If you’ve been toying with the idea of switching to a ductless HVAC system, you probably have a lot of questions about how these systems operate. One of the most pressing and pertinent questions for Boston homeowners is how much equipment is required for a ductless system to fulfill their heating and cooling needs. After all, you’ve probably heard that a primary advantage of heat pumps is their relative compactness when compared to centralized units. Here, we’ll take a look at how many mini-splits you’ll need in your home.

What equipment comprises a ductless system?

Despite their many differences, centralized and ductless HVAC systems actually have a lot in common – minus the ductwork, of course! Similar to their conventional counterparts, heat pump systems are made up of one outdoor unit and at least one indoor unit. These indoor handling units are typically mounted on a wall or hung from a ceiling. Conversely, outdoor units are installed on the side of the building at least a foot or so off the ground. There are also drainage pipes and refrigerant lines connecting the handling units to the outdoor compressor, although these connections don’t take up any space.

Single vs Multi-Zone Systems

You’ve probably come across the term “zone” at least a few times when researching ductless HVAC systems. This is just a fancy way of referring to an area within a home that’s controlled by a mini-split. While not always the case, a zone generally refers to a room. One indoor handling unit is typically responsible for temperature control in a single zone. Depending on your home’s heating and cooling needs, you’ll either require a single or multi-zone ductless system.

Single-zone systems consist of a single indoor unit and one outdoor condenser. They’re specifically designed to handle the heating and cooling needs of one zone. This is a common choice for smaller apartments or home additions where adding ductwork would be too expensive or structurally disruptive. Alternatively, a multi-zone ductless system has at least two handling units. All indoor units are connected to an outdoor compressor. They’re all responsible for controlling the temperature in a specific zone.

Verdict: The ideal number of handling units depend on your needs

Boston homeowners will need a mini-split in every room of their home for which they want temperature control. If you only have heating and cooling needs in one room – such as a garage, sunroom, or add-on bedroom – a single-zone system will suffice. However, if you have more than one zone to deal with, you’ll need a multi-zone system with various indoor handling units.

How much space can a mini-split cover?

Another common question homeowners have when investing in a ductless system is about the amount of space a single indoor unit can handle. British Thermal Units (BTU) are the industry-standard measurement used to determine a unit’s ability to efficiently cool or heat a room. The higher a ductless mini-split’s BTU number, the more space it can handle. Leading ductless HVAC providers produce equipment with a range of 350 to 1,500 square feet, offering a lot of flexibility.

The importance of working with a ductless specialist

Still a bit confused about where to begin with mini-splits? You’re not alone! For decades, centralized systems have been the predominant source of heating and cooling for homeowners. Now, ductless systems are starting to gain attention in the United States, and this rise in popularity also brings with it a lot of questions. When installing a ductless system, it’s imperative to work with a knowledgeable and experienced expert. These professionals can help determine sizing and zoning requirements which are critical for ensuring your system works properly.

If you’re a Boston homeowner eager to learn more about ductless mini-splits and their benefits, feel free to contact New England Ductless for more information. As an experienced local provider, we offer unparalleled services and industry-leading equipment.