Ductless, or mini split system heat pumps (mini splits), are gaining popularity with homeowners looking for an energy-efficient way to control the temperature in their homes. Unlike heating systems that use ducts, ductless systems are designed to better disperse heat throughout your home.
What is a Mini Split Heating System?
Mini splits are heating and cooling systems that allow customizable temperature control in individual spaces. Mini split heating systems have two main components: an outdoor compressor or condenser, and an indoor air-handling unit. These two components are connected by an easy-to-install conduit. The conduit consists of the home’s power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a drain to link the outdoor and indoor units.
A ductless heating system is a good option for homes with non-ducted heating systems, such as hydronic systems, radiant panels or space heaters. They can also be a great add-on for rooms that cannot be connected to the existing ductwork or modern homes that only need to heat or cool a small area.
Advantages of a Mini Split System
There are many advantages to choosing a ductless heating system, including the installation, flexibility and long-term cost savings.
- Easy to Install: Mini split systems are easier to install than many other heating and cooling systems, since, in most cases, the connection between the indoor and outdoor unit only requires a three-inch hole for the conduit.
- Long-Term Cost Savings: With homeowners looking to combat rising utility costs, many are turning to ductless systems. Since these systems operate more efficiently and with less energy, they could save you money on utility bills.
- Flexible Heating and Cooling Solutions: Their small size is not only an advantage during installation, it also provides additional flexibility for heating and cooling solutions throughout the home.
- Improved Indoor Air Quality: Traditional HVAC systems can leave behind harmful allergens and dust, even after being professionally cleaned, which can make your indoor air more harmful than outdoor air. However, multi split HVAC systems contain multi-stage filtration that can effectively remove these particles from your home’s indoor air.
- Energy Efficient: Since each zone in a ductless heating system has its own thermostat, you can more easily control its efficiency by only running it in occupied spaces. Another advantage of mini splits is that, by design, ductless heating systems minimize the energy loss that occurs in the ductwork of central forced-air systems. This is an important factor to consider considering duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption, particularly when the ducts are in an unconditioned space, like an attic.
- Customizable: Personalize your ductless heating and cooling system to connect to one or several indoor zones to fit your unique needs. The customizable multi split system can even be expanded if more zones are needed in the future.
- Zone Heating: Many mini split systems can have up to four indoor air-handling units connected to one outdoor unit, which accommodates four rooms or zones. This can be customized to align with the amount of temperature control that is required throughout each zone of the building.
Disadvantages of a Mini Split Heat Pump
While there are many benefits to installing a ductless heating and cooling system, there are some key disadvantages as well. Although installing a mini split system can mean saving energy and money in the long run, the initial installation can be more expensive than other systems. Fortunately, you may be able to find rebates or a tax credit for the installation of an energy-efficient ductless heating and air conditioning system.
Another disadvantage is improper placement and installation. If improperly installed, the system’s air handler can cause short cycling, which will lessen the efficiency of the system and the control you have over the room’s temperature. Additionally, improper installation can also result in the need for expensive home repairs.
Choose an experienced HVAC professional like Martinov Home Solutions, who can correctly size the indoor units to determine the best installation location.
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