use a condensate pump to move the moisture outside. This can increase the cost, noise, and maintenance of the unit.


Speaking of maintenance, all HVAC equipment requires regular maintenance. Without it, the machinery will fall out of order, losing efficiency, increasing utility bills, and burning the system out faster.

However, ductless systems are different from traditional HVAC in that they have filters that require regular cleaning. The best practice is to clean the filters every couple of weeks, especially if the system is used year-round.
Many homeowners are unaware of this. Or, they forget to change these filters, reducing the efficiency and harming the equipment long-term.

Set Up Your Cooling System Today with Pilgrim Plumbing and Heating

In many situations, a ductless heating and cooling set-up offers many benefits over traditional HVAC. Although this isn’t true for all homes, you can find out if it’s right for you by consulting an expert.

Pilgrim Plumbing and Heating’s HVAC services are second to none, with specialists trained in the latest technology. Proudly servicing Weymouth, Norwell, Plymouth, and the surrounding community, Pilgrim is here to help with your heating and cooling needs. Call Pilgrim at (781) 725-6227 or contact us here for more information or to schedule your appointment.

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