If you haven't considered a heat pump for home heating upgrades and projects, it’s time to take a new look at ductless mini-split heat pumps. With technologically-advanced features and point-of-use comfort and efficiency, ductless systems offer advantages and heating power that outshine traditional heat pumps and space heaters for many applications. Keep reading to see if ductless heat pumps are best for your Mid-Atlantic home’s needs.
Is Ductless Heating for You?
Traditional air-source heat pumps are superb systems when fitted with a furnace as a dual-fuel heating system. However, as standalone heating systems, ducted heat pumps fall short of the heating load required of Mid-Atlantic homes.
Ductless mini-split heat pumps, on the other hand, operate by the same energy-efficient heat transfer principles as traditional central heat pumps, but, as the name implies, they don't need lengthy air ducts to carry heated airflow, which saves energy and space.
If your home is in need of supplemental heating, ask yourself the following questions to see if ductless heating is for you:
- Does your current heating system have trouble heating your entire home?
- Are there rooms and areas in your home that are difficult to keep warm?
- Would you like to save energy by heating rooms as needed, rather than heating your entire home?
- Are you converting attic or basement spaces to living spaces?
- Are you adding a new room to your home?
If you answered "yes" to any of the questions, ductless mini-split heat pumps special deserve consideration for your home improvement project.
Consider Ductless Advantages
Ductless mini-split heat pumps were designed to provide a practical alternative to ducted heating systems, window units and portable units. While the popularity of mini-split heat pumps soared in past decades in Asia and Europe, ductless systems didn't excite the U.S. residential market until recently.
However, with technological advances for performance and improved installation options, ductless systems have become the best choice for many applications, including heating for homes in cooler regions, such as our Mid-Atlantic area:
- The indoor air handling unit (AHU) is a point-of-use heating system that's mounted to or inside the wall, ceiling or floor of the zone which needs heating. Point-of-use heating and cooling saves energy since conditioned airflow doesn't need to travel through air ducts, where some heat energy is lost.
- Each AHU is controlled independently of any other heating system, including additional AHUs of the same ductless system.
- Select ductless mini-split heat pumps utilize super-heating and super-cooling technologies to deliver ample heating to sub-zero temperatures. These technologies include inverter-driven compressors, thermal expansion valves and advanced electronic temperature sensors for coils, air return and zone monitoring.
Installation Considerations For Mid-Atlantic Homes
Whether you're installing a powerful high-efficiency furnace for primary heating or a ductless mini-split heat pump for supplemental heating, the energy efficiency and performance of your new system is only going to be as good as the installation. Use the following guidelines to maximize the performance of your new mini-split heat pump:
- Proper home sealing and insulation helps reduce the heating load of your home and maximize comfort. The load also dictates the size of the system that needs to be installed. By reducing the heating load of your home with sealing and insulation, you likely decrease the size and cost of system to install.
- Heat pumps, whether ductless or ducted, are rated for heating and cooling efficiency by the heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) and seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). In our cooler region, HSPF is more important than SEER cooling efficiency. Look for Energy Star qualified mini-split heat pumps with high HSPF ratings for best heating efficiency and lower heating bills.
- The heat exchange coils in the inside AHUs and the outside cabinet need free airflow at all times to perform at maximum efficiency. The outside cabinet is best installed at least one foot off the ground to help keep snow accumulation from blocking airflow. The compact cabinet, in most circumstances, may be mounted to the exterior wall of the home off the ground to help keep snow at bay.
- The indoor AHU can be mounted practically anywhere you like. The most popular mounting option is simply on the surface of a wall. The AHUs may also be concealed inside wall and ceiling cavities, offering a smooth look of a central system. For heating purposes, a lower wall mounting is often better for maximizing airflow and comfort.
If ductless mini-split heat pumps sound like the right system for your Mid-Atlantic home, please contact Griffith Energy Services, Inc. today for more information.
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