Need a hand with the heating and air conditioning in your home or want to install a heat pump? We take care of all your residential electrical needs.
Ductless, mini split-system air conditioners (minisplits) have numerous potential applications in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. They are most commonly used in multi-family housing or as 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 smart heating and air conditioning option for room additions in an existing home or small apartments where installing a larger distribution duct network is not feasible.
Like central systems, minisplits have two main components: an outdoor compressor/condenser, and an indoor air-handling unit. A conduit links the outdoor and indoor units.
Advantages Of Ductless Mini Split-system Air-conditioners
The main advantages of minisplits are their small size and flexibility for heating and cooling zones or individual rooms. Many models can have as many as four indoor air handling units (for four zones or rooms) connected to one outdoor unit. Each of the zones will have its own thermostat, allowing you to condition that zone or room only when it is occupied, saving energy and money.
Ductless minisplit systems are often easier to install than other types of space conditioning systems. For example, the hookup between the indoor and outdoor units generally requires only a three-inch (~8 centimeter) hole through a wall for the conduit. Additionally, most manufacturers can provide a variety of lengths to connect conduits. So, if necessary, you can locate the outdoor unit as far away as 50 feet (~15 meters) from the indoor unit. This allows the outdoor unit to be stored in an inconspicuous area outside of the building.
Because minisplits have no ducts, they avoid the energy losses and costs associated with ductwork of central forced air systems. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space heating and cooling, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.
Compared to other heating and air conditioning add-on systems, minisplits offer more flexibility in interior design options. The indoor air handlers can be suspended from the ceiling, mounted flush into a drop ceiling, or hung on a wall. Floor-standing models are also available. Most indoor units have profiles of about seven inches (~18 centimetres) deep and usually come with sleek, high-tech-looking jackets. Many also offer a remote control to make it easier to turn the system on and off when it’s positioned high on a wall or suspended from the ceiling. Because there is only a small hole in the wall for the conduit, split-systems can help keep your home safer. Through-the-wall and window mounted room air conditioners can provide an easy entrance for intruders.
For climates with moderate heating and cooling needs, heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners. Like your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space to a warm space, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating and air conditioning appliances.
There are three types of heat pumps: air-source, water-source, and ground-source. They collect heat from the air, water, or ground outside your home and concentrate it for use inside. Water-source and ground-source heat pumps are also known as geothermal heat pumps.
The most common type of heat pump is the air-source heat pump, which transfers heat between your house and the outside air. Today’s heat pump can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to furnaces and baseboard heaters. High-efficiency heat pumps also dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage and more cooling comfort in summer months. For homes without ducts, air-source heat pumps are also available in a ductless version called a minisplit heat pump.
Geothermal (ground-source or water-source) heat pumps achieve higher efficiencies by transferring heat between your house and the ground or a nearby water source. Although they cost more to install, geothermal heat pumps have low operating costs because they take advantage of relatively constant ground or water temperatures.
Geothermal heat pumps have some major advantages. They can reduce energy use by 30-60%, control humidity, are sturdy and reliable, and fit in a wide variety of homes. Whether a geothermal heat pump is appropriate for you will depend on the size of your lot, the subsoil, and the landscape. Ground-source or water-source heat pumps can be used in more extreme climates than air-source heat pumps, and customer satisfaction with the systems is generally very high.
A new type of heat pump for residential systems is the absorption heat pump, also called a gas-fired heat pump. Absorption heat pumps use heat as their energy source, and can be operated with a wide variety of heat sources.