When deciding on which system of heating is best for your home, there are many options. The most common form of heating in U.S. households is having a central furnace. This system requires ducts to deliver warm air throughout the home. It can be powered in several different ways including fuel-oil, natural gas, and electricity.
Another heating choice would be to use a boiler, which generally passes the heat through radiators in the home. Any left over cool water is then returned to the boiler and heated up to become hot water. Boilers are typically powered by natural gas or heating oil.
A third possibility, one that often constitutes the best decision, is using a ductless heat pump. A ductless heat pump is essentially a two-way air conditioner, which moves heat from inside to outside during the summer and does the reverse—moving heat from outside to inside—in the winter. This is done through an electrical system which then takes the collected warm air and pushes it throughout the home.
There are numerous motivations to use a ductless heat pump, but five reasons stand out above the rest.
1. Fast and Easy Installation
A ductless heat pump is incredibly easy to install, much simpler than a central furnace or a boiler. All that is really required for a for the installation of a ductless heat pump is a slight hole—as insignificant as three inches—in the wall connecting indoor pipes with an outdoor compressor.
It is possible to complete this job on your own, however, if you are even the least bit unsure of how to best carry out the task or lack HVAC experience, you are encouraged to call a trained professional, like those at Entek. With the right company, most homes can have a ductless heat pump fully installed in a day or two, depending on the size of the home.
2. Energy Efficiency
Boilers and furnaces require the use of a vast amount of energy, which is a drain, not just on the environment, but also on your heating bill. Additionally, upwards of 25% of heat can disintegrate when traveling through ducts, making the use of any duct-based heating system horribly inefficient. A ductless heat pump prevents that heat dissipation while simultaneously using less energy and costing you fewer utility dollars each month.
3. Great Flexibility
Duct-based heating systems require complex construction and can be tough to install in certain homes based on the design. This is not an issue at all when installing a ductless system. Since they are so easy to configure, a ductless heat pump can be used in conjunction with virtually any home, no matter what the design. Using a ductless heat pump gives you the flexibility to bring that form of heating to any home with the benefit of not worrying about how it will fit in with your other construction plans.
Keep in mind, however, that each state and municipality have their own set of energy and installation codes that must be followed. Similarly, it’s is the responsibility of the homeowner to purchase and obtain any necessary permits before installation by a licensed electrician can occur. If you choose to take this installation on as a DIY project, most warranties will become void and any required repairs will not be covered.
4. High Level of Control and Comfort
Duct-based heating systems are not always completely within the control of the user whereas ductless systems are. A ductless heat pump is controlled by individual thermostats in each room, so the amount of heat that room gets is completely up to you. Not only does this increase your comfort level, it also allows you to heat only the areas of the home that you are using at any given time, which means less overall energy is wasted and less money is spent on utility bills.
In addition, ductless systems are excellent when it comes to providing clean air as opposed to air that is dusty and polluted. That clean air is not only much more enjoyable to breathe, but it is also less likely to exacerbate any kind of health problems for you and anybody else who lives in the home.
5. Maintenance Made Simple
While a duct-based heating system requires a significant amount of maintenance on a regular basis, a ductless heat pump is much easier and far less costly to maintain. There are steps that should be taken every month or two routinely with a ductless heat pump, but those these are simple and do not take much time and effort. They include:
(1) Check electrical connections – The last thing you want is for your ductless heat pump to short-circuit or overheat. Thoroughly inspect each pump in your home to ensure no such problems are occurring or are in any danger of occurring. In addition, check for loose wires or incorrect plug-ins that could potentially cause any issues with the pumps. If you notice any problems with loose wires, incorrect plug-ins, overheating, or short-circuiting, handle it immediately if you are capable of doing so, or quickly get an experienced professional to take care of the problem before it becomes worse.
(2) Clean the filters and condenser – Each ductless heat pump has a removable air filter that needs to be cleaned every month or two in order for it to continue to function at the highest possible level. Similar action needs to be taken monthly or bi-monthly when it comes to cleaning the unit’s condenser. In order to properly clean the condenser, make absolutely sure that the power is off and then use a garden hose to spray off any dirt or dust off of the coil.
(3) Inspect for refrigerant leaks and drain blockages – Inspect the pump for leaks of any kind. If a leak is being caused by a loose connection, immediately tighten that connection up. If it is an issue that cannot be resolved as easily as tightening up a loose connection, patch or replace the area that is leaking. Also, thoroughly check the drain of the pump for any blockages, and if any exist, clear them out quickly. Again, if you do not feel comfortable doing this work on your own, make sure to call in an expert who is better equipped to handle it.