A ductless mini-split system is a type of heating and cooling system that does not require any ducts to condition the air. Ductless systems can be the best solution for home add-ons and renovations that don't have existing duct work. Larger homes that want more control over their heating and cooling may also prefer the flexibility and convenience of ductless mini-splits. By only heating and cooling the rooms that are in use, you can save a lot of energy and money.
So, how does it work?
A ductless mini-split system is made up of two main parts; the indoor air handling unit and the outdoor compressor/condenser. The indoor unit, usually suspended from the ceiling or mounted high on a wall, sends conditioned air directly into the living space. The indoor unit is directly connected to an outdoor condenser via refrigerant line, rather than a complicated duct system.
Usually, there are multiple indoor units connected to one outdoor unit. The indoor units can be independently controlled, but all use the same outdoor heat pump to absorb or dispense heat. A traditional A/C unit works by removing heat from your indoor spaces and transferring the heat outdoors to your condenser unit. A heat pump essentially reverses this process, so it can remove heat from the outdoor environment and transfer the heat indoors.
A heat pump can absorb heat even when it it freezing outside (-4°F). Still, the colder it gets outside, the harder your heat pump will have to work. Many people with heat pump systems report troubles with heating the home when temperatures drop below freezing. For areas that experience below freezing temperatures on a regular basis, you might want to consider a backup heating system.
Cost and Savings:
Ductless mini-splits have higher upfront costs than some systems, however, lower operation costs. Installation is easy and normally takes only a day or two. There are various tax credits, rebates and other incentives for heat pump upgrades.
To see rebates available in your area, see the links below.