Future Looks Bright for Ductless HVAC Systems

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

As manufacturers pursue a goal of innovation and improvement in their ductless HVAC offerings, the market for these systems is growing at a furious pace in the U.S.

Navigant Research predicts the North American market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 14 percent between 2013 and 2020. Dollar-wise , it works out to $3.9 billion in 2013 to more than $9 billion by 2020.

Ductless HVAC systems have long been a staple of homes and businesses in Europe and Asia Pacific. You may be familiar with these units–they typically are hung on a wall or mounted on a ceiling, and the refrigerant and electrical lines run through a hole in the wall or attic space outside to a compressor that cycles the refrigerant.

In North America, home and business owners are beginning to open up to the advantages and benefits that ductless systems offer. They are typically more efficient than ducted systems, because heat or cool air can escape through leaky ducts. Also, in older homes and buildings it’s often easier to install ductless systems than to have to go tearing into attics, basements and crawlspaces to connect new ductwork.

Manufacturers are tuning in to the preferences of the North American market by making wall and ceiling units less noticeable and incorporating WiFi connectivity so the units can be programmed and operated remotely.

In a recent Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration News article, Carrier Corp.’s general manager of ductless and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems Meredith Emmerich said her company has responded to feedback from customers to help develop a “next-generation ductless” line.

“You’re going to see ductless continue to expand in the home and in multifamily environments, as well,” Emmerich said in an interview with the magazine. “It’s traditionally done very well in commercial applications, but homeowners are starting to understand there’s a solution for their needs, whether it’s their man cave in their basement, sunroom, or master bedroom. It’s a solution that can go in fairly easily that makes their homes much more comfortable.”