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One thing you shouldn’t play around with is your home’s comfort, especially if you’re the primary caregiver for an elderly parent or family member with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Keeping them comfortable is one of your primary concerns, and it would be nice to do it cost-efficiently.

One cooling alternative to bulky window units and central air systems is ductless air conditioning systems. They’re a heating and cooling option that’s becoming increasingly popular across the United States, but many people still don’t know what they are. Continue reading to learn why many are making the switch to ductless systems, especially when caring for an older adult with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

What is a ductless system?

Central air conditioners employ a single, central system that cools air outside of the home and feeds cool air into the home via numerous ducts and fans. One of the downsides of central air systems and ducts is that they can become difficult to route to new rooms if you add additions to your home. Because they don’t use ducts and you can mount them anywhere, there are lots of creative ways to use ductless air conditioning systems.

Like central air systems, ductless systems also use an outside cooling unit, but the biggest difference is, of course, that there are no ducts. Ductless systems, also known as mini-splits, employ an outdoor central unit linked to the home’s air handler by a conduit that contains the power cable, condensate, refrigerant, and suction tubes.

With ductless systems, you can put an air handler in every room. Each unit is connected to a single outdoor unit that pulls warm air from your home into the compressor outside, cools the air, and pumps the cool air back into the home.

Ductless systems are safer than window units.

Caring for an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s means that you have to be on the constant lookout for dangers they may not be aware of. Window unit air conditioners present several safety hazards that you may not have even considered yet.

One of the main things you have to worry about with window units is the possibility that the air conditioner could fall out of the window and injure someone. The air conditioner is only as secure as your windows are sturdy. If your parents live in an older home, the window sills could be dry-rotted and unsuitable for bearing the weight of a window unit.

Another possibility you have to worry about when you hang air conditioners in your home’s windows is the possibility of break-ins. You can’t lock shut a window that has an air conditioner hanging out of it, and burglars know this. Removing an air conditioner from a window is simple and provides easy access to your parents’ home.

Ductless mini-split air conditioners replace the need for window unit air conditioners and can be mounted to walls, ceilings, and baseboards. Because of their safety features and the fact they can easily be paired with existing central air systems, mini-splits make great holiday gifts for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Ductless systems are energy efficient.

One of the best features of ductless air systems is that they’re energy-efficient, meaning they don’t consume as much energy as window units and central air systems while providing equal or greater results. Energy efficiency means that you won’t have to run a mini-split as long or hard as window units to achieve optimum comfort in your home.

Not only are mini-split systems good for energy efficiency in the home, but they’re also better for the planet. If you’re environmentally conscious and want to save on energy costs, then ductless mini splits are an excellent comfort option for your whole house.

Kathy Heckle