What is a "Mini Split"?
You've likely heard the term "central air". The concept is essentially exactly what it sounds like. Air is heated or cooled in a central location and then brought where it needs to go via ductwork. Mini split systems on the other hand are smaller systems assigned to their own areas or "zones". Rather than installing ductwork to transport hot or cool air around the house, a mini split system uses an air handler connected directly to an externally sited unit. This allows you to set custom temperature and humidity settings for each room with an air handler. Mini split systems are comparitively easy to install, all they require is a roughly three inch hole in the wall from which to run refrigerant tubing and communication / power cables from the indoor air handler to the outdoor unit. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of using multiple mini splits to heat a home is a considerable improvement in efficiency. As air is transported through ductwork, it loses (or gains, in the cooling case) a considerable amount of heat due to conduction. By instead providing heating / cooling directly from the source, the efficiency of the unit is maximized.
Variable Speed, Steady Temperature
The hallmark of state of the art heat pump technology is "variable speed" operation. Less sophisticated heat pumps will simply operate at maximum capacity until a desired temperature is reached and then shut off. This means the heat pump will continually cycle on and off to maintain a given temperature. Cycling the device off and on again is far less energy efficient in comparison to running the system at a lower capacity for longer periods. Non-variable speed heat pumps are not only less efficient, but often result in greater variability in temperature. The temperature will often rise above the set point until the heat pump cycles off. Consequently, the temperature will fall below the set point until it is cycled on again. This creates temperature peaks and valleys rather than providing stable comfort. Mitsubishi heat pumps are able to actively monitor even minor changes in room temperatures and adjust their output accordingly. This means you can exepct not just a steady, reliable room temperature, but superior energy consumption when compared to a "single stage" (on again off again) competitor.
No Backup Needed
Another issue that warrants consideration for those interested in heat pumps is the performance of the technology when the temperature falls well below freezing. Heat pumps utilize heat from the ambient air to evaporate refrigerant which is then compressed to increase it's temperature sufficiently to heat the air in your home. When outdoor temperatures are low, the refrigerant evporates to a lower temperature, thereby increasing the work needed to be done by the compressor and the electricity consumption of the heat pump. In extreme cases, the heat pump can no longer operate effectively and a fossil fuel or electric resistance backup is required. Naturally, this drawback diminishes two of the primary reasons homeowners adopt a heat pump to begin with, efficiency and independence from fossil fuels. Mitsubishi heat pumps however, are capable of heating your home by themselves in all but the harshest of cold climates. Mitsubish Hyper-
Heating INVERTER® (H2i®) technology allows the heat pump to operate in temperatures as low as -13 degrees Farenheit.
Keeping You in Mind
While you can expect a lower utility bill and environmental impact if you choose a Mitsubishi heat pump over a typical fossil fuel system, you can also expect improved comfort and air quality. While a ducted system only has a filter in the central unit