The sky is dreary. The rain feels endless. All we really want is to feel warm. It’s hard to remember exactly what the sun looks like, never mind feels like. But then comes August. August when the sun is, well, too hot. And all we can imagine is a nice cool place to escape. Both times of year, as well as months in between, we yearn for a space that provides an oasis to the weather, no matter what, rain or shine.
It is exactly this need that is filled by South Sound Ductless. An Olympia business, South Sound Ductless focuses on local needs. Co-owners Cory Eckert and Mike Meisenheimer live where they work and know what is important to customers in our community. They create the kind of climate change we want to have happen, and do it with an eye on providing exceptional service and products at wallet-friendly prices. In fact, the business was born in response to local experience. Eckert installed a ductless system at a homeowner request when he was building custom homes. “We installed one last February . It was incredibly energy efficient. I was so impressed with it that I bought one for my own house. I was blown away by the product.”
What is a ductless heating and cooling system?
Ductless heat pumps, also known as mini-splits, make the most of our temperate climate, providing extra heat in the winter and cool breezes in the summer. They are made up of two main parts; the outside compressor and one (or more) air-handling unit inside. By eliminating any ducting, such systems, which come outfitted with air filters, leave homes with high air quality. Additionally, because there is no energy loss in ducting transport, ductless systems have a 25% higher efficiency than their traditional counterparts. This, in addition to the technology used in ductless systems, translates into a savings of 25% – 50% or more on monthly heating bills.
Will a ductless system work in my home?
The short answer is yes. No matter the type of heat originally built into your home, a ductless heating and cooling system can augment the preexisting source. Whether your house is heated with gas, propane, oil, wood, or electric heat, all homes are candidates for a new ductless heating and cooling system. Building from scratch? A ductless system can easily be integrated into your building plans. Given many of our open floor plans in the Pacific Northwest, a single unit “will disperse and heat an entire floor” said Eckert. And the results? “Being good for the environment, having lower bills are all great. But putting all that aside, this heat is incredibly comfortable. My wife says it feels like the heat from the fires of her childhood. It just radiates everywhere.”
What is the cost?
Installation of a ductless heating and cooling system typically costs one third of a ducted system installation. The average cost runs $4000-$5000. Most utilities in the Northwest are offering cash rebates for customers whose existing electric heating averages $1,500 per year. South Sound Ductless’ most recent client was able to install a system for $4200 and will get $2500 back in rebates. “The payback for putting in your system is 3-7 years, depending on how you use it” commented Eckert. “What you can do is incredible.”
What does installation look like?
Do you take joy in nearly instant gratification? Not to worry. Most installations can be completed in less than a day. “We go in and get them done. We did one today and we were finished by 12:30 pm. Our customer’s heat was up and running and his air was being filtered for the first time ever,” said Eckert. And with proper maintenance such systems last 20 years or more.
Why is it so different from traditional heating and cooling?
While ductless technology seems new to us, it has been around for decades. “These systems have been around since the 1970’s. In Japan, they are in 90% of homes. In Europe they are in 81%. In the U.S. we are just late getting started,” explained Eckert.
Why are they so popular elsewhere? Traditional heat systems, no matter the energy type- electric, oil, natural gas or propane- all have motors that blow either on or off. The ductless systems run on variable speeds. Essentially, it is always adapting to current conditions. They are constantly monitoring the air temperature and kick back more heat or cool air when there is as little as a half-degree change.
The analogy Eckert gives is that of a Suburban compared to a Prius. “Standard systems are like a Suburban driving through town stopping at every light. This is a Prius on the freeway.” It can smoothly adapt to each hill and valley without starting from a dead stop.
Eager to learn more?
South Sound Ductless will be leading seminars on Saturday March 9th and Sunday March 10th at 1:00 pm during the Tacoma Remodeling Expo up on the Home Efficiency Stage. The event is held at the greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center.
And of course, you can always contact them directly. Cory and Mike can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com respectively. For more information on South Sound Ductless visit their website at http://www.southsoundductless.com/index.html.