Interior Heating & Cooling Heating

How To: Upgrade Your HVAC—Without Giving Up Your Ducts

Replacing your current cooling or heating system doesn’t necessarily require a complete overhaul. Read on to learn how you can avoid the hassle (and cost) of ripping out all of the old before installing the state-of-the-art new.
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Upgrade Your HVAC without Replacing Your Ducts


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Have your monthly energy bills risen in recent years? Are some rooms stubbornly hot in the summer or too cold in the winter, no matter the thermostat setting? Do you find yourself having to turn up the television to hear above the noise coming from your ducts? If your answer to any of these questions is yes and you’re looking to upgrade to a more advanced, efficient system, you should consider mini-split technology.

Mini-split technology is most often recognized by the ductless wall-mounted equipment, zoned capabilities, and its ability to cool and heat a given space. This technology allows homeowners to divide their homes by floors, rooms, or areas in which they designate zones. The zoning allows for more efficient cooling and heating, where unoccupied areas can be turned off or set to different temperatures.

Mini Split HVAC Diagram

So you’re interested in the new technology? The thought of replacing your entire heating and cooling system can be intimidating. Based on an outside study by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, as well as its own statistics, industry-leading supplier Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating (Mitsubishi Electric) estimates that homeowners today can expect to pay between $4,000 and $5,500 per zone for cooling and heating the space. Therefore, the size of your home and the system you choose matters; the total price can fall anywhere from $4,000 to $20,000.

But don’t be overwhelmed by the sticker shock: You can cut down on equipment and labor costs by choosing a system that works with your existing ductwork. The total price will ultimately depend on the decisions that you (and your contractor) make regarding the number of zones and other variables.

Upgrade Your HVAC without Replacing Your Ducts

Know Your Options

Mitsubishi Electric’s Zoned Comfort Solutions™ opens up countless options for designing a super-efficient system to meet nearly any comfort need. A Zoned Comfort Solution uses an outdoor unit connected by refrigerant piping to one or more indoor units, which come in a variety of styles (wall-mounted, floor-mounted, horizontal-ducted, and more). While a single outdoor unit can pair with a single indoor unit to create one large zone, Zoned Comfort Solutions can provide a much more customizable experience; an outdoor unit can connect to as many as eight individual zones controlled by separate thermostats.

Keeping Your Ducts

If you’re looking for an efficient system but want to keep your ductwork and the aesthetic of your existing HVAC, one option is a ducted system. This upgrade brings some of the most noteworthy advances in ducted systems today—higher efficiency, quieter operation, and advanced control.

A multi-position ducted system replaces your existing central air system, making use of the original ductwork, and ultimately cutting down on installation costs by repurposing. The new PVA Multi-Position Air Handler from Mitsubishi, for example, packs 12,000 to 42,000 BTU (model dependent) of cooling/heating power into a compact unit that can be mounted in any configuration—horizontal or vertical—increasing the options for placement throughout the house. And no matter where you put the air handler, the motor’s whisper-quiet operation won’t give away its hiding spot!

In addition to repurposing ductwork, Mitsubishi Electric’s systems also offer flexibility in several areas. First off, each one of Mitsubishi’s Zoned Comfort Solutions can provide up to 40 percent more efficiency than conventional HVAC systems, and the PVA Multi-Position Air Handler offers ratings that range from 18 to 21 SEER (the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, the metric to measure cooling output per energy input).

Mini Split HVAC Air Handler

Secondly, some Mitsubishi Electric PVA systems can be matched with the innovative Hyper-Heating Inverter® (H2i®) heat pump, providing 100 percent heating capacity at 23 degrees Fahrenheit and 76 percent at -13 degrees Fahrenheit.

The system may be controlled from a mobile app on a smartphone through use of the wireless adapter and kumo cloud™ app. Depending on your choice of indoor unit styles, you may customize the system with additional features to optimize comfort: Models equipped with the 3D i-See Sensor™ monitor room temperatures to adjust airflow in the appropriate direction; high-performance filters can scrub and deodorize the air; and convenient RedLINK™ technology lets you connect up to 16 devices to your cooling and heating system without interfering with other wireless home devices.

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Ask the Experts

There are many options available and every situation is unique; each home’s distinct architecture, location, position, and level of insulation—as well as each resident’s definition of comfort—may require a highly customizable solution. The best way to find the right system for your home is to consult an expert, such as one of Mitsubishi Electric’s 3,500 certified Diamond Contractors™. Contacting a Diamond Contractor for a free in-home consultation will ensure you receive a state-of-the-art Zoned Comfort Solution designed to meet your specific needs.

Mitsubishi Electric’s Diamond Contractors possess excellent product knowledge and the education necessary to guide you through the process. A Diamond Contractor surveys your floor plan and assists in choosing a system best suited to the size and layout of your home. They know large and small houses have vastly different temperature-control needs and understand these factors impact whether you choose a single- or multi-zone unit. Finding the right fit and providing an accurate cost estimate requires intimate knowledge of system options, and a Diamond Contractor has the experience and qualifications to do it right.

Diamond Contractors are also up to date on the latest environmental programs and rebates for which your product may qualify—in other words, they can help save you even more money (on top of the energy savings from your new, more efficient system).

A modern, energy-efficient, and powerful cooling and heating system can be a convenient and affordable option with Mitsubishi Electric’s Zoned Comfort Solutions. To find a local expert Diamond Contractor, go to and enter your zip code in the Dealer Locator or call 1-800-433-4822 to speak with a customer care representative.