Mini-Split Musings

I Need One of Those in Every Room, Right?

October 21, 2015

The above is a common question we get here at Alpine Ductless. People take one look at the air handler component of the Ductless Heat Pump system, probably think about furnace vents or even those air conditioner units often seen in hotel rooms, and assume they need an indoor head in each and every room of their house or business.

Please allow us to set the record straight! This is almost never the case.

We say “almost never” because if you have several 1000 square foot rooms in your home and typically keep all the doors closed, or these rooms are all on separate floors, well, yes, then you may need a head in each room. However, most of us do not fit that criteria.

A single head system, if properly sized, can heat and cool up to 1500 square feet or even more depending upon your home’s building envelope and air flow. Yes, if you have an open floor plan and tend to leave doors open, this provides for more even temperature control, but even older homes with more separated rooms can beverycomfortable with a Ductless Heat Pump System.

It is really all about air flow and heat exchange. If your home is poorly insulated and losing a lot of heat, any system will work hard to keep up and you may encounter hot or cold spots in the home. However, if your home has been sufficiently weatherized and you have good air flow, a single head Ductless System can easily keep an average sized home of 1300 square feet nice and comfortable.

This works so well because of the technology behind the Ductless Systems. Unlike a typical furnace that comes on when the temperature drops below a certain level and shuts off when the temperature rises to that set level, a Ductless Heat Pump is designed to run continuously. This does not mean it is always in heating mode or cooling mode, blowing out hot or cold air (and all your hard earned dollars too), but instead it means the fan is always operating, circulating and filtering the air, andmoving that air throughout the entire home, not just in the room in which it is operating.

We liken how this works to a warm home on a winter’s day. If it is 40 degrees outside and you open the front door and keep it open, eventually your whole house will equalize in temperature to the outside, that 40 degrees. The circulating air from the Ductless Heat Pump is like that open door. It moves the air around the entire space of your home and equalizes the temperature.

Yes, there are applications in which more than one indoor air exchanger is needed, and we can certainly help you make that call. There are also likely plenty of folks willing to sell you multiple heads for your home. The more they can sell, the more money they can make from you. But knowing the truth about these systems and how they are designed to work can help you to understand how to properly size your new Ductless System to your home and ensure you are not over-sizing your new system or paying for more than you need.

If you have any other questions about how many heads your space may need, or have questions or concerns about Ductless Heat Pump Systems in general, give us a call and we will be happy to give you a free, no obligation estimate.

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