Mini-Split Musings

A Ductless Heat Pump is a Beautiful Thing

April 17, 2017

Although we find Ductless Heating and Air Conditioning systems to be, well, beautiful, we know that there are still some objections out there that may just be based on some incorrect information. Mostly, people bring up the appearance, noise and size of a Ductless Heat Pump as barriers to considering these amazingly efficient systems. And let's face it, for most of us, the thought of purchasing a heating and air conditioning system can be about as exciting as buying a new vacuum cleaner or lawn mower. An image of a great big, noisy traditional furnace hidden away in a closet, garage or basement; or a huge outdoor unit planted next to your front door entry for all the world to see (and hear) comes to mind. But a ductless system, with its quiet operation, cool technology and energy-efficiency features is a work of art!

Some common misconceptions about a Ductless Heat Pump

The indoor air exchanger unit will detract from the aesthetic of our home's interior. 

The indoor air exchanger (or indoor unit) is mounted high up on the wall, towards the ceiling. The brain seeks out a visual space that is at eye-level...that's why artwork is mounted in that zone. The indoor unit is well above eye-level. Consider that many homes have ducted vents in walls and ceilings, yet folks never really notice them, and the same goes with radiators or baseboard heaters. A similar thing  happens with the air exchanger on a Ductless Heat Pump. It just becomes part of the wall and after the initial 'getting to know your ductless unit' period is over, people stop noticing them. Especially since they're so quiet. You barely know that they're running!

But if camouflaging your indoor head is still what you desire, consider these options:

  • Place the head on a less conspicuous wall
  • Paint your head to match the wall color 
  • Consider placing shelving or cabinetry around the indoor head. Just make sure you leave room for
    proper air flow and operation of the system
  • Another option is to install a ceiling cassette. These are
    mounted in the ceiling and look just like a regular air duct vent. If you are
    really dead-set against a wall-mounted unit and going for that minimalist or
    completely streamlined look, this could be a good option if the design of your
    system allows for it
  • If the design of your system requires a multi-zone system, consider Daikin's new stylish and sleek Emura indoor head (featured below)
The Daikin Emura indoor head for multi-zone systems

The outdoor compressor is will be too conspicuous!

Not true. With a ductless
system, the outdoor unit is relatively small and can easily be placed under a
deck, behind a fence in the backyard, or hidden behind plantings spaced
properly to allow ventilation. They do not need to be placed in a conspicuous place like a front yard or patio and can easily be tucked up next to the house due to their small size. It can be easy to forget you even have one if placed in the proper area!

Aren't Ductless Heat Pumps noisy? 

Sometimes folks think that because they operate by exchanging
air,
must be noisy, just like your neighbor's traditional heat pump that reminds you a little of a jet engine. A Ductless System
is
both inside and out. In fact, we have many customers tell us
they cannot even tell that their system is on unless they go right up next to the
air exchanger or outdoor compressor and feel the air blowing. 

Isn't a Ductless Heat Pump huge?

Styles and sizes
vary by model and manufacturer, but a typical indoor head is around 12″ tall, 34″ wide
and 7″ deep. Consider that radiators typically run much bigger than that and take up valuable
floor space. The same can be said for baseboards and wall heaters that limit
furniture placement, not to mention furnaces that need entire closets or small
rooms to contain them. A
. The outdoor component is around 24″ tall, 31″ wide and 11″ deep. That's about the size of a large suitcase. Traditional heat pumps and air
conditioning compressors can be three times that size or more.

are pretty
cool-looking, dare we say even beautiful in a modern, streamlined sort of way. We admire their amazing technology and incredible energy efficiency. After installing ductless heat pumps in our own homes, we would never consider using traditional heating systems again. The customers who have decided to go with ductless are now enjoying energy-efficient, comfortable heating and air conditioning for a fraction of the operating cost of a traditional system. 

They love their DHPs!

Visit our Ultimate Guide to Ductless Heating and Cooling in the Pacific Northwest for more valuable articles like this one.

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