What Is the Difference Between Ductless Heating and Zone Control?

If you’re in the market for a new heating system, you may be wondering about your options. Two in particular sound like they achieve the exact same thing: ductless heating and zone control systems. Both of them allow you to shut off the heat in individual rooms while leaving it elsewhere in the house, as well as tailoring the heat to different temperatures in different rooms. So what’s the difference between them? That’s an important question to answer, especially as temperatures continue to drop here in Austin, TX. The most basic answer is that they each use different methods to achieve the same overall results.


Ductless heating systems are designed for homes that can’t support the branching system of ducts that accompanies most centralized HVAC systems. It might be that your home is older and lacks the crawlspace to support ducts. It might simply be that the configuration of your home isn’t suited to a ducted system. Either way, ductless heating is the solution. It establishes a series of individual heating units throughout your home, each one charged with warming a specific room or space. Each unit has its own thermostat and controls, so you can adjust the temperature in each room individually or turn it off if you’re not using the space.


Ductless heating systems are useful for homes that can’t support a centralized heater. Zone control systems, on the other hand, perform the same job for homes with an existing centralized heater. Instead of separate heating units, the technician installs a series of dampers in the ducts themselves, divided by room or section just like a ductless system, and each with its own thermostat and controls. The effects are the same—individual control and the ability to shut off the heat in some rooms while leaving them on it others—but the system, in this case, is simply built for an existing centralized heating system.

For installation and repair of both types of systems, give Intelligent Air Services a call today!