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Is a Ductless Heat Pump Right For You? An FAQ

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Although many homes rely on forced air heating systems to cool and heat their home, ductless systems are becoming more common as people learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each. The more you know about ductless heat pumps, the more capable you'll be of determining whether or not a ductless heat pump is right for you.

Q: What is a heat pump?

A: A heat pump is a heating and cooling system rolled into one unit. In design, heat pumps are similar to air conditioners. Heat pumps remove warm air from the inside of the home and pump it to the outside of the home, just like air conditioners. The difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner is that the heat pump is reversible, meaning it can also remove heat from the exterior of the home and transport it to the interior of the home. 

Q: How does the ductless component work?

A: Ductless heat pumps come in two parts: an exterior condenser and a system of interior air handlers capable of heating and cooling individual rooms. These exterior and interior units are connected to one another via a small conduit that houses the coils, power cable, and other components. The conduit connecting the air handlers and the condenser transports the heat between the two components, and the air handler blows air of the appropriate temperature into the room.

Q: Where are ductless heat pumps used?

A: Ductless air pumps are frequently found in older homes without ducts, in home additions where extending the ducts from the main house to an addition would be impractical, and in rooms where the normal duct system is simply inadequate. Heat pumps are generally found in mild climates. When temperatures outside drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, heat pumps stop running efficiently, because it becomes more difficult to remove heat from the outside and transport it inside. In temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, heat pumps usually require a supplemental heating source to help keep homes warm. 

Q: Do ductless heat pumps use a thermostat to control temperature like normal heating and cooling systems?

A: Yes; in fact, ductless heat systems can have individual thermostats to control the heat in individual rooms.

For more information about a ductless heat pump and whether or not it's right for you, seek advice from a trusted HVAC installer. Your heating services provider should be able to tell you whether or not a ductless heat pump could help heat and cool your home. Contact a company like Biggerstaff Plumbing Heating & Air for more information.