Versatile Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump Systems

Almost all heat pump systems (and most central air conditioning systems) used for residential heating and cooling are “split systems” that have an outdoor compressor/condenser unit and an indoor air handler/evaporator connected to the ductwork.  Refrigerant lines run between these two major components which warm or cool the air as needed.  The conditioned air is distributed throughout the home by the ductwork.

In a home that was built without ductwork, installing a standard heat pump can be a problem.  Running the ductwork in a home built without ducts can be very difficult and expensive.  However, these homes were often built with some type of electric radiant heating system such as a floor heater that can be expensive to operate.

Ductless mini-split heat pumps offer a solution for converting to an energy efficient heat pump without the hassle and expense of installing ductwork.  Ductless mini split systems are also great for heating and cooling room additions where extending the duct system is impractical or undesirable.

A ductless mini-split system consists of an outdoor compressor/condenser unit connected to one or more indoor air handlers located in each room.  No ductwork is needed for a mini-split system and by eliminating the air losses associated with ductwork, a mini-split system can operate more efficiently than a traditional heat pump system.  It also offers the versatility of being able to adjust the climate controls separately in each room.

The primary drawbacks to mini-split systems are the relatively high cost and the space required for the air handler in each room.  However, they can be an excellent energy efficient heating and cooling system for homes without ductwork already in place.

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