Advantages of Ductless Cooling in Oil-Heated Homes Without Ductwork

the word benefits depicting modern cooling system benefits

In numerous residences warmed by oil, hydronic heating setups are the norm, which implies the absence of HVAC ductwork. Consequently, with the arrival of summer, individuals living in these homes traditionally turn to window air conditioning units for relief from the heat instead of centralized air conditioning systems. However, this cooling option, especially when concerning air conditioning for old houses, is becoming more outdated.

While this approach seemed sensible previously, the introduction of ductless air conditioning technology has significantly altered the landscape. This innovation presents a superior cooling option, encouraging homeowners in search of an upgrade to transition from window-mounted air conditioning units to ductless air conditioning solutions. 

In the following article by Miller Oil Company, we’ll explore the drawbacks of relying on window air conditioning units and highlight why ductless systems represent a significantly better choice for air conditioning in older homes without ductwork.

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The Inefficiencies of Window Air Conditioners

Here, we delve into the various disadvantages associated with utilizing window AC units for cooling.

Window Air Conditioners Are Bulky 

bulky window ac unit

Unlike central air systems, which feature distinct indoor and outdoor components collaborating for cooling efficiency, window air conditioners consolidate these elements into one cumbersome unit. Despite years of engineering advancements since their inception, their size has not seen a substantial reduction. These units not only protrude significantly from the exterior, detracting from the home’s aesthetic, but may also negatively impact the property’s value by diminishing its curb appeal.

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High Costs of Operating Window Air Conditioners

Remember that air conditioners are significant energy users. Therefore, the initial purchase price of an air conditioning unit should not be your only concern during the shopping process. The operational costs must also be taken into account.

Regrettably, window air conditioners are known for their inefficiency, leading to higher running costs. They demand more energy relative to their size than more modern cooling solutions, making them an expensive choice in the long run.

Noise Issue with Window Air Conditioners

covering ears due to loud window air conditioning unit

The design of window air conditioners, which houses all operational components within a single enclosure, means that every sound made during their cooling cycles is clearly audible. This can become particularly bothersome if the unit is installed in a bedroom, where the continuous noise, including loud clicking and banging sounds, can disrupt sleep.

Although the room might be kept cool, the noise can significantly compromise comfort and rest. Moreover, these units often become noisier as they age, pushing those affected to seek quieter, more effective cooling alternatives.

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Inadequate Cooling from Window Air Conditioners

Despite their size, window air conditioners have a limited cooling capacity. Even the most powerful models on the market cannot efficiently cool large rooms, making them suitable only for smaller spaces. For cooling larger areas, multiple units are often necessary.

Window Air Conditioners and Indoor Air Quality Concerns

bad indoor air quality

Window air conditioners can compromise indoor air quality by allowing unfiltered outdoor air to seep through gaps around the unit, introducing pollutants that may exacerbate allergies and respiratory problems. Additionally, poorly designed models might not adequately filter the air passing through them, leaving allergens intact. These units also provide an ideal environment for mold and bacteria growth, further degrading the quality of air inside the home.

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Exploring the Advantages of Ductless Air Conditioning

Following our critique of window air conditioners, we introduce a prime alternative worth your consideration.

Energy Efficiency of Ductless Air Conditioners

ductless air conditioner

Ductless air conditioners stand out for their superior energy efficiency compared to window units. They excel at converting electricity into cooling power more effectively. While the upfront cost may be higher, the reduction in monthly energy bills leads to substantial savings over time, making them a financially savvy choice for households seeking efficient cooling solutions.

Ductless Air Conditioners Maximize Space Efficiency

Ductless air conditioners, with their split design featuring an indoor air handler and an outdoor unit, offer a slim profile for the indoor component. This design flexibility means it can be easily integrated into any room without occupying window space or obstructing natural sunlight. It is positioned high on a wall and seamlessly blends into your existing interior setup.

Ductless Cooling Systems Offer Quiet Comfort

Ductless cooling systems are engineered for quiet operation, with the bulk of their noise-producing components situated in the outdoor unit, shielded by the home’s exterior walls. This design minimizes indoor noise to a faint hum from the indoor air handler, which is hardly detectable. This ensures a serene environment, perfect for a good night’s sleep or focused work during the day. This feature is certainly notable when considering air conditioning for old houses.

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Zoning Capabilities of Ductless Air Conditioning Units

Ductless air conditioning systems allow homeowners to create multiple temperature zones within a home. This zoning feature significantly improves comfort for all household members, as it eliminates the need to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house. Individuals can adjust the temperature in their specific zones to match their comfort levels and even turn off the air conditioning in rooms that are not in use.

Improved Indoor Air Quality with Ductless Air Conditioners

Ductless air conditioners eliminate the issue of contaminated ductwork. They incorporate advanced multi-layer filtration systems that more effectively trap pollutants and allergens, leading to a significantly healthier indoor environment.

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Cost-Effectiveness of Ductless Air Conditioners Compared to Forced Air Systems

Homes with hydronic heating often lack pre-existing HVAC ductwork, making the addition of forced-air cooling systems both complex and invasive. Integrating such systems typically involves extensive modifications, including the demolition of walls and ceilings to accommodate new ducts—a process that is not only time-consuming but also significantly expensive. In contrast, ductless air conditioners offer a streamlined installation process, necessitating only minimal connections between indoor and outdoor units. This simplicity translates to quicker, less disruptive, and more affordable installations when choosing air conditioning for old houses.


With their myriad limitations, the era of window air conditioners is giving way to more advanced and efficient cooling alternatives as an option for air conditioning for old houses. The choice is clear for homeowners looking to enhance their energy efficiency, elevate indoor air quality, and enjoy superior cooling comfort. Ductless air conditioners offer an all-in-one solution, balancing performance with cost-effective installation. Consulting with an HVAC professional can guide you to the most appropriate ductless AC system for your home.

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Contact Miller Oil Company for Your HVAC Needs

Miller Oil Company is a premier provider of HVAC services in the Greater Enfield, Connecticut area, boasting a team of highly skilled and professionally certified technicians. We specialize in HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements and are committed to delivering superior service.

Understanding the need for a comfortable, energy-efficient home, Miller Oil Company offers affordable pricing on all services. Whether you need HVAC repair or replacement, our expert technicians can suggest the best solutions within your budget. A satisfaction guarantee backs our commitment to quality.

Call us today for a service appointment. We provide free, in-home consultations to help you make knowledgeable decisions about your HVAC systems. Trust Miller Oil Company for outstanding heating and cooling services that meet and surpass your expectations!

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