By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Is there a room or area in your home that's difficult to heat and cool?
Consider installing a ductless heat pump, aka a DHP and a mini-split heat pump. Its design makes it possible to add zone heating and cooling and be installed on a ceiling or wall. Its two components are an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handler. While the unit is similar to a standard air-source heat pump, a DHP is ductless and can add air conditioning to a house with electric baseboard or wall-mounted heaters. The connection between the outdoor and indoor units and the conduit between them requires only a small hole through the wall. The lack of duct work translates to no energy loss often found with the maze of ducting in a central air system.
The Department of Energy tells us that duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning and Energy Star certified ductless heat pumps are even more efficient using 60% less energy than standard home electric resistant-based heating systems. The system cuts cooling costs by 30% compared to conventional room air conditioners.
A qualified HVAC installer charges $2,400, which includes labor and material, to install a single-zone, mini-split heat pump that puts out 12,000 BTUs. Don’t even think about doing this job yourself unless you are that qualified HVAC installer; if so, the unit will cost $1,600.
Click here to Home Advisor and find qualified HVAC contractors in your area.