Heat Pumps aren’t really new – they have been around for forty-plus years, but today’s technology has made them better than ever and have caught the attention of homeowners nationwide.
Ductless split system heat pumps began to arrive from Asian manufacturers in the early 1980s. They were popular in countries like Japan, where typical living spaces are quite small by American standards. Compact, quiet, and not requiring ductwork, heat pumps were attractive even then. The American market embraced the technology about five years ago and today, Mini-split heat pumps are the choice for air conditioning in many homes.
A heat pump is simply an apparatus that transfers heat from a colder area to a warmer one using mechanical thermal energy. This method is called vapor compression refrigeration and examples of this are air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezers.
Mini-split systems have two main components — an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit (evaporator). They are easy to install and usually require only a three-inch hole through a wall for the conduit, which houses the power and communication cables, copper tubing, and a condensation drain line, linking the outdoor and indoor units. The system is a cost-effective, attractive way to control indoor temperatures. It includes a remotely wired or hand-held controller that is programable for timing, temperature, and more. If you have a boiler, ductless air conditioning may be the way to go.
When used for heating, heat pumps reduce energy costs while improving the indoor air quality and comfort. During the “shoulder seasons,” ductless mini-splits provide a bonus in that you can use them as a secondary heat source. In the Fall and Spring when you may experience uncomfortably cool mornings or evenings, you can use your mini-split to provide heat without having to turn on your gas or oil heating system.
At Nashoba Air, we recommend Fujitsu general ductless mini-split systems for energy-efficient home comfort. With available utility rebates from MassSave, the savings are even more attractive.
Mini-split heat pumps are not only great solutions for whole home or new constructions but make good retrofit add-ons to houses with “non-ducted” heating systems, such as hydronic (hot water heat), radiant panels, and space heaters (wood, kerosene, propane). They can also be a good choice for room additions where extending or installing distribution ductwork is not feasible, and energy efficient new homes that require only a small space conditioning system.
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