Do you have a ductless heat pump, or are you looking to buy one?
Either way, we, a heating company in Santa Clarita Ca, have got you fully covered in this article.
A ductless heat pump is an excellent cooling and heating option if you cannot go for a central air conditioner. They have proven to be so effective that many new homeowners now go for them as their first option.
Contact us 24/7 for HVAC services!
Whether you already have a ductless heat pump system or are about to buy one, you will find important information in this article.
Read ahead for all you require to know to achieve the best out of your ductless heating and cooling system.
What is a Ductless Heat Pump?
A mini split heat pump is a type of ductless air conditioning.
You must know that a heat pump does not only heat; the name may mislead you. Heat pumps to cool and heat. You, therefore, can use them all year round. With the year-long use, ductless heat pumps are more susceptible to wear and tear, and breakdowns. Contact us for AC repair Santa Clarita if you experience breakdowns.
A ductless heat pump is composed of indoor and outdoor units, just like a conventional cooling system. They, however, do not transfer air through the ducts.
They are often used as an air conditioning option for window units and baseboard heating. However, modern ductless heat pumps are now commonly used as the first air conditioning option, especially in:
- small spaces,
- windowless rooms,
- basements with hopper windows,
- homes that do not have or cannot support ductwork.
They are an excellent cooling and heating choice. You, however, have to learn how to get the best out of them, as we will show you later in this article.
How Does a Ductless Heat Pump Work?
To best optimize your ductless heat pump systems, you must understand how they work perfectly. It is from this knowledge that you will help improve their performance.
If you look at the heat pump vs air conditioner comparison, you will realize that the working principle of a ductless mini-split heat pump system is almost similar to that of a traditional air conditioner.
There will be an air handler mounted inside your house. Then, there will be a condenser or outdoor unit outside. A small conduit connects these two through a wall.
This conduit carries:
- the refrigerant tubing,
- power cable,
- suction tubing,
- condensate drain.
Your mini split heat pump will draw air from one point and transfer it to another. Through this process, the air passes over the coils. For instance, if you want cold air, the system will transfer heat from indoor air to the outside.
The difference, however, is that the ductless heat pump can reverse the process; it can cool and heat the house. A conventional air conditioner can only cool; you will need a furnace to heat your house.
Types of Ductless Heat Pumps
Mini heat pumps come in different forms. Therefore, you will definitely find something suitable for your cooling needs.
Here are the types of ductless mini-split systems.
Mini Split Heat Pumps
This is the most popular type of ductless mini split system. They come in two separate units, the indoor unit with the evaporator coils and the outdoor unit that hosts the condenser and compressor.
During this unit’s ductless air conditioner installation, the outdoor unit will be placed outside, directly opposite the indoor unit. Typically, the indoor unit is mounted at least 6 feet from the floor.
A small concealed hole housing the connecting cables and wires will be between the two.
One reason these types of heat pumps are common is the high efficiency they offer. They are also easy to install.
Wall-mounted multi-split heat pumps
A lot of times, we know that one outdoor unit services one indoor unit. And in such cases, many times, the mini split can only cool one zone or one room.
However, in the setting of a wall-mounted multi-split heat pump, one sizable outdoor unit services several indoor units.
Note: The outdoor unit has to be larger to sufficiently power several indoor units. An HVAC contractor must also come on-site to determine the best location for the outdoor unit.
Mini Split Heat Pump Pros
Find whether the benefits of a ductless heat pump resonate well with your cooling and heating needs below.
- Value addition – installing and running a ductless heat pump costs are way lower. If you focus on the cost of operation and maintenance, you can save up to $3000 per year.
- They are easy to install – mini split heat pump installation is less complicated than installing a central air conditioner. Remember, there are no ductworks involved. Also, an HVAC contractor must drill just a three-inch hole to interconnect the indoor and outdoor units. Some DIY enthusiasts have successfully installed their ductless heat pumps.
- Ductless heat pumps offer customizable comfort – every air handler or indoor unit in a ductless heat pump system services a particular zone. Therefore, if you have different cooling needs for your living space, you will have to play right with the settings your mini splits offer.
- They’re energy efficient – At least 30% of conditioned air is lost through ductwork. Now that ductworks are not involved in ductless heat pump processes, you can be assured that a significant amount of energy will be saved. Also, ductless heat pumps only cool a specific zone, unlike a central air conditioner that cools the entire house, including the rooms not in use.
Mini Split Heat Pumps Cons
While comparing and contrasting, you sure want to keep the cons of ductless heat pumps in mind. With this, you can decide to get the system despite the cons; or you can decide to change your mind altogether.
- They are more expensive than most people think- many think that ductless heat pumps are cheap to install. The cost of buying and installing the system can quickly get closer to that of a full-house central air conditioner.
- They are not super effective in frigid climates. Some modern ductless heat pumps can take up the task of heating the room when the temperatures drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. However, not all of them can. And even the few models and brands can significantly lose their efficiency when temperatures are deep. Many times, homeowners have to find a backup source. Simply put, it is not a great idea if you experience intense winters.
Is a Mini Split Heat Pump System the Right Choice for Your Home?
Ductless heat pumps are a great heating and cooling solution. They, however, will work for some homes and not for others.
How will you know if a ductless heat pump is suitable for your home?
It is a good idea to purchase one if you:
- Live in an old house that does not have ductwork installed,
- Live in a small house,
- Have windows that do not support window air conditioners,
- Are looking for excellent temperature control and customization,
- Want to cool a room that has no windows
- Wish to improve the energy efficiency of your house.
