You can create different temperature zones throughout your home with a top-quality heating and cooling system, such as a ductless mini-split. With this, you and your loved ones can enjoy total temperature control according to everyone’s needs and specifications.
With a ductless mini-split system, the cooling process entails the refrigerant absorbing the interior heat to release it outdoors. When the heat mode is on, this process is reversed. As such, a ductless heat pump has the ability to provide year-round comfort.
These systems, however, aren’t without limitations. When outside temperatures are extremely low, the heat pump can have a difficult time absorbing heat. This can lead to lower system efficiency and reduced overall performance.
How To Keep Your Ductless Mini-Split Working In The Winter Season
Following are several tips that will help you ensure optimum efficiency and performance from your mini-split even during the very coldest months of winter:
Table of Contents:
- How To Keep Your Ductless Mini-Split Working In The Winter Season
- Invest In Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump
- Look For An HSPF Rating That’s Sufficiently High
- Installation Of The Outdoor Ductless Unit
- Using Defrost Mode
- Mounting The Indoor Air Handler
- Compensate For The Limitations Of Your Ductless Mini-Split System
- Pipe Sizes For Your Ductless Installation
- Whooshing Sounds
- Cooling Function During The Winter Season
- Check Out One Of Our Ductless Installation Projects
- Call Townsend Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements
Invest In Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump
When you buy a ductless heating and cooling system, be sure to choose a ductless mini-split heat pump. This is going to protect your home during the cold days of winter while making sure that everyone remains cozy and warm. It provides a vast range of benefits, including a compact design and the flexibility to establish different temperature zones in your home. More importantly, given that heat pumps move heat as opposed to actually generating it, they wind up consuming far less energy without diminishing the quality of the overall output.
Look For An HSPF Rating That’s Sufficiently High
If your area is known for having freezing winters, buying a heat pump is definitely advised. A heat pump may have the ability to provide heat even when the outside temperatures fall below zero. Check the HSPF rating or the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor rating for each make and model that you consider. You’ll get the highest levels of efficiency and reliability from the model that has the highest HSPF rating. Such a unit will be able to supply plenty of heat to your home, even on the chilliest of winter days.
You can find a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) as high as 33.1 and an HSPF rating as high as 13.5 with specific Fujitsu mini-split models. These models will warm your home effectively and can still maintain superior levels of energy efficiency.
Installation Of The Outdoor Ductless Unit
Three primary components ultimately compromise a ductless mini-split system: the indoor air handler, the compressor, and the conduit line that connects these two parts. Much like the name implies, an HVAC contractor installs the outside unit outdoors. This makes it absolutely vital that the outside component’s placement is in a location that it can operate at full capacity all winter long.
An HVAC contractor mounts the outdoor compressor no less than two feet from the ground. This will keep it protected from snow accumulations and snowdrifts caused by heavy winds. When the compressor is situated too close to loose snow, it can start sucking the snow in. If this occurs, the compressor will have to spend energy melting the snow rather than using energy to warm your home. Mounting the compressor up high will ensure proper functioning all throughout the winter.
You also want to make sure that you have your HVAC contractor mount the compressor underneath an overhang that will serve as a roof for the unit. This will keep the compressor protected from snowfall and ensure that no snow and ice have the chance to build up on it. If your home doesn’t have an overhang, you can always build a small cover for your compressor. You must make sure that there is sufficient space between the unit and the cover so that airflow isn’t restricted.
Using Defrost Mode
Use the condenser controls to turn on the defrost setting. If the mini-split is working to heat your home up, the condenser coil can start collecting frost. Be sure that your system is on defrost mode to melt this ice. The resulting water will fall directly into the drain pan so that it can be properly removed from the unit.
Sadly, if temperatures fall too low, water that has collected on the drain pan can actually freeze up before it has a chance to leave. If the ice accumulation becomes too thick, this can cause the fan blades to freeze. Another problem is when moisture gets trapped in-between the fin coils. If this moisture turns to ice, it can cause the coil fins to crack. The resulting repair can be pretty costly. Installing a drain pan heater will prevent these damages to your mini-split during unusually cold winter weather.
