Let’s get the answer to this question out of the way early on: Yes!
A mini-split system is energy efficient, among many other things. In fact, the United States Department of Energy says that a mini-split with a zoning system can save you as much as 30 percent on your energy bill.
The primary reason for the efficiency of a mini-split is its ability to operate without ductwork.
This ensures that every bit of hot and cool air makes it into your home, never being lost into wall cavities as the result of poorly installed or old ductwork.
Of course, just the same as a conventional AC or furnace, some brands and models are more efficient than others. And that’s why it’s so important to comparison shop.
Are All Ductless Heat Pumps Energy Star?
The short answer is no. While most mini-splits are Energy Star rated, you may find systems that are not. This doesn’t mean you should entirely avoid these, but those that are Energy Star rated are much more efficient.
For example, the official Energy Star website shares detailed information on the benefits of mini-split systems, including energy efficiency. Here are some important points:
- Efficient at heating and cooling your home: With the ability for ductless heat pumps to both heat and cool your home from a single unit, you can take advantage of the energy efficiency of a mini-split throughout the year. This allows you to save money month after month.
- No ductwork: This means two things. One, you don’t have to tear your home apart to install a mini-split. Everything the system needs to operate can be installed with minimal damage to your home. Secondly, ductwork is not as reliable as many people think. Even a small hole or seam can result in a lot of air loss.
- Multi-zone capabilities: Once again, this relates to the energy efficiency of a mini-split. In most cases, you can connect as many as eight indoor air handlers to one outdoor unit. From there, you can set up zones, thus allowing you to set different temperatures in different parts of your home. In the winter, for instance, you can turn down the heat in zones that are not in use. This saves you on your energy bill.
- Mini-splits transfer heat, they don’t generate heat: With a conventional heating system, heat is generated and distributed through ductwork to the many rooms of your home. A mini-split is different, as it’s built to transfer heat, which is more energy efficient. Add this to no ductwork and you have a winner.
How Much Electricity Does a Ductless Mini Split Use?
This depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the system, make and model, if you’re heating or cooling your home, and usage patterns.
As an example, if you have a mini-split running on 8,000 – 9,000 BTUs, which is common among many models, you can expect roughly 600 watts. However, during peak times, such as when temperatures are extremely cold or warm, higher wattages are likely.
There’s no denying the fact that mini-splits are energy efficient. If you want to take advantage of everything these systems have to offer, it may be time to book an appointment with a professional.