What is a Ductless Heat Pump?
December 15, 2020
If you are like most homeowners, you want to keep your home comfortable, and your energy bills to a minimum. An excellent solution is a ductless heat pump. They provide the best of both worlds: perfect hot and cold air in each room throughout the home, and energy efficiency.
A two-way heat pump provides the ideal temperature because it helps manage how heat and cool air travels throughout the home. As a result, it reduces energy use because the system doesn’t work as hard. Here is everything you need to know about ductless heat pumps and why they have become so popular.
How Do Heat Pumps Work?
Ductless heat pump systems use indoor and outdoor units. The outdoor unit contains a compressor and condenser while the indoor unit(s) manage the air throughout the home. The two units use a series of tubing and cables to connect them. This includes a power cable, suction tubing, refrigerant tubing, and a condensate drain, yet is completely duct-free. You can read more about how ductless heat pumps work here.
Is a Ductless Heat Pump and a Ductless Air Conditioner the Same Thing?
No. As mentioned above a ductless heat pump is a two-way system allowing it to take warm air from a room to cool it or cold air from outside and make it warmer. With a ductless air conditioner, on the other hand, it uses a one-way heat pump forcing hot or cold air into a room.
Is a Ductless Heat Pump Better than a Traditional HVAC System?
Many contractors prefer the ductless heating and cooling system as it offers year round advantages. The benefits of a ductless system include:
- Affordable operation: Heat pump systems have a higher initial price tag, but they more than make up for that in energy efficiency. They use little electricity and have inverter technology for the AC, so the compressors work at variable speeds. As a result, it is easier to maintain a comfortable and consistent temperature.
- Easy to install: Ductless heat pump installation requires no more than a three-inch hole to connect outdoor units and indoor air handlers.
- Ductless installation: These systems require no ductwork at all, which makes them more efficient as they don’t experience leaks. As well, they are perfect for new areas of the home such as additions, renovated basements, or even heated garages where ceiling space might be limited.
- Adaptable: The indoor air handling units are quite shallow in depth making it easy to mount them on the ceiling or wall. Taking up no more than about seven inches, they are sleek enough that they don’t interfere with room space or décor.
- Remote controlled: Some people are concerned that the positioning of the indoor handlers makes it difficult to operate the system. However, they come with remote control for easy adjustment.
- Room control: If you find your family is constantly adjusting the temperature to suit their own needs, a ductless system offers the perfect solution. Each room can have its own temperature control so people can be as warm or cool as they desire. It also helps keep the peace. It’s a common misconception that you need a ductless heat pump or “head” in every room, but that's often not the case.
One thing to keep in mind is that ductless heat pumps work well unless outdoor temperatures drop below 17 degrees Fahrenheit.
Where Do Ductless Heat Systems Work Best?
Like any other HVAC system, you can use a ductless heat pump and system as a whole-house heating unit. However, there are places where they are preferred over conventional HVAC systems including:
- Home additions: If you have added a garage apartment, bonus rooms, sunrooms, a garage man cave, or a new section of the home, you can use the ductless system to operate regardless of the space size. It will work independently of your existing HVAC system without interfering with even temperature distribution.
- Economizing larger homes: If you live in a large home where many of the rooms aren’t used on a regular basis, a ductless system allows you to choose heating and cooling for the main rooms in use. For example, empty nesters might concentrate the system in their bedroom, living room and kitchen. This allows the rest of the home to remain at a more economical temperature, while the main rooms are perfectly comfortable.
- Rooms with uneven temperatures: Most homes have cold or hot zones where regardless of how the thermometer is set, it never feels comfortable. With a ductless system, these rooms remain comfortable as the temperature can adjust to common issues such as rooms sitting above an unheated garage, sunrooms that are not connected to the home, or a room with southern exposure that gets too hot.
- Homes without ductwork: If you have your heart set on adding AC to your home, but it is too costly because you would need to install ductwork, the ductless system is the ideal solution.
We are here to help you learn more about this energy-saving alternative to heating your Pacific Northwest home. Contact Alpine Ductless to discuss if a Ductless Heating and Cooling System is right for you.
We are proven Ductless Heating and Cooling Master Installers who have helped over 2,500 homeowners throughout the Pacific Northwest in cities like Centralia, Chehalis and more!