Understanding HVAC Guidelines
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Understanding HVAC Guidelines

Once I purchased my first home, I realized that I needed to do my part in caring for my home appliances. In addition to reading the user manuals for my kitchen appliances and state-of-the-art plumbing system, I realized that I also needed to do a little research about HVAC. Because I had no experience with HVAC systems, I called out a professional to teach me a thing or two. It was fascinating to talk with him, and I was able to take notes about all kinds of important topics, such as maintenance, troubleshooting, and even shopping for a new system. This blog is all about understanding HVAC guidelines.

Understanding HVAC Guidelines

3 Reasons To Choose A Ductless Heat Pump System

Marilou Girard

Ductless heating systems typically take the form of mini-split heat pump units. As the name implies, these systems don't rely on interior ductwork or plumbing to provide heating for your home. Mini-split systems are independent units consisting of an outdoor condenser, indoor head, and some relatively straightforward plumbing and wiring to connect the two.

While many people might associate ductless systems with air conditioning, heat pumps are also a viable form of heating for your home. If you're planning on installing a heating system into a new home or as a retrofit, you may want to consider a ductless heat pump for these three compelling reasons.

1. Your Old Ductwork is Failing

Force-air heating systems rely on insulated and sealed ductwork to maximize efficiency and comfort. Losses through ductwork can be significant, with estimates well into 20-30%. Sealing or repairing old ducts can help with these issues, but doing so may add substantial expense if your home's ductwork is not easy to access.

In these cases, a heat pump may be an option worth considering if you already need to replace your existing heating system. Since a heat pump doesn't rely on ductwork, you'll be able to bypass any losses from leaks, poor insulation, and so on.

2. You Already Use Electric Heating

Electric heating is technically efficient in the sense that all of the energy that enters your home goes into heating your home. However, electricity is often more expensive per BTU generated than alternatives such as natural gas. As a result, an electric furnace can be a potentially costly way to heat your home. On the other hand, converting to natural gas comes with its own costs and may not always be an option.

However, heat pumps work on the same principle as air conditioners. A heat pump is more energy-efficient than an electric furnace by moving heat instead of creating it. This advantage can make ductless heat pump systems a significant efficiency upgrade, especially since you'll also benefit by sidestepping efficiency losses due to your ductwork.

3. You Don't Live in a Cold Climate

Heat pumps work by extracting energy from the outside air and moving it to your home. These systems can extract heat even on relatively cold days, but their efficiency tends to fall off as temperatures plummet. In frigid areas, you may need a hybrid system or a backup furnace to help your heat pump along when the weather becomes poor.

On the other hand, heat pumps work well for areas where the temperature remains above freezing for much of the winter. Many heat pumps include auxiliary heating sources to help on particularly cold days, so you can still benefit from one of these systems, even if your area occasionally dips below the optimal range for a heat pump.

Contact a local heating system service to learn more.