An Energy-Efficient, Climate-Friendly, Cooling Solution
Looking for an energy-efficient, climate-friendly solution to meet your heating and cooling needs? If you’re tired of dealing with old inefficient heaters and out-of-date air conditioning units, a ductless mini-split heat pump system may prove to be the answer to what you’re seeking!
Heat pumps are becoming an increasingly popular and energy efficient way to heat and cool homes of any size. They’re cost efficient, as they only use half the energy of electric resistance heat and, instead of burning fuel, they transfer heat from one place to another. If the electricity source is renewable, it also provides an excellent green solution for a transition away from fossil fuels.
The ductless mini-split version brings the heat pump system to a whole new level as it provides more flexibility with its zoning capabilities, meaning homeowners can adjust the system to heat or cool rooms depending on their climate needs. With the additional benefit of being easily installed, heat pumps are a fantastic addition to older homes as well as new!
How the Mini Split Works
There are two systems involved with a ductless mini-split heat pump; one is indoors and the other is outdoors. Both are connected to a refrigerant line. The outdoor compressor/condenser heats or cools the air, then sends it directly into your home through the indoor unit known as the air handler or “head”.
The technology comes from the variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems, or variable refrigerant volume (VRV) systems developed in the 1980’s that didn’t gain popularity until the early 2000s. These systems regulate the refrigerant flow to match the different heating or cooling requirements for each area within a building. This makes them especially efficient given that rooms and levels have different requirements that vary how much heating or cooling they each need. It also means your level of comfort can be equally distributed from room to room, while minimizing energy waste at the same time.
The Benefits of Going Ductless
Heat dissipates through ducts as it disperses throughout the home. Since mini splits don’t have ductwork, they avoid the energy losses associated with central forced air systems. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for air conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.
You also won’t need to worry about cleaning your ducts ever again! Particles that get trapped in ductwork can circulate throughout your home, contributing to a dusty environment which can cause allergies and exacerbate asthma symptoms.
How to Operate & Care for a Mini Split System
You’ve made up your mind to go ductless but how do you control the temperature in various locations so that it matches your comfort needs? As each zone can have its own mini split unit, you will need to understand how the settings work and how to operate them. Here’s a breakdown of the mini-split features and how to control and care for the system so that it meets your needs.
- Getting familiar with the remote: Mini split units come with their own remote control, with various settings you can use to adjust the temperature and humidity to your liking. Depending on the manufacturer of the heat pump, these settings may vary, so you’ll need to either speak with a technician or search the internet to gain a better understanding of where to find them and how these settings work.
- Understanding mode selection: Depending on how your mini-split system is set-up, you can have more than one air handler or “head”. You can then customize different cooling/heating setpoints depending on how you use your indoor spaces. You can also turn off the heat (sun) or AC (snowflake) in rooms you’re not using by making use of these indoor air handling or heads. You won’t be able to set them in different modes, however, unless you’re equipped with more than one heat pump.
- The importance of humidity settings: We all know that humidity makes it feel hotter when it’s warm, but these settings are equally useful for cool, damp places such as basements. If you make use of the dry setting on your mini split remote, you can dramatically reduce the moisture in any of the humid spaces, practically eliminating the need for a dehumidifier.
- Why & how to keep them clean: A build-up of dust can cause strain on any AC system. It can lead to reduced efficiency, which can cause increased energy consumption and, as a result, higher electricity bills. The indoor air quality can also deteriorate, posing potential health risks for those with allergies or respiratory problems. The mini-split is relatively easy to keep clean. About every three months, you should check the air filters for any dirt or debris. You’ll first need to power the unit off before removing the front panel to check. Then gently remove any dust or debris from the filters, coils, and fins with a soft cloth or brush. Do not use any chemicals or sprays. A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment can also do the trick. Having your system professionally cleaned once a year is recommended, so that you don’t get stuck with a malfunction during a heat wave or in cold weather conditions.
- When & why you need to protect them: There are some simple steps you can take to protect your mini-split when you’re having renovations done. Not all contractors will recognize them, so it’s important to cover them with a plastic sheet or bag to protect them from any dust or debris while the work is being done. When properly cared for and maintained, mini split heating systems can last up to 20 years.
Professional Installation, Cleaning & Servicing
Discover the advantages of mini split heat pumps for year-round heating and cooling with B.R.’s Heating & Plumbing Inc. We can provide professional help with new installations, cleaning, and servicing heat pumps of any kind, for any sized space. No matter the scope of your project, we pledge to complete our work on time and within budget. It’s all part of our pledge to serve our customers well and earn their trust.
Have any questions? Call to speak with us today, or to schedule an appointment for service or installation: 519-688-5999