I'm purchasing a small 1,200 sq ft condo. The AC is very old and will be replacing it right away.
I've seen a lot of advertisement recently from Mitsibishi and Fujitsu about ductless split systems. Seems like there are some real advantages, but bottom line trying to determine if it makes good financial sense to choose ductless over central AC. Haven't found someone knowledgable about both systems that isn't trying to steer me to one or the other.
Prices seem to vary greatly on the ductless. Seems like some really good ductless units are available on eBay from Top Sellers at much lower price than local shop would sell it which might tip the decision in favor of ductless. This assumes that it doesn't cost and arm and a leg to find a professional to install it. I'm not a handy man kind of guy.
Condo: 1,200 sq ft
Upstairs: 2 bedrooms and a bath
Downstairs: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, and large open area connect kitchen, dining, and living room
I would guess 1 split ductless could handle the upstairs and 1 split system could handle the downstairs.
Question #1: Is ductless worth considering in my situation as a central air alternative?
Question #2: If ductless is worthwhile, please pass along any insight, tips, cautions, and recommendations.
Question #3: Have I drank the koolaid on their sales pitch or are the below valid and good selling points for ductless?
Ductless system positive points:
1) Quieter inside and outside
2) Use less energy - supposedly 30% of efficiency is lost in ducts so potentially energy cost drop by 30%?
3) Ductless systems as whole seem to have much higher SEER rating
4) Abilitiy to choose not to cool/heat specific rooms
5) Few allergens / cleaner indoor air because there is no ductwork.
6) Inverter technology allows room to stay at more constant temperature
Question #4: Do ductless systems hold up as well and last as long as a traditional central AC?
Question #5: Is routine maintenance easy and inexpensive on ductless systems? From reading, sounds like some have re-usable washable filters and some do not.
Question #6: Should it be easy to find a professional to install it and how much is a fair price for installation?
Question #7: Given these systems are not nearly as commonplace as traditional central AC, would you expect any problems finding good local technicians to provide warrantied repair service on a ductless system.
Bottom line - Is ductless AC a good idea or bad idea in my situation?