When and Why Would You Use a Ductless Heat Pump?
In this article we want to introduce you to ductless heat pumps and talk about why you might want this kind of heating system.
What is a Ductless Heat Pump?
In its simplest form, a heat pump is an efficient heating and cooling system that absorbs heat from one location and transfers it to another location. When in heating mode, a Heat Pump absorbs the heat from the air or ground outside and transfers it to the indoor space. On hot days the cycle can be reversed, transferring the heat from indoors to outdoors. The heat is transferred using a refrigerant in the same way an air conditioner operates.
Like other “forced air” central heating systems, a standard heat pump requires a network of ducts and vents to be installed throughout the building in order to distribute the hot air from the heat pump to all of the desired rooms. A ductless heat pump is an air-source heat pump that does not require distribution ductwork. A ductless (or mini-split) heat pump system consists of a small condenser/compressor unit outside, one or more air handling units indoors, and conduit(s) to transfer electricity and refrigerant between the two. Unlike the large ductwork required for a standard heat pump, the mini-split conduit is typically only about 3” in diameter and is easy to get into most rooms when doing an upgrade to an older home. The indoor units vary from a relatively attractive wall mounted box to a hidden, ceiling mounted cassette type.
Why Install a Ductless Heat Pump?
Ductless Heat Pumps are an efficient method of heating and are installed in new construction projects or as upgrades in older homes.
In new construction you might choose a ductless heat pump over ducted because a ductless system allows you to control the temperature in each zone, while a ducted heat pump distributes heat uniformly over the entire system. Independent temperature control can be beneficial in an apartment building, office, or even a home where individuals want control over the comfort of their space. For additional energy savings you can even turn off the heating/cooling in rooms that aren’t being used.
As an upgrade, you might choose to install a ductless heat pump system if:
- You want to heat a new addition or space that can’t be easily accessed by ductwork.
- You want to upgrade from a less efficient “non-ducted” heating system such as electric baseboards or space heaters.
- You live somewhere where the summers are hot and you need air conditioning.
Compared to electric resistance heaters such as electric furnaces, baseboards and wall heaters, heat pumps can save you 50% to 60% on your yearly heating costs. However, keep in mind that if you did not previously have an air conditioning unit, using the heat pump’s cooling cycle in the summer may offset any savings you would see in your yearly electricity bills.
Talk with a heating technician to determine if a ductless heat pump is right for you! Call us at 250-465-2490 to schedule an appointment!