If you are considering installing a mini split heat pump system in your home, you should read this blog first to learn everything about this kind of heat pump.
Ductless, mini-split-system heat pumps (mini-splits) make good retrofit add-ons to houses with “non-ducted” heating systems, such as hydronic (hot water heat), radiant panels, and space heaters (wood, kerosene, propane).
In this blog, we’ll explore everything about a mini split heat pump. Please keep reading.
Below are other types of heat pumps:
- Ducted Heat Pump System
- Hybrid Heat Pump System
- Air Source Heat Pump System
- Ductless Heat Pump System
- Geothermal Heat Pump System
What is a Mini Split Heat Pump?
Mini-split heat pump system, sometimes referred to as ductless heat pumps or ductless mini-splits, are made up of two main components:
- An outdoor compressor unit
- An indoor air-handling unit
While some homes may only require one outdoor unit, the number of indoor units can vary depending on the home’s size, layout, and willingness to leave doors open. One indoor unit may be sufficient for small homes.
Larger homes might require more, particularly if the preferred bedroom temperature of family members varies significantly. Choosing a multizone system also means that not all indoor units have to be installed at once. This enables you to add more indoor units if you so choose.
Copper refrigerant piping and wiring from electrical interconnectors connect the indoor and outdoor units. In most cases, all that is required for this bundle to pass through your wall is a three-inch hole.
A ductless mini-split heat pump functions more like a refrigerator than a standard heating and cooling system. Refrigerant captures heat from the surrounding and air and releases it where it’s needed. In hotter months, heat is thus transferred from inside to outside by the refrigerant. The heat from the outdoor air is carried inside during the colder months.
Pros of Mini Split Ductless System
- These systems do not use ducts, so they do not suffer from the energy losses that are usually brought on by them. In general, duct losses account for around 30% of energy use, especially if the ducts are in an area that is not air-conditioned, like an attic.
- They are simpler to install than alternative systems.
- Mini-splits offer more flexibility in interior design options. The indoor air handlers can be floor-standing models, mounted into drop ceilings, hung on walls, or suspended from ceilings.
- Because the compressor is built outside, the units are comparatively quiet.
- Considered “small” compared to room air conditioners, mini splits can manage to cool several areas all at the same time.
- Each mini-split unit has a programmable thermostat that can be set to cool a single room or a number of them, depending on preferences.
Cons of Mini Split Ductless System
- Mini splits’ primary drawback is their price. They generally cost about what conventional AC systems do.
- The system must be properly sized. Short-cycling, which wastes energy and makes it difficult to properly control the temperature or humidity, frequently results from oversized or improperly installed equipment. An excessively large system also costs more to purchase and maintain.
- It is important to have a professional install the mini-split system or the homeowner can expect a higher consumption of electricity.
How Does a Mini Split Heat Pump Work?
Mini-split heating and cooling units let you regulate the temperature in specific rooms or areas.
Mini-split systems have two main components — an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit(s) (evaporator). They are simple to install and typically only require a three-inch hole to be cut out of the wall for the conduit, which houses the copper tubing, communication cables, and condensation drain line that connects the outdoor and indoor units.
Mini-split heat pumps are not only great solutions for whole homes or new constructions but make good 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 good option for room additions where it is impractical to extend or install distribution ductwork and for energy-efficient new homes that only need a modest space conditioning system.
How is Mini-split Heat Pump Installed?
It’s crucial to understand some installation process fundamentals whether you plan a professional installation or feel competent taking on it as a DIY project. Finding a level outdoor location to install the outdoor unit is frequently the first step. When you work with The Heat Pump Store, we’ll assist you in determining the best location for optimal operation without degrading the exterior appeal of your home.
Indoor units are typically installed high on the wall with a few extra inches left over for air clearance.
Mini-split heat pumps have become increasingly popular, which is in line with the recent boom in smart home technology. Every indoor unit will have a remote control that you can use to adjust the temperature, program the heating and cooling, and start cleaning cycles. You can often purchase modules that allow you to control your space conditioning through an app on your phone or via the voice control of a smart speaker.
How Long Do Mini Split Heat Pumps Last?
A mini-split heat pump system ought to have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years with regular maintenance, such as cleaning air filters.
Obviously, depending on the system’s quality and frequency of use, this can change. A minimum five-year manufacturer’s warranty is also included with the majority of systems.
How Much Do Mini Split Heat Pumps Cost?
The price of a ductless system can start at $3,500 and go up from there. However, the system eventually pays for itself due to the decrease in energy costs brought on by its efficient operation.
Furthermore, many electric utilities offer rebates to encourage switching to this system. When a customer switches to a ductless heat pump system, Portland General Electric, for instance, will give them $200.
Conclusion: Mini Split Heat Pump System
Mini-splits have two main parts, similar to standard air-source heat pumps: an indoor air-handling unit and an outdoor compressor/condenser. The conduit connecting the outdoor and indoor units contains the power cable, suction tubing, refrigerant tubing, and a condensate drain.
Mini-splits have no ducts, so they avoid the energy losses associated with the ductwork of central forced air systems. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.
What is the Difference Between a Heat Pump and a Mini Split?
Heat pumps have higher energy efficiency because they transfer heat rather than produce it. Heat pumps use less fuel than conventional split systems because they are electrically powered. Split systems have automatic heat and cool controls that enable constant adjustment and individual room manipulation.
Do Mini Splits Use a Lot of Electricity?
Ductless mini-split systems are extremely efficient. Compared to conventional room air conditioners like window units and portable ACs, using a ductless mini-split cooling system can cut energy costs by 30 percent.