Ductless heat pumps (a.k.a.“mini-splits”) are highly efficient zonal heating and cooling systems. Mini-splits were developed in Japan more than 30 years ago, and they have completely changed how people think about heating and cooling their homes and businesses. More than 50 percent of residential air conditioners sold worldwide are ductless heat pumps. Ductless heat pumps are called ductless because – you guessed it – they do not require ducts to move air. This is partly what makes them the quietest, most comfortable, and most energy-efficient way to heat and cool your home.
There three main components of the heat pump system: the outdoor unit, the indoor unit, and the remote control.
The outdoor unit connects to the indoor unit with small electrical cables and a couple of insulated refrigerant lines. The unit is placed outside of your home on ground level. The cable and refrigerant lines require only a three-inch hole in the wall for installation, eliminating the need for expensive and invasive ductwork.
The indoor unit is mounted on a wall within your home and in the room of your choice. Most of our customers choose the main room in their home where they spend the most time. The ductless heat pump works with their existing heating system, which remains in place. In this scenario, just one ductless system is enough to heat and cool an average-sized Northwest home. Keeping your existing heating system in place ensures bedrooms and bathrooms remain at the desired temperatures, while the centrally located ductless system keeps your home’s main living areas as warm or as cool as you’d like. Of course, other installation scenarios can work too. One of the best things about ductless heat pumps is that they can be installed in many different ways.
A remote control lets you easily adjust your heat pump’s settings for maximum efficiency and comfort, no matter where you are in your home. As a result, you no longer need to get up and walk to the thermostat anytime you want to make an adjustment. Most remotes are very user-friendly and lightweight too.
Save Money and Stay Warm
Ductless systems reduce costs by operating with 25 to 50 percent less energy than electric resistance and forced air systems. Several key factors account for the high efficiency of a ductless system:
- Ductless systems allow the user to control each heating/cooling zone independently, eliminating the costly over-heating and cooling common to central air systems. Why should you have to pay to heat or cool rooms that are not currently occupied?
- While central air systems lose as much as 30 percent efficiency through air leaks and conduction in the ductwork, ductless systems distribute air directly to each zone, resulting in 25 percent greater efficiency.
- Ductless systems use inverter-driven, variable speed compressors that allow the units to maintain constant indoor temperatures by running continuously at higher or lower speeds. Thus, the system can ramp-up or down without great losses in operating efficiency – avoiding the energy-intensive on/off cycling common in electric resistance and forced air systems.
- Modern ductless systems have ultra-high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEER) between 16 and 22, and Heating Seasonal Performance Factors (HSPF) between 8.5 and 11.
Annual Energy Savings
The Regional Technical Forum estimates that a ductless heating and cooling system in a single-family home with zonal electric heat saves 3,500 kWh annually. The average cost per kWh in the Northwest is $0.08, which means a ductless upgrade can save you approximately $280 per year.
If you’re ready to reduce your heating and cooling costs, contact your nearest Heat Pump Store location today. We’ll help you understand your ductless heat pump options and install the best unit for your home.