A ductless heat pump (mini-split system) can be the only solution for certain heating installation situations. A ductless heat pump also has multiple benefits that make it a practical option in general, and there are few ductless heat pump problems.
A ductless heat pump has the same two primary components that standard heat pumps (air source type) have – an indoor unit and an outdoor condensing unit. A conduit housing the refrigerant tubing, power cable, condensate drain and suction tubing links the indoor and outdoor units.
Ductless Heat Pump often used:
- Retrofitting Older Homes. Some older homes may not have had ductwork properly installed. This could be due to other non-duct-based heating systems having been previously used (such as radiant panels, hydronic systems, or space heaters). In such a case, heat pump heating can be added on as an alternative to traditional heat ducts.
- When Building Home Additions. Sometimes it is impossible to connect the existing ductwork of the home to an addition, such as a renovated garage or an entirely new build addition. This is a situation a ductless heat pump can be the ideal solution.
Benefits of a Ductless Heat Pump:
- Ductless Heat Pump Comes in a Small Size. Since a ductless heat pump is small, it introduces flexibility for the heating and cooling of individual rooms, or HVAC zoning. Many models have multiple indoor air-handling units. This way heating and cooling can be adjusted for separate rooms or zones without the need of a separate outdoor unit.
- Ease of Installation. A ductless heat pump system is known to be easier to install than a traditional system. The connection between the indoor and outdoor units usually only requires a 3” hole in the wall. Also, the indoor and outdoor units can be up to 50 feet away from each other. This enables the installer to place the outdoor unit in an inconspicuous area while allowing the indoor unit to be installed in virtually any area of the building.
- Less Energy Loss. A ductless heat pump (mini split) does not suffer from the energy loss that is associated with central forced air systems’ ductwork. Up to 30% of the energy consumed by a traditional system is wasted; this is not an issue with ductless heating and air conditioning.
Ductless heat pump, as well as ductless air conditioner became very popular in Europe and Asia in 1980s, and keep increasing popularity in the US and expanding in the residential, as well as in light commercial market. Thanks to new technology, ductless heat pumps now capable of being the primary source of heat in the large areas of the U.S. In the past, the typical heat pump needed to incorporate an auxiliary heating equipment to satisfy the heating demand in winter.