Posted:October 9, 2021 at 11:20 am
By: Lakes Region HVAC
Spending more time at home the past two years has resulted in a lot of projects and renovations. According to a Harvard study, there has been an 82% increase in home repair activity since early 2020 . If you added a new space to your home, like a sunroom, bonus room or garage, installing a mini-split system can efficiently and effectively heat or cool your new space.
A mini-split or ductless heat pump is like a refrigerator. The system pumps refrigerant through the unit using an electric motor. When you want to warm your home, the ductless mini-split absorbs heat from the outside and pumps it into your house. When you want to cool your interior living space, it absorbs heat from inside and pumps it out.
While central HVAC systems are great for heating and cooling entire homes, they rely on long tunnels of ductwork to deliver heat and air conditioning to all of the rooms. These ducts, however, allow for thermal leaks, and if you have an older system you may only be getting about 60 cents worth of heat for every $1 you spend to generate that heat.
Because each indoor ductless unit delivers heat and air conditioning to the room it’s located in, ductless systems can save 30-40% off the energy costs of a forced air system. The efficiency lowers energy bills and since ductless systems are zoned, you can only heat or cool the rooms you are using while saving money on the rooms you aren’t frequenting as often.
The efficiency of a mini-split system means less energy consumption. They are designed to meet Energy Star standards and use a refrigerant called R410A, which does not negatively impact the ozone.
A ductless system allows for zoned heating and cooling. Rather than setting a uniform temperature throughout the entire house or floor, you control the indoor temperature room by room by setting individual air-handling units to the perfect temperature for that space. This is especially useful as seasons change and temperatures fluctuate enough to need heat one day and air conditioning the next.
Ductwork for a central heat pump is often a well-planned and executed part of a building’s construction from the early stages. When it’s retrofitted into an existing structure, the installation costs are high, and the layout is often limited by the interior framing and construction of the building itself.
Installing a ductless heat pump, on the other hand, only requires the small amount of construction it takes to run tubes and wiring through a 3” hole. In other words, a factory-trained technician can do the job without the mess and expense of adding ductwork inside walls.
A quick, clean install means you will have a heating and cooling system running quickly!
Both the indoor and outdoor components of a mini-split produce noise levels just slightly louder than that of a library. We like to say it’s whisper quiet. Plus, the state-of-the-art climate control feature only runs the unit when needed.
Ductless mini-splits have an outdoor compressor that can be as far away from the indoor air handler as necessary without sacrificing power and efficiency. With central systems, on the other hand, efficiency goes down as ductwork gets longer.
You have options with the placement of indoor units as well. You may picture wall-mounted units when you think of a mini-split, but there are actually more choices to suit your interior design. You can also choose a floor unit or a ceiling-mounted model. While they may not be as discrete as vents, these options do allow for some design flexibility.
A ductless system is cleaner by design. Duct work requires cleaning and maintenance. A ductless system does not circulate mold, viruses or dust like an uncleaned central HVAC system can. That doesn’t mean you can forget about the filters but they are easily cleaned by most homeowners, typically on a monthly basis between scheduled maintenance visits.
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