When you’re planning to add to your home or have a space within it that’s hard to heat or cool, consider ductless mini splits. These are heat pumps that don’t use air ducts to deliver the air, making them a good choice for conditioning spaces that the ducts don’t serve or don’t do so efficiently.
These systems are heat pumps that deliver the air directly into a room. The outdoor compressor heats or cools the refrigerant for the interior air handler, or blower, and a conduit connects the two parts. The conduit contains the refrigerant, drainpipe, the power and a vacuum line. Because these ductless mini splits don’t rely on ducts, they provide more energy efficiency. Ducts can be inefficient or have leaks that can result in a 30 percent loss of conditioned air.
Heat pumps exchange heat in the air for cooling or heating a space. While our winter weather may be too cold to rely solely on ductless mini splits for heat in the depth of the winter, the systems are excellent during the spring, fall and throughout the summer for cooling. The systems have the same ratings that heat pumps do, with SEER indicating its seasonal energy efficiency ratio for its ability to cool and the HSPF, the heating season performance factor, which measures heating efficiency. Ductless mini splits that have higher HSPF ratings may include a scroll compressor, capable of providing 9 degrees Celsius warmer air than a standard compressor.
Other advantages of these systems include ease of installation and flexibility. The refrigerant is installed at the factory and the conduit that connects the compressor and blower just needs a small hole running from the exterior to the interior. The blower can rest on the floor, or hang from the wall or ceiling. Some compressors may support up to four separate blowers, making expansion easier than extending ducts for a standard HVAC system.