Ductless: 3 head system or ductless with ducts to 3 bedrooms?
What would you do and why?
I am about to embark on a major remodel. Our house is electric only (baseboards and on the main level, a 2 head ductless heatpump put in in 2009). Our upstairs will end up around 850-900sq ft with 3 bedrooms. Originally, I thought we'd just put in a 3 head ductless system. Then, one salesperson (and only 1) said, why not a single unit with blower and air return and ducts to the 3 bedrooms? I said I didn't know, so he explained the system.
It seems it will be a little bit less $ to install this type of system and you don't have the (unsightly) heads in each bedroom. Disadvantages are regular filter replacement for the air return and needing to all have the same temperature in the bedrooms (rather than each bedroom having their own remote/control of temperature).
Ducts are "insulated and sealed, and with a vapor barrier", but otherwise would be in unconditioned space. Is the "insulation" on a duct sufficient?
What would you experts choose? The ducts are appealing right now (cost savings). Are they a cost savings in the long run? Our current 2 head LG system has been running great since 2009 with very little/no maintenance (filter cleaning only). What should I expect with a ducted ductless system?
More about us/our climate--we live outside of Seattle. When we put in the ductless system for our main living area in 2009, we were among the first residential users. They tracked our electrical usage, etc, to do research on their effectiveness in our area. They told us not to take out our wall electric baseboards, because we'd need them for supplemental heat, etc. Well, despite some very cold weeks the last couple of years (unusually long with snow on ground), we've rarely had to use supplemental heat from the baseboards. We do have a wood burning fireplace (which I'd like to get a wood stove insert for and get more efficient) which could also be a back up heat source. I'd like to get rid of the wall-consuming baseboard heaters.