As the name suggests, it's a small heat pump that does not have ducts. Only an outdoor condensing unit and an indoor coil. With no ducts there are no associated losses. And with no ducts or plenums lined with fiberglass insulation your indoor quality increases.
Why are they so much more efficient than a ducted system?
Between not having any air leaks (which can cause energy wasting pressure differences in the house), and not having an air distribution system located in a scorching attic in the summer or a freezing crawlspace, a ductless system provides 100% of the conditioned air into the room with zero losses.
What does "inverter" mean? Inverter control relates to how the system operates. Virtually every ducted system we are all used to have two speeds: 100% capacity at all times or off. This means every time the system turns on it wastes energy .
Inverter systems vary the amount of energy required for the system to run based upon the load at the time. Rather than turn on and off, an inverter driven ductless system slows down the compressor, the indoor fan and the outdoor fan. Once the room gets to the desired temperature, the system slows down and provides a constant, even temperature during operation for both heating and cooling.
Do I have to remove my entire ducted system?
No, you can leave your existing system in place. For many customers we add a mini split in the master bedroom and one in the main living area...then, simply run one or the other and still have more comfort than a ducted system.
I don't want anything on my walls, what are the options?
There are several alternatives to having a wall unit installed but the cost of equipment and labor is more than double the cost of a wall mounted system. These are called "ceiling cassettes" or "concealed ducted systems". (See our images for a look at these options)
Do ductless systems make much noise?
The operating decible range on ductless systems ducts is 30 decibles, same as a whisper
How much power is needed for ductless system?
The power requirement for ductless systems (depending on the SEER) ranges from 340 Watts to 700Watts per ton
Can these units be solar powered?
Yes, we now offer a solar powered option for ducted mini splits. Four 300Watt panels per ton is required. 30% Federal tax credit applies to the entire systems
I hear claims of "improved indoor air quality", why?
No fiberglass in plenums, air boxes or air handlers means there is no fiberglass in your air stream
A ductless Mini Split is a small split system heat pump or air conditioner that has no ducting, just a wall or ceiling mounted blower
which cools one room at a time. This is called "zoning".
Blowing conditioned air through a duct system in a hot or cold attic space or crawlspace has recently come under increased scrutiny as recent testing has revealed that systems can lose 5% to 15% just in air leaks and depending on the climate (sub zero winters and desert homes are the worst), thermal losses can add up to 50% loss of energy from the time it leave the furnace or air conditioning coil and travels to the register in your room.
This means during the hottest day, when you need the cooling the most, your 4 ton unit is really only delivering a little over 2 tons of cooling but consuming 4 tons worth of energy! Further, the more extreme the temperature, the more losses that are incurred so when you need it the most you are getting the least. That's just basic thermodynamic principles in effect. Mini splits do not have ducts so there are no losses due to leaks or thermal losses or gains. Every cent you spend on your comfort you are getting 100% of. Why? Systems with ducts have a centrally located large Freon evaporator coil where a large blower moves warm moist air over the coil which removes some of the heat from the air. The coil is inside of a steel, sheet metal box (plenum), which is then connected to a duct system which is sitting in a 140F+ hot attic (or freezing cold crawlspace)
Even if you only need 2 tons to cool the house, your 4 or 5 ton system is cranking away using 1.6kw/ton whether it's mild outside or stifling hot. Mini splits have "inverter technology" which is a fancy way of saying the compressor, condensor fan motor and indoor fan are variable speed. This means when a room gets to the desired temperature, the mini split slows down and runs at a fraction of the total capacity
and just enough to maintain the desired comfort level chosen. Each wall evaporator/blower is sized to create comfort room by room so you only turn on the unit where you will be occupying. In most cases, especially where there are empty bedrooms being conditioned, a 1 ton heat pump mini split is installed in the core living area and one in the master bedroom. This way, only one unit is running providing cooling in the summer and heat in the winter and while doing it only consumes 700watts of power, not the 8600watts a roof top mounted 4 ton system uses.
This is especially important with the new APS rate which will have an on peak time of 4pm-7pm and a kW (every 1,000 watts of power) charge of $18.45! Simply turn off your main a/c unit and rely on a 1 ton ductless system to keep the core of your home comfortable for 700 watts.
We have seen reductions over 60% in the last two years while honing our "DRP" (Demand Reduction Package). Stay updated by coming back to this web site. Man Caves, Garages, Arizona Rooms, Master bedroms and Work Areas
How many times have you thought "man, I would love to go out in the garage and complete a few projects" but you think forward of sweat dripping down your face, the incredible heat pouring from the ceiling, standing close to the hot tin garage door feels like you are standing in a broiler...and not a breath of moving air...then decide not to accomplish what you wanted.
Keep the Heat Out
Recapture over 400 square feet of space from the summer by having us install Thermal Control Membrane above the ceiling, on the back of the garage door and installing a 120v 1 ton mini split heat pump on the wall. We have customers turning garages into hobby rooms, grow rooms, billiard rooms, a chapel, a play room for the kids and of course, the ultimate Man Cave (neon signage not included)