How Does a Ductless Heat Pump Work?

Ductless heat pump systems are growing in popularity, offering affordable zoned comfort for residential and commercial environments. These systems function differently than conventional forced air heating and cooling systems – here’s a look at the components of a ductless heat pump system, and how they work.

Ductless heat pump equipment

Ductless heat pumps, also called ductless mini-splits or multi-splits, are a type of heating and cooling system designed to operate without ductwork. The system is made up of interior air handler units containing a blower and evaporator coil, which are installed in one or more areas of the home. As many as four of these units are connected by refrigerant lines to an outdoor compressor/condenser unit.

How does a ductless heat pump work?

To heat interior spaces, a ductless heat pump system pulls heat from the air outdoors, and moves it into the home, distributed by the individual air handling units. To cool an indoor area, refrigerant cycling through the system absorbs heat energy from inside, and transports it to the outdoor condenser where it is given off outdoors. The cool air which results is fanned back into the living space, via the air handler.

How does a ductless heat pump work to “zone” a home?

A distinct advantage of ductless heat pumps is the ability to create zoned heating and cooling. Installing the indoor air handler creates a zone – the equipment works to heat and cool just that area of the home, rather than the entire dwelling. It is controlled independently of the other ductless heat pump zones throughout the home so the occupant of a zone may adjust temperatures without disturbing the comfort of others

Are ductless heat pumps efficient?

Ductless heat pumps are very efficient, due to the absence of ductwork. In forced air heating and cooling which uses ductwork to deliver conditioned air, as much as 30 percent of energy can be lost through the duct system. Ductless heat pumps prevent this energy loss through their ductless design.