Make sure that you buy a drain pan heater that’s compatible with the make, model, and brand of mini-split condenser you own. An HVAC contractor plugs the drain pan heaters into the control board of the condenser. When temperatures fall, the heater will automatically be turned on by the control board in your unit to ensure that the drain pan issues mentioned above don’t occur.
Mounting The Indoor Air Handler
If correctly mounted one and a half feet above your floors, the indoor air handler will have the ability to heat your residence at full capacity. When situated in a low position, warmed air can be disbursed at the floor level and can move upward. This will thoroughly heat the air in the room without making people feel as though the area is overheated. Floor-mounted air handlers also make it much easier for homeowners to clean or change their air filters.
Compensate For The Limitations Of Your Ductless Mini-Split System
Your mini-split ductless heat pump won’t have the ability to heat your home right away. You should, therefore, know how to compensate for this particular limitation. When no one is home, like when you’re at school or work, set the thermostat to 60 degrees F or below. When you’re away for an extended period, such as when you take a family vacation, you can set your thermostat to 50 degrees F. You also can set the thermostat to just 60 degrees when everyone goes to bed at night.
Even when you’re mini-split heat pump is set at a lower temperature, you can rest assured that this unit will continue circulating heated air. This will provide a consistent level of warmth in your living environment while preventing the formation of cold spots.
Pipe Sizes For Your Ductless Installation
There needs to be a minimum of 15 feet of piping for the inside and outside units. That helps soundproof these two components. If necessary, you can have longer pipes installed. Longer stretches of piping, however, tend to diminish the efficiency of the system.
There’s a characteristic whooshing sound that a ductless mini-split creates during the process of cooling or heating your home. A lot of homeowners adapt to this noise fairly quickly, especially after recognizing the very broad range of benefits that their mini-split systems provide. As such, you do want to make sure that you can tolerate this relatively nominal amount of sound.
To experience and understand how much noise a mini-split system creates, you might try visiting the home of a relative or friend who already has this type of system installed. You can even go to the showroom of a mini-split distributor in your area to hear the noise that a mini-split makes. If you’re unable to tolerate this minor amount of noise and prefer your home to be dead quiet instead, then this probably isn’t the best system type for you. However, it is essential to note that many homeowners do not even realize when their ductless system is on. In fact, many claim to forget to turn it off when leaving the room or home.
Cooling Function During The Winter Season
Do you rely on your mini-split system for the supply of cold air for your server room or kitchen? If you do, then you need to have a system that can run all year, even when the outside temperatures are cold.
You’ll have to choose the best system for your needs. If you don’t, then you might have issues like having cold outside air moving over the coil much too quickly. Sadly, this can cause the entire system to fail. This is something that wind baffles can prevent. Baffles can effectively prevent the wind from flowing through the outdoor compressor. They give the condenser fan a better ability to control the air passing over the coil.
Remember that not every mini-split model can be fitted with the necessary wind baffles. As such, if your area happens to be very cold during the winter, and if you expect to get year-round cooling from your mini-split, then you have to choose a unit that can be fitted with wind baffles. Be sure that the wind baffles you buy are compatible with the mini-split make and model that you want as well.
When you want a reliable and truly energy-efficient heating solution, think about investing in a ductless mini-split. It is best to have the right heating and cooling system for meeting your year-round needs while remaining cost-effective.
The winter months are on their way, and you don’t want to lack a reliable heat source when the coldest days finally arrive. Get in touch with a reputable and qualified technician now to make sure that you’re installing a ductless mini-split system that has excellent heating capabilities and optimum energy efficiency.
Professionals have the expertise and skills for helping you find the perfect mini-split for your home. You can trust a seasoned technician to find you a mini-split that’s able to create comfort and warmth in your home even on the coldest days of winter.
Check Out One Of Our Ductless Installation Projects
Call Townsend Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements
If you are ready to switch to a ductless HVAC system or have more questions, call Townsend Energy today. Our experienced NATE-certified technicians will discuss your needs and requirements to help you find the best ductless HVAC system for you.
Townsend Energy is a full-service HVAC company. We offer a range of heating and cooling services, including HVAC installations, repairs, tune-ups, and more. We also provide free, in-home estimates. Call Townsend Energy today.