High-performance ductless heat pumps, also known as mini-split heat pumps have been used in both Asian and European Countries since the 1970’s so this technology has been around for some time, and they make up between 80% to 90% of the market in these countries. As far as the United States market regarding the use of these mini-split systems is concerned they were mostly used in commercial buildings since the 1980’s but have increased in popularity with residential properties over the years since then.
a. Single Outside Compressor/Condenser Unit
b. One Or More Wall or Ceiling Mounted Indoor Air Handler Units
The Single Outside Compressor Unit is mounted on the exterior wall of the home or building with connections of refrigerant cooling which is connected to the Indoor Air Handler Units. They are rated with a performance efficiency rating between 25% to 50% more than electric baseboard or wall heaters units.
MINI-SPLIT SYSTEMS PROVIDE CONTROLED ZONE HEATING AND COOLING:
With the ability of room-room control (by use of a remote control) at your fingertips you could adjust the temperature of the Indoor Mounted Air Handlers to an individual’s temperature preference. We all know that it is usually a lot cooler at a lower level of a resident or building than the upper levels, so these types of systems have you covered.
ZONING SYSTEMS SAVE ON ENERGY:
Because mini-split systems have no ducts and are mounted inside conditioned air spaces they avoid the loss of any air distribution unlike a standard central air conditioning system with possible leaking ducts that have been installed in attics or crawlspaces. The advantage of these mini-split systems to be turned off in a particular room on demand when not in use is a major energy cost savings. Mini-split systems also are equipped with a much smaller blower unit then central air conditioning units “Bigger Is Not Always Better”.
Technology has advanced exponentially in recent years regarding these mini-split systems, they now have heating efficiencies as high as a Heating Season Performance Factor (HSPF) of 12 and a cooling efficiency as high as a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 26 unlike the higher efficiency central air-source heat pump with a maximum of a 9.6 (HSPF) and a (SEER) of 23.
If you are looking for the most efficient type of mini-split system, also make sure it uses a variable-speed compressor unit which has the capability of varying the refrigerant flow rate and make sure it is equipped with linear expansion valves along with a multi-speed fan’s instead of single-speed fans. This type of compressor unit can match the heating and cooling loads on a constant basis.
TECHNOLOGY AT ITS BEST:
Why settle for a conventional air-conditioning and heating system where you must set the temperature at a certain degree allowing it to determine when it well start and stop. With mini-split system the motor speed is adjusted by the inverter technology which allows the system to run more smoothly to temperature shift demands using a lower temperature variation and lowering the energy use. Also, the compressors revolution power decreases when maximum capacity is not needed, raising the energy efficiency rating.
The higher and better quality ductless mini-split systems can outperform your everyday standard air conditioning and heating systems because they can perform at a much wider temperature range. Depending on the model of the mini-split system purchased, there are some models available that will eliminate the need for any backup heat sources and will operate at outdoor temperature ranges between -5°F-75°F when it comes to your heating needs and between 14°F-115°F when it comes to your cooling needs.
Cost and Benefits!!!
1. Purchasing and utilizing a Mini-Split Heat Pump System will not only save you on energy consumption but also on your pocketbook because when you use them it puts you in control of the environment in different locations of your home or building.
2. Mini-split systems avoid the use of energy loss due to a large fan and possible leaking ducts associated with a standard central air conditioning system.
3. Because of the advanced inverter technology in these units, energy efficiency increases at a wider temperature range, so no backup heating source is needed.
4. Ductless heat pump models are available with SEER ratings as high as 26.
5. Ductless mini-split systems usually cost in a range of 30%-40%
more than a standard central air conditioning system. The cost of ductwork for a central air system also must be calculated into the price of the central air conditioning system and because of this extra cost it may less expensive and a lot more feasible to go with a mini-split system, especially if you are adding on an addition to your home and don’t want to invest in additional ductwork to be installed.
6. Mini-Split Systems can be installed up to nine (9) zones per Outdoor Compressor Unit.
7. Mini-Split Systems range in cost from $5,000 to $28,000 with $12,348 being the average cost.
8. Central air conditioning costs an average of $5,651 to install; the typical range runs from $3,800 for smaller systems to $7,500 for larger or upgraded systems.
If you ever have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,
Troy Halstenson (Founder of Performance Air and Heating)