Before you go out a buy a heat pump, it is important to know how efficient they are.

Ductless heat pumps are one of the most efficient ways to heat your home, but there are a few things you should know before you purchase one.

What is a Ductless Heat Pump?

Ductless heat pumps function by circulating heated air using heat exchanger coils.

Your heat pump, for example, draws warm air from the outside of your property in the winter to raise interior temperatures; during the summer, it does the reverse, extracting heat from your indoor air and expelling it outdoors.

Ductless heat pumps are one of the most efficient ways to heat and cool your property.

In fact, ductless systems can be as much as 50% more efficient than traditional HVAC systems!

Related: Heat Pump Vs Gas Boilers [COMPARED]

Is A Ductless Heat Pump a Mini Split?

A ductless heat pump is made up of two components, one for dealing with indoor air and the other for performing as the outdoor compressor, it’s known as a mini-split.

The outdoor compressor circulates refrigerant through copper tubing to the indoor air handler, which is housed in a separate piece.

The air handler is usually mounted on a wall, and it contains a fan that pulls in air from the room, heats or cools it as needed, and then distributes the conditioned air back into the room.

Defining Ductless Heat Pump Efficiency

Let’s start by looking at the definition of efficiency. The air conditioner’s efficiency is determined by dividing the cooling output by the electric input.

It is referred to as Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) when calculated over a complete season.

A SEER of 10 was once considered good. However, with the advent of Energy Star ratings, stringent rules, and greater public awareness about carbon footprints, a SEER rating of around 20 and even more is feasible.

It’s crucial to distinguish between SEER and EER at this point. The energy efficiency ratio of an appliance at a single time with consistent indoor and outdoor temperatures is known as EER.

As a result, it does not provide an accurate picture of the air conditioner’s power consumption over the season.

Related: Is Your Heat Pump Short Cycling? Here’s How You Fix It!

What Is The Efficiency Of A Ductless Heat Pump?

Ductless heat pumps are very efficient. In fact, they are some of the most efficient heat pumps on the market. Most ductless heat pumps have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating of 16 or higher.

Some models even have a SEER rating as high as 30, which means they are nearly three times as efficient as a standard air conditioner.

When Do Heat Pumps Lose Efficiency?

When the temperature drops to between 25 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, heat pumps become less efficient.

The greatest performance is achieved when the temperature is greater than 40 degrees.

When outdoor temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, heat pumps begin to lose efficiency, necessitating increased energy consumption in order to perform their functions.

Why Is Heat Pump Efficiency Important?

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “If heat pumps are so efficient, why does it matter?”

Well, the answer is simple. Efficiency matters because it directly impacts your utility bills.

The more efficient your heat pump is, the less money you will have to spend on electricity every month.

Market Comparison

With so many choices on the market, it can be difficult to decide which heat pump is right for you.

The Energy Guide is a US Department of Energy seal that provides a standardized comparison point between different appliances. The label includes information such as the appliance’s expected yearly energy cost compared to other similar products, based on typical national energy rates.

Appliance Lifetime Cost:

Efficiency ratings are pretty cool, since they calculate the cost of a ductless heat pump over its lifespan.

This is also called the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), and it’s a way for you to compare the total cost of owning and operating different types of ductless heat pumps.

The efficiency of the heat pump is one of the major elements in its operational expenses. A lower efficiency implies a greater running cost, and vice versa.

In this case, a lower LCOE means a better investment.

Calculate the Return on Investment (ROI):

The return on investment, or ROI, is the time it takes to recoup the cost of the initial investment. A more efficient system with a higher initial expenditure may have a higher ROI than a less efficient, lower-cost system.


Are ductless heat pumps cheaper?

Ductless heat pumps are less expensive to install than ducts. Ductless heat pumps may be readily customized to match the best temperature settings for each space. They are efficient. In comparison to electric resistance-based technologies, ductless heat pumps can reduce heating expenses by 60%.

Do mini-splits use a lot of electricity?

No, Mini-splits use far less energy than traditional AC and heating systems, making them a more energy-efficient option. Each hour, the majority consumes roughly 600 watts. The amount of electricity utilized varies depending on the unit’s settings, operation, and condition.

Can a ductless heat pump heat a whole house?

Yes, a ductless heat pump can heat an entire house. If you have a larger home, you may need more than one unit to evenly distribute the heat.Most systems are designed to be used as a supplement to your central heating system. These systems may, however, heat an entire home.

Do mini split heat pumps work in cold weather?

Yes, mini split heat pumps work in cold weather. Some heat pump models can even operate in temperatures as low as -13 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature outside drops, the heat pump’s efficiency decreases, and it will need to work harder to maintain the desired indoor temperature. However, they work best when a heat source such as a gas furnace or electrical resistance coils has been utilized.

Where should a ductless heat pump be installed?

A heat pump condenser should be wall mounted in a shaded location, away from direct sunshine, unless it is designed to be installed indoors. The condenser should also be placed on the home’s side or rear, far away from any bushes or greenery (which might obstruct air flow.)

Are mini-split heat pumps as efficient as geothermal?

Dual-source heat pumps have greater efficiency than air-source ones, but they are less efficient than geothermal units. Geothermal devices offer the greatest heat pump efficiency, with ratings of 400 percent to 600 percent. Efficiency ratings for air-source devices range from 300 to 350 percent, while dual-source units have efficiency ratings of 350%.

Are mini-split heat pumps efficient for cooling?

For all climates, mini-split heat pumps are an energy-efficient option in place of furnaces and air conditioners. Heat pumps, like refrigerators, use electricity to move heat from a cool area to a warm one, making the cooler region colder and the warmer region hotter.

How big of a room will a mini split cool?

A 12,000 BTU mini-split is one of the most popular sizes. This unit heats and cools up to 450–550 square feet, which is approximately the size of a studio apartment or a smaller one-bedroom home.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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