In this podcast, Matt Torre talks with John Maher about 2023 trends in ductless ACs. He talks about the increased interest in ductless AC, more color options, and dual fuel systems.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Matt Torre of Jones Services, a service company in Goshen, New York, with a focus on ductless heating and cooling systems. Today we’re talking about 2023 trends in ductless air conditioning and heating. Welcome, Matt.
Matt Torre: Hey, John. It’s a pleasure speaking with you.
Increased Interest in Ductless AC
John: Absolutely. So Matt, what trends are you seeing now in ductless air conditioning systems?
Matt: Well, I’d say there’s probably three or four main trends that I’ve been identifying and a lot of us have been seeing over the course of the last year or so. The first one is probably just a massive increase in popularity and interest in heat pumps in general.
One of them being that a lot of people when they’re replacing their existing or older air conditioning system now they’re looking at this as an option because it provides an even more efficient, quieter air conditioning system. It also provides either supplemental or full-time heating.
So as you’ve seen the rise of oil costs and the natural gas costs over the last year, more and more people are finding interest in alternative solutions to be able to cool and heat their home. On top of that, you’ve got federally endorsed tax credits and rebates that are out right now. And that also is creating a lot of buzz and a lot of great savings for customers, which is, again, enticing them to find more and more interest in the product than ever before.
More Colors Available
John: Okay. And are you seeing any new trends in the sort of styles and form factors that are available in ductless systems?
Matt: I have. I have. There’s a couple exciting things happening. So as these types of systems have become more popular, we’re finding that they’re being used in more and more spaces, both residential and light commercial. So one of the things that I find kind of exciting now and that we’re starting to see a greater trend from our customers is the fact that these indoor units now can come in a multitude of colors.
So traditionally or historically, they were only available in white, but they’ve added a black and a silver, almost chrome like looking system. And we’re finding a lot of people like the availability of having a different color choice. Now white is still the most popular, but we are seeing a lot more people who are going with different designs or looking for something upscale or trendy within their home and they’re asking for the black and gray colors.
Dual Fuel Ductless Systems
Matt: In terms of the products themselves, one of the very exciting new products that has came out recently is the use of a dual fuel system. And what that is more traditionally or historically the systems were used for supplemental heat or we were taking out somebody’s furnace and replacing it with a heat pump and an air handler system.
But now it’s becoming more and more popular and more readily available to us is the option to keep your furnace and put a coil, similar to what your old air conditioning coil would be on, and connect that to a heat pump. So what that allows you to do is to use the heat pump for maybe 85 to 90% of the year. You’d be using it for air conditioning and a lot of your heating concerns. But on those coldest, coldest days, you would still have the flexibility and the supplemental or redundancy of being able to keep your natural gas furnace there as a backup.
So that’s been very, very exciting and we’re having a lot of people call and inquire about that. The other part to that particular piece of equipment that came out that a lot of customers are also enjoying is that it’s able to be set up with multiple indoor units. So not only can you connect it to your furnace and run it through your existing duct work, but maybe you have that bonus room that you added that doesn’t have any cooling or heating in it right now.
We can go ahead and install an indoor wall mounted or floor mounted unit in that room and now we’re providing you heat and air conditioning in a room you haven’t had it in previously. A lot of customers also decide to add that to the unconditioned basement. Now when they get this new system connected to their existing furnace and existing air conditioning and ductwork system, they can actually add an indoor head to the unconditioned, unfinished basement or their garage and provide heating and cooling in those areas all while using just one outdoor unit. So you’re not having to have multiple units out on the exterior of your home.
Heat Pumps for Baseboard Heaters
Matt: So that’s been trendy as well. And then there’s another thing coming down the road that’s really just emerging, and I may be even getting ahead of myself because it’s probably a year or two from becoming popularly known. But they are developing a technology right now where they’re going to be able to use a heat pump to actually heat your water in your baseboard. So somebody who had a boiler and didn’t have a furnace and might have been burning oil or natural gas, soon there will be a heat pump solution for them to be able to reduce their carbon footprint and their utility costs and not have to rip out all that baseboard that they have throughout the house now from their hydronic boiler system.
Where to Install Different Colors of Heat Pumps
John: Okay. Going back to the colors. You mentioned that … The white ones are obvious. You have maybe a white wall and you’d have a white system, and then those sort of chrome colored ones, the silver ones would match in a kitchen where you might have some stainless steel appliances like your oven or your refrigerator or something like that. Where would you use a black one? Would it be when you have maybe a darker colored paint on a wall and you want that to blend in a little bit more?
Matt: Yeah. So some people have used it in that application where the indoor colors are darker. Some people also have hi-fi surround sound speaker systems in their home that happen to be black. So they already have some bigger black items hanging on the wall, so they want it to match and blend in with their audio system for their television or music.
And then man caves. So that guy who’s got the finished basement with the pool table or the bar or the gym set that’s down there, they don’t want that white delicate looking thing. They want something that’s going to have a little bit more of a strong appearance. So we’ve seen black used in that scenario, as well as the silver a lot of times. So it’s probably more common in those ancillary rooms within the house, like in a garage or a basement or in a kitchen with a lot of appliances.
But we’re also finding them used in white commercial applications, so dentist offices, doctor’s offices. Restaurants may go with the black style to blend in with their scenery as well. So we’ve seen it both on the residential and the small office style application. But again, white tends to still be the most popular, but when you get a nice black or silver one in the right room, it really does stand out and look pretty cool.
Ducted Air Handlers
John: Right. The other thing that you can do with a ductless system is actually install a ducted air handler into the house to allow you to put ceiling mounted, vents in the ceiling where the ducted system that you install maybe in an attic or in a basement can actually warm or cool multiple rooms at once. Do you see that sort of ducted air handling system becoming more popular as well?
Matt: Yeah, we do. I would say we do a high percentage of ducted units when ductless is not preferred by the customer. So a lot of people still have the advantage of the central air type feeling. So where there’s nothing on the wall and like you said, there’s vents or registers cutting in either the floor of the ceiling. What some people may not realize is that if you had an old central air system and you’ve already got those registers cut into your floors, or I should say your walls or your ceilings, that in most cases with a little bit of ductwork modification, we can adapt to those existing pieces of duct work and venting. So there’s really no aesthetic change to the room that you’re in, but you’re getting more efficient, more comfortable, quieter heating and cooling.
Contact Jone Services to Learn More
John: All right. Well that’s really great information, Matt. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Matt: Yeah. If anybody else has any more questions, they can certainly reach out to us here at Jones. We’d be happy to send someone out to their home and give them a full evaluation.
John: Sounds great. And for more information, you can visit the Jones [email protected] or call 845-294-1010.