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FAQs Mini-Splits

Mini-Splits FAQQ: What can an energy-efficient, mini-split heating & cooling system do for me?

A: These systems are perfect for fixing hot or cold spots in your home. They can heat a targeted space like a garage or sunroom, or supplement other heat sources. They can replace space heaters or electric baseboard heaters in winter, and unsightly, inefficient window air-conditioning units in summer. During fall and spring months, they can replace your traditional heating completely.

Q: Why are they so energy efficient?

A: Systems like the Energy Star rated models Clean Energy installs don’t use fuel to make hot or cool air like a traditional heating or cooling system. Instead, like a refrigerator, they use electricity to move warm air into cool areas, or vice versa. They move the air right where you want it, so you don’t lose energy forcing air through long ducts. And, they ramp up or down as needed, unlike a central air system which starts and stops regularly to maintain a certain temperature.

Q: How does mini-split heating and cooling improve air quality?

A: Unlike ducted HVAC systems which accumulate allergens, our mini-split systems have multi-stage filtration that reduces dust, bacteria, viruses and pollen in the air. They also dehumidify in the summer, and some owners report more comfortable air in the dry winter months. They are quieter than a whisper, so they improve your “air quality” that way as well.

Q: What types of home can use mini-split heating and cooling?

A: Single-family homes, multi-family homes and condominiums.

Q: Where do I put a mini-split system?

A: The outdoor unit is installed – you guessed it – outdoors. The compact indoor unit goes on the inside of an exterior wall or on the ceiling nearby.

Q: How much money will I save?

A: Predicting how much a heating/cooling system will save you is hard to do. Why? Because it depends on the size and configuration of your home, how much you run the system and at what temperature, what other heating and cooling sources you use, how warm or cool you like your home, and the temperature outside. According to research by the Rocky Mountain Institute, these systems save up to 40% compared to oil heating. Other reports cite 30-40% savings compared to traditional, ducted, forced-air heating systems.

Q: Can I use mini-splits to heat my entire home?

A: Given New England’s cold winter temperatures, these systems generally reduce but don’t eliminate your need for an oil burner, wood stove or other heating source. However, you may be able to rely completely on your mini-split heating and cooling in the “shoulder” months, and turn on your central air-conditioner later in the summer, if you need it at all.

Q: I already have a solar electric system. Can I add mini-split heating and cooling to my home?

A: Yes! You’ll be heating and cooling your home with your clean solar energy — how great is that? In particular, “solar heating and cooling” is a great way to use excess solar production, or to get more value from your solar if your utility doesn’t offer full net metering.

Q: I can’t get a solar electric system at my home. Does that mean I can’t install a mini-split?

A: No! We can still install a system for you; it will be powered by conventional electricity from the utility, not your own solar energy. Even without the solar electric system behind it, these energy-efficient systems save you money, help the environment, and make your home more comfortable.

Q: Is installation complicated or disruptive?

A: Not at all. One system can be installed in less than a day and requires only one 3” hole in the wall.

One Heatpump image“They heat, they cool, they’re efficient, and they improve our air quality. All in all, we love our mini-split heating and cooling system.”

—Liz Augustine of Maynard, MA