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Is a Ductless Heat Pump Right for You Home?

When it comes to heating your home, efficiency is the name of the game. Ductless heat pumps, also known as mini-splits, are rapidly becoming popular because of their high efficiency.

Ducted heating systems are still found in a majority of businesses and homes, but they can constantly lose thermal energy because of the way heat is carried through the building. Ductless pumps can greatly reduce the energy lose typical of ducted systems. As an added benefit, ductless heat pumps are quick and easy to install. However, depending upon your area, it may be more expensive to install a ductless system.

Mini-split, ductless heat pumps have two main components: and indoor air-handling unit and an outdoor compressor/condenser. A conduit containing power cable, refrigerant, suction tubing, and condensate drain links the two units. In summer, the outdoor unit pumps refrigerant directly to the air-handlers inside. In winter, the whole system works in reverse, absorbing heat from outside air and moving it indoors to heat your home. If there are numerous air-handlers, each will have a thermostat.

Mini-split ductless heat pump systems provide a number of advantages to homeowners. Let’s take a look:

1. Improved heating of individual rooms
Ductless heat pumps can be highly effective when it comes to heating individual rooms or areas within a building. This efficiency comes from the individual air-handling units that are installed in a room: these units can easily be adjusted to only provide heat to rooms that are currently in use. In contrast, conventional heating methods distribute heat uniformly throughout a house, regardless of which areas need more heat. By heating only those areas that are actually in use, homeowners can save a lot on heating costs throughout the year.

2. More flexible placement
Ductless heat pumps give you the freedom to maintain existing interior design much more easily than conventional methods, because air-handling units are flexible when it comes to placement. This is not the case when it comes to installing conventional forced-air methods, which require extensive ductwork. Air-handling units can be attached to a wall, hung from a ceiling, and even suspended from drop ceilings. Floor models are also an option, and can be ideal in certain circumstances.

3. Easy installation
Anyone who has ever remodeled a house and expanded an existing ducted heating system will know just how difficult such an undertaking can be. Installing a ductless heat pump in your home is an easy, stress-free affair. Indoor and outdoor components can be accomplished with only a three-inch hole, which is far less invasive than most heating systems. The wide variety of available conduit lengths mean that there are many placement options for the outdoor components, which can be placed up to 50 feet away from the indoor evaporator. This makes ductless heat pumps much more discrete than conventional systems.

4. Higher energy efficiency
Inefficient heating systems not only cause damage to the environment, but also impact your wallet. Ducts are notoriously for losing thermal energy: their construction means that up to 30% of generated heat dissipates while making its way through the ducts. Ductless heat pumps have the advantage of not requiring duct systems, and so they don’t have to deal with the same energy losses. As a result, ductless systems can be much more energy efficient, lowering your carbon emissions and heating bill. It’s a win-win.

5. Customizability
Yet another great feature of ductless heat pumps is their ability to be customized. Most systems come with features like built-in timers and sleep functions, giving homeowners easy control over how and when they heat their homes. Conventional systems don’t usually have the same customizability, which leads to increased energy use and higher heating bills.