FAQ - DUCTLESS HEAT PUMP / MINI SPLIT HEAT PUMP What is the difference between Ductless Heat Pump and Mini Split Heat Pump?
There is no difference. These terms mean the same thing as far as residential HVAC is concerned. They just refer to different benefits from the same system.
Ductless heat pump term means that these units don’t need a ductwork in the house to deliver heating or cooling to every room of the house. Like in houses with radiant or electric heat.
While mini split heat pump refers to the fact that this type of units are much smaller in size than traditional central air heat pumps.
We, at Cozy World Inc, have installed multiple Mitsubishi ductless air conditioners and ductless heat pumps in the last 15 years. Never had a call back. Ductless air conditioners, when installed properly and maintained regularly, can have life expectancy 15-20 years.
How many Ductless / Mini Split Heat Pumps do I need for my home?
Most likely one outdoor unit with several indoor units will suffice. This type of units are called multi zone heat pump, or multi zone mini split heat pump, or multi room heat pump.
How Loud are Ductless Heat Pumps?
Actually, ductless heat pumps are more quiet than traditional air conditioning units. The exact amount of DB varies from model to model. But with any ductless heat pump unit you can whisper talk next to the outdoor unit. Indoor units are quiet even by bedroom or library standards.
Are ductless heat pumps more energy efficient than central air heat pumps?
Yes, they are substantially more efficient than central air units for two main reasons.
More advanced technology used for ductless heat pumps.
Heating and cooling are being delivered only to the point of use - rooms that need to be heated or cooled at this specific time without wasting hydro on the entire house. It’s done through the use of multiple indoor units. And it’s called zoning.
How many indoor units can be connected to one outdoor unit in a ductless heat pump system?
Up to four.
How do ductless heat pumps compare in cost to central air heat pumps?
Central air heat pump in its basic option is a rather primitive and inefficient machine. It could be cheaper than a mini split heat pump. If we compare units, ductless and central, of the same efficiency, the clear winner becomes mini split heat pump. If we add the cost of ducts to the cost of central air heat pump, ductless system is a winner by a huge margin.
What are the advantages of ductless heat pumps?
Small footprint gives makes installation easier and more flexible
Can be installed in almost any house since it doesn’t need ductwork
Can be zoned to heat/cool specific areas of a house and avoid heating of unoccupied areas
Very quiet operation both outdoor and indoor units
Reduced electricity and maintenance costs
What are the disadvantages of installing a ductless heat pump?
It’s really difficult to come up with any. You can find negative reviews on ductless heat pump.
Some people compare them to window units. You read that ductless units are bulky, expensive, etc.
DIY. In the US anyone can buy a ductless air conditioner at Home Depot. This crowd complains that mini splits are unreliable. The answer is this jobs needs proper skills and tools.
There is one thing to remember when comparing mini split heat pumps to other sources of heat. When outside air temperature goes down, heat pump’s capacity follows. At the same time, the house needs more heat. So, heat pumps do need back up heat at some point. Every winter brings us a few cold snaps when we have to use the back up heater be it electric baseboards, or your existing gas/propane/oil furnace or a fireplace.
Can ductless air conditioners be used in multi-story homes?
Yes, we do install install ductless air conditioners in 2 and 3 storey houses. It might need some extra efforts, especially with multi zone units.