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Seattle-based developer says A/C systems in northwest homes could become more common

This week's soaring temperatures have some wondering about air conditioning options in their homes.

SEATTLE — With temperatures expected to soar in the Pacific Northwest in the coming days, many residents in the area are asking themselves, should I get air conditioning?

Pre-installed A/C units in residential buildings in the Puget Sound region may be limited, and central HVAC systems are rare. So on days when a heat wave strikes, residents may have to opt for portable A/C units that are either stand-alone or attachable to windows or vents.

"Times have changed," said Anthony Maschmedt, principal at Dwell Development. The Seattle-based home-building company offers A/C options in some of their newest properties. 

Known as a "ductless" mini split system, it works by remote control and circulates and filters indoor air while heating or cooling it.

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"It's becoming a part of a new common mechanical system for new construction because it's effective, it's affordable, and it's really efficient," Maschmedt said.

But even this type of system, while not particularly new, is rare in the Pacific Northwest.

"I would say the percentage of homes that have either a ductless or some type of mini A/C system in them is probably less than 5%," Maschmedt said.

Maschmedt said higher temperatures in coming years may become a new reality and the ductless system may become more common.

"Builders are grabbing onto it and consumers love it," Maschmedt said.

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