Even with this knowledge in mind, you want to use the help of your local HVAC contractors. Buying ductless heat pumps can be a delicate affair; you do not want to take a gamble. Call us today if you require a professional helping hand in making a decision.
How to Get the Most out of Your Mini Split Heat pump
Buying and installing a ductless heat pump is one thing. Making sure it is at excellent performance is another business.
You know that ductless heat pump systems are great for energy efficiency. But there is more you can do to ensure your system is at peak performance, as discussed below.
Know your Remote
Many homeowners do not take effort and time to understand their HVAC remote controls. This way, they end up missing some vital cooling and heating functions.
Take time to understand your remote control. We recommend you ask your HVAC contractor to help you figure out things. This way, you are sure you are not missing out on a tremendous remote function.
Mode selection is key
You will need to understand the different modes of your ductless HVAC system especially if you have several indoor AC units connected to one outdoor AC unit.
For starters, you cannot have one indoor unit in the cooling mode and the other in the heating mode. They must be on the same mode if they are connected to the same outdoor unit.
However, you can set the cooling and heating intensity differently to suit the needs of every room. For instance, you can set your bedroom cooler than your living room. They are both cooling down, but one is cooling down more than the other.
Heat pumps do more than cool and heat
The word heat pump gives us the impression that it heats a house. But we do know it cools and heats a room.
What if we told you that the system does more than just cool and heat a house?
Depending on your setting, you can enjoy the dehumidification function of your ductless heat pump. As your system cools down the room in summer, it can remove the excess moisture in the air.
If you do not own a dehumidifier, make good use of the “dry” mode.
Cleaning is important
Cleaning your ductless heat pump is vital, just like it is for traditional air conditioning units.
And, do not focus on just cleaning the indoor air handling unit; clean the outdoor unit as well.
Remove your air filters at least once every three months and replace or clean them. This will help ensure you get the cool or warm air as needed. It will also keep contaminants out of the air.
Note: While cleaning, ensure you use low-pressure running water. The force of high pressure can bend or damage the fins.
You can perform DIY cleaning occasionally, but we recommend you have a professional cleaning at least once a year.
Protect your heat pumps when you work on your house
If you have work in your house, ensure you protect your HVAC system from debris and dust. These falling into your system will gradually cause malfunctioning.
If there is a risk of anything like this, cover your units with sheets or a plastic bag. This way, you will have no debris disrupting the conditioning function of your heat pump.
How to Choose a Mini Split Heat Pump
Many industries are selling ductless heat pumps today. This makes it very complicated to choose what is suitable for you.
If you are looking to purchase mini split heat pumps, these factors to consider should make your shopping less challenging:
- Be keen on the ductless heat pump manufacturer: there are a lot of HVAC brands selling ductless heat pumps today. High-end brands are likely to have higher efficiency ratings than cheaper brands. Be sure to analyze as many HVAC brands before settling for one.
- Compare the heat pump costs: the cost of installing a ductless heat pump will be lower because there is no ductwork involved. However, still, you have to compare prices to get the best deal. And by this, we do not mean the cheapest. Go for the right system at a reasonable price.
- Heat pump size: Ensure you go for a ductless mini split system with BTUs that can efficiently cool the space you intend to cool. Have an HVAC contractor match the space and help specify how many BTUs you need. Undersized or oversized systems come with serious effects.
Note: the BTUs you end up with should not entirely depend on the room size.Other factors to consider include:
- sun exposure,
- room’s insulation,
- room height,
- humidity levels.
This is why it is safe to involve a professional in sizing your ductless mini split system.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the common mini split heat pump problems and solutions?
If you notice any of these issues, you immediately have to call an HVAC technician for ductless heat pump repair:
- indoor unit leaking water,
- outdoor or condenser unit leaking,
- refrigerant leaks are characterized by hissing sounds, pungent smells and slow cooling speed,
- frozen evaporator coils,
- fan failure or malfunctioning,
- foul odor from the system.
How much does a ductless heat pump installation cost?
A ductless heat pump can cost anything from $1000 to $8000. The prices vary greatly due to the differences in sizes, brands and efficiency.
If you are looking for multiple zone kits, you will pay approximately $13,000 or higher(1).
Installation fees will depend largely on location and how much the contractors in your area charge.
Can a ductless heat pump heat a whole house?
A single ductless heat pump system will not heat your entire house unless you are talking about a studio.
If you want an HVAC system that will heat your entire house, you are safe going for a multi-zone ductless system or a central air conditioning system.
Do ductless heat pumps use a lot of energy?
Ductless heat pumps do not consume as much energy as as central air conditioners. They are more energy efficient based on:
- They do not use ductworks, therefore do not lose conditioned air through duct leaks;
- They cool zones that are in use. You do not have to warm or cool areas that are not in use.
- Modern ductless mini split systems come with top energy efficiency technologies you can make good use of.
These are why homeowners that shift from central air to ductless heat pumps notice a drop in monthly utility bills.
If you are looking to buy a ductless heat pump, we believe you are now good to go. If you already have the system, we believe that you now understand it better and can manipulate it for optimal performance.
In our parting shot, we want to remind you to contact us if you need a professional hand. We will help you with anything from HVAC system selection, purchase, and installation down to maintenance. We are your guys if you are looking for a peak-performing ductless heat pump.
Contact us 24/7 for HVAC services!
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HVAC Santa Clarita
26893 Bouquet canyon rd
Santa Clarita CA 91350
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