Ductless, mini-split-system heat pumps (mini splits) make good retrofit add-ons to houses with “non-ducted” heating systems, such as hydronic (hot water heat), radiant panels, and space heaters (wood, kerosene, propane). They can also be a good choice for room additions where extending or installing distribution ductwork is not feasible, and very efficient new homes that require only a small space conditioning system.
Like standard air-source heat pumps, mini splits have two main components — an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit. A conduit, which houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain, links the outdoor and indoor units.
The main advantages of mini splits are:
- Their small size and flexibility for zoning or heating and cooling individual rooms.
- Each of the zones has its own thermostat, so you only need to condition occupied spaces. This will save energy and money.
- Ductless mini-split systems are easier to install than some other types of space conditioning systems.
- Mini splits have no ducts – duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning.
- Mini splits offer more interior design flexibility.
- Split systems can help keep your home safer, because there is only a small hole in the wall. Through-the-wall and window-mounted room air conditioners can provide easy access for intruders.
Installations may be higher than some other systems but the lower operating costs provide a good offset to those costs. A skilled and experienced installer also makes a huge difference for the extended life and enjoyment of your system.
Browse our gallery of an installation by Custom Gas in July 2014. The owners of this 3 story century home are certainly pleased in these cold winter months!