Ductless mini-split systems are becoming increasingly popular among Boston homeowners due to their greater energy efficiency and quiet operation. It doesn’t hurt that mini-splits are significantly easier to install in older homes because they don’t require tearing into walls to install ductwork.

Let’s take a look at how a ductless mini-split works to help you better understand the advantages of these units for both older and newer Boston homes.

How Do Ductless Mini-Splits Work? 3 System Advantages

Ease of installation, greater temperature control, and dual HVAC functionality (that’s right, a mini-split can heat and cool your home) are just 3 of the myriad benefits of these systems.

1. Mini-Splits Can Operate without Ductwork

A ductless mini-split system can heat and cool your home just like a central HVAC system but, as the name suggests, without ductwork.

Standard central HVAC systems typically have a single, large indoor unit that’s hidden away in an attic or large closet space. These units use a network of ducts to distribute conditioned air throughout a home to various rooms.

A ductless mini-split, on the other hand, relies on individual air handling units to control the temperature in each room, also known as a zone.

2. Mini-Splits Allow for Zoning

A ductless mini-split system is made up of two main parts: an indoor and outdoor unit. The indoor air handling units are installed in your home, and they’re responsible for distributing air throughout each zone.

Typically, the indoor air handling units are hung on your walls. Your first thought might be, “How would that look in my house?” Not to worry because you have many options for making these units blend in with the décor of your home.

The outdoor unit can be divided into three components: the fan, coil, and compressor. Its chief task is to exchange air between inside the home and outside of it in order to accomplish your home’s desired climate.

The indoor handling units are connected to the outdoor unit through wires and tubes that are responsible for refrigerant, electricity, and drainage.

Single and Multi-Zone Mini-Split Systems

An indoor air handling unit is necessary for each room where you want climate control. A single-zone system is capable of controlling the air in one room.

Boston homeowners who want the ability to heat and cool multiple rooms will need what’s known as a multi-zone ductless system. This is just a fancy word for a ductless system that uses more than one indoor air handling unit to manage the temperature of several zones in a home.

3. Mini-Splits Can Heat and Cool Your Home

The real superpower of a ductless mini-split? It’s all-in-one functionality. Unlike many central HVAC systems that rely on a furnace or boiler and a separate A/C unit, a heat pump can do it all: heat and cool your home depending on the season.

How? Its heat pump, which makes use of heat’s tendency to flow into cooler places from warmer ones.

These systems can transfer heat between the inside of your home and the outdoors. In the colder months, a heat pump pulls heat from the warmer outdoor air and brings it into your home. This flow of heat is simply reversed in the summer as a mini-split transfers heat energy from your warmer home to the outdoor air.

A Closer Look at the Mini-Split’s Heat Transfer Process

Key Components

Refrigerant plays a critical role in this process because of its effectiveness at absorbing and releasing heat.

So do the unit’s condenser and evaporator coils. Within the heat pump’s closed-loop system, the condenser’s purpose is to condense the refrigerant from a warm gas into a cool liquid, giving off heat to the surrounding environment in the process.

The evaporator’s function in a heat pump is to take the cool liquid refrigerant from the condenser and evaporate it back into a gas by pulling heat in from the surrounding air.

Summer Cooling

During the summertime, the heat pump’s indoor coil operates as the evaporator and the outdoor coil as the condenser: the evaporator pulls heat from inside the home and sends it outside to the condenser, which releases the heat into the surrounding area.

Winter Heating

What’s so cool about a heat pump? Its ability to reverse this process. Thanks to its reversing value, the indoor coil can work as the condenser and the outdoor coil as the evaporator during the winter, so the system pulls warm air from outside and brings it inside the home.

It’s tough to believe there’s warmth in the air during the winter, but ductless heat pumps can siphon heat from outside even when it’s below freezing. As long as the refrigerant maintains a lower temperature than the air outside, the refrigerant absorbs heat and is pumped inside. Here, the heat energy is transferred into your home to warm the air.

Are Ductless Mini-Splits Worth It? 3 Quick Takeaways

A ductless mini-split system can offer Boston homeowners a series of advantages due to its unique functioning. Here are a few highlights:

1. Quick Installation

Older HVAC models require you to break into walls, ceilings, and floors to install complicated ductwork. Ductless systems completely avoid this issue and are much easier to install as a result.

2. Energy Efficient

Without any ductwork, a ductless mini-split avoids all of the inefficiency that’s lost when air leaks out of the system. This difference alone makes ductless systems significantly more energy efficient.

Plus, you can heat or cool only the rooms you’re using. Greater control equals greater savings.

3. Affordability

Although the units themselves are more expensive than traditional centralized units, you save money by not having to pay for expensive ductwork or to heat or cool the entire home. The increased energy efficiency is easier on your wallet in the long run.

Get More Info. Talk to the Boston Ductless Mini-Split Pros

If you’re interested in seeing how your home could benefit from a ductless mini-split, feel free to contact New England Ductless today. With decades of experience servicing and installing ductless systems in Boston, we’re prepared to answer any of your questions.