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Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

How Efficient Are Ductless Mini Split Systems?


As older home specialists, our Kilowatt team often works with ductless mini split systems. Going ductless is an excellent choice for these homes because they allow for cooling and heating around the house, much like a central HVAC system, but without needing to add an inch of ductwork.

But ductless mini splits offer other benefits for homeowners, such as improved energy efficiency. How much of a difference can a ductless mini split make in home comfort? We can’t give you specific dollar savings amounts because every home is different, but we can show you how ductless systems improve efficiency.

Ductless mini splits are types of heat pumps

We bring this up first because heat pumps, whether ductless or ducted, help save energy in heating mode compared to other electrical heating systems. For homes without natural gas connections, a heat pump makes for a great alternative to using the standard AC/electric furnace combination. Heat pumps use electricity to move heat rather than generate it, which consumes less electricity.

High efficiency ratings

The standard efficiency ratings for heat pumps are SEER (cooling mode) and HSPF (heating mode). Ductless mini splits have some of the highest SEER/HSPF ratings on the market. Even lower-cost ductless systems have ENERGY STAR-qualified models with more than 15 SEER. One of the reasons for this improved efficiency is that ductless systems use smaller motors than standard ACs and heat pumps.

No heat gain or heat loss along ducts

The main benefit of having no ducts in an HVAC system is that it allows easy placement in buildings. But the lack of ducts also improves energy efficiency. In a standard system, the cooled air passing through the ducts picks up heat along the way through the duct walls. Even the best insulation won’t prevent some heat gain—and many So Cal homes don’t have much insulation at all. The same problem applies in cold weather when the warm air loses heat through the duct walls. Obviously, a system without ducts doesn’t have this energy-losing problem.

No efficiency drops from duct leaks and congested ductwork

Another extra benefit of leaving out the ducts—no duct leaks allowing cooled/heated air to escape and no dust and lint choking up the ventilation system. This removes two efficiency killers in ducted systems.

Zone control—built right in!

The multiple air handlers of a ductless mini split system can operate independently of each other. A house only needs to have the air handlers running in rooms where they’re needed. Keeping the units in empty rooms shut down translates to energy savings around the year. Ducted systems need special retrofits to have this type of zone control—but it’s built-in with a ductless system!

Whatever you need for comfort through the year, from ductless mini split installation to air conditioning repair in Van Nuys, CA, you can entrust to our team. We’re older home specialists, so if you’re interested in a ductless mini split as an option for your vintage home, you’ve found the people for the job.

Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning, and Electrical. Call our certified service technicians for exceptional customer service!

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