Heat pumps or HVAC systems consume the most amount of energy in our home. That’s why while buying heating systems, most homeowners look at the energy-efficiency at first. If you want to reduce your overall energy consumption, mini-split heat pumps can be a great option for your home. Because compared to other heating systems, mini-split ductless heat pumps consume less energy and easy to install. This article will talk about the advantages, disadvantages, some myths and answer some frequently asked questions about the mini split heat pumps.
Mini Split Heat Pumps: Pros & Cons – Myths and FAQs
What is a Mini Split Heat Pump?
Mini-split heat pumps are a ductless heating system that has two components-condenser unit and air handler. Usually, the condenser unit is situated on the outside, and the air handler is situated inside the home.
Unlike traditional heating and cooling system, it doesn’t require any ducts. That’s why users can easily use this mini-split heat pump in their extended rooms. Again, as this heating system has several air handling units, it allows the homeowners to separately control each room’s temperature.
Difference between Heat Pumps and Mini Split Heat Systems
Traditional heat pumps are used for both heating and air conditioning uses. Usually, it has an indoor unit, outdoor unit or condenser unit, and an air handling unit. The outdoor unit or the condenser unit works as an air conditioner in the heat pump.
This heating system works by transferring refrigerants through the cycling method. This mechanism allows the users to use this heating and cooling year-round. Besides, unlike other heating systems, heat pumps don’t generate heat. Instead, it transfers the heat from one room to another.
Mini Heat Pumps
The key difference between a traditional heating system and a mini-split heat pump is that it doesn’t require any ducts. As a result, a mini-split heat pump is very easy to install and has higher energy-efficiency.
As I mentioned above, the mini-split heat pump has an air handling unit that allows the users to control each room’s temperature by using a thermostat.
3 Benefits of a Mini-Split Ductless Heat Pump
1. Quick Installation Process
As mini-split heat pumps are ductless, it’s very easy to install than traditional heating and cooling systems. To connect both the outdoor and indoor unit, you’ll need to dig a 3-inch hole, and you’re ready to connect the units. This feature allows the homeowners to use a mini-split system in their extended rooms.
2. Ductless Split Heat Pumps Offer Maximum Flexibility
One of the biggest problems with heat pumps is that homeowners will have to compromise with their home’s interior design. And sometimes, the interior design looks awkward with heat pumps. But by using the mini-split system, homeowners have maximum flexibility. Users can install the air handling units anywhere in the house according to their preferences. For example, homeowners have the luxury to mount the air handlers or simply just hand it from the ceiling.
3. Better Heating with Mini Split System Heat Pumps
When it is about energy-efficiency and heating, there is no competition for mini-split heat pumps. As I mentioned above, mini-split heat pumps have several air handlers that can be placed anywhere in the home according to preferences. This allows the homeowners to control the temperature of each room separately. As a result, this heat pump will only run when there is occupancy in a certain room.
Cons of Ductless Split System Heat Pumps
1. Heat Pumps Split System has Higher Initial Costs
One of the biggest drawbacks of this heating unit is that it has higher initial costs compared to other heating units. However, as this heating system is more environment friendly, many states offer incentives to those who buy mini-split heat pumps.
2. Air Handlers of the Mini Split Heat Pump Needs to be Placed on the Right Place
Air handling units of the mini-split heat system needs to be placed accurately. Otherwise, it can cause a short-cycling problem and increase the heating bills. To place the air handling units accurately, you may need help from an HVAC professional. However, expert HVAC professionals don’t come cheap, and you may have to spend some extra money on installing the air handlers.
Mini Split Heat Pumps: Myths
1. Mini Heat Pumps are Expensive than Gas Heat Pumps
It’s a common myth among the homeowners that the mini-split heat systems cost more than gas heat pumps. But actually, mini-split heat pumps are way cheaper than regular heat pumps. Annually, a mini-split heat pump will save you more than 1,500 USD, which makes it one of the cost-efficient heating systems and air conditioner units.
2. Mini Split Heat Pumps Spread Illnesses
Mini-split heat pumps have a self-cleaning process and purify the air in various steps. For example, a mini-split system has a plastic filter in the heat exchanger that blocks all sorts of dust and debris. Besides, there is a fan inside the heat exchanger, which makes sure that there is no water in the heat pump. As a result, the chances of bacteria growing is close to zero.
So, this is a complete myth.
3. Ductless Split Heat Pumps are not Suitable for Cold Climates
Ductless mini-split heat pumps can operate at a maximum potential of up to -13-degree Fahrenheit. Besides, it has a higher energy-efficient rating, which can easily supplement a traditional heating system. Moreover, due to its performance and energy-efficiency, it’s better than a regular heating system.
Another myth is busted.
Some Frequently Asked Questions about Mini Split Heat Pumps
1. Are Mini Split Heat Pumps Worth the Investment?
Absolutely. There is no doubt that mini-splits are the most energy-efficient heating system. Besides, its performance is top-notch and suitable for harsh climates.
2. Can I Use Mini Split System for the Whole House?
Yes, you can use the mini-split heat pump for the whole house. You’ll have to install the air handling unit in the right spots of your house. And for this, you can call an HVAC professional and place them accurately.
3. How Long does a Mini Heat Pump Lasts?
On average, a mini-split heat pump lasts about 10 years. However, if you do regular maintenance checkups, you can extend the lifespan up to 15 years.
4. What is the Sizing Guide for Mini Heat Pumps?
If you have a 1,000 square feet home, you’ll require a mini-split heat pump with 18,000 BTU per hour. Again, if your house is more than 1,500 square feet, you’ll need a mini-split heat pump with 24,000 BTU per hour capacity. However, the best way to find the capacity size is by asking your nearby HVAC professional.
See the summary of this content in GLA’s infographic – 3 Advantages of Mini Split Ductless Heat Pumps [Infographic]
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