back to Blog

How Does a Ductless Heat Pump Work

Ductless heat pumps, which are sometimes called ductless mini-splits, transfers heat into or out of your Franklin, IN, home. Like a regular heat pump, the outdoor unit has a reversing valve that allows it to transfer heat out of your home in the summertime. It heats your home in the wintertime and cools it in the summertime, but it doesn’t require any ductwork to deliver the warmed or cooled air. Installing these systems requires specific expertise, and our team at Dugan Heating Cooling is the right choice. Knowing how these systems work and their benefits will help you make an informed decision about your comfort.

Parts of a Ductless Heat Pump

Ductless heat pumps have an outdoor condenser and compressor unit that looks and functions the same way as a heat pump that requires air ducts to deliver the warmed or cooled air. They also have indoor units. The indoor unit is also called the air handling unit.

Types of Ductless Heat Pumps

There are two types of ductless heat pumps. A single-zone ductless heat pump has one indoor unit connected to the outdoor unit. One thermostat controls the system. There are also zoned ductless heat pumps. The zoned systems allow you to have multiple indoor units. This type of system involves a custom design and setup for your particular home. There is one indoor unit for each zone. You might set up your living room, dining room and kitchen to be a zone, the main bedroom and bathroom to be a zone and the secondary bedrooms to be the third zone. Outdoor units for zoned systems can accept three to six connections with indoor units.

How a Ductless Heat Pump Works

Ductless heat pumps contain a chemical refrigerant. This refrigerant is capable of absorbing heat energy from the air. When the heat pump is set to the heating function, it absorbs heat from the outdoor air. The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant and pumps it into the indoor unit. The coil in the indoor unit releases the heat from the refrigerant. This energy transfer warms your home during the wintertime. The cooled refrigerant is pumped back to the outdoor unit, completing the heating cycle.

In the summertime, the cycle reverses. The heat pump’s reversing valve makes this possible. The indoor unit’s coil absorbs heat from your home’s air. It condenses the refrigerant and pumps it to the outdoor unit. The moisture from the warm air in your home also condenses. It turns from water vapor into water. The condensate line drains the water out of your home. The outdoor unit’s coil functions as the evaporator, and it releases the heat from your home into the outdoor air. This completes a cooling cycle. The cooled refrigerant can then be pumped back into your home to absorb more heat.

The indoor unit has a small fan. It can be mounted on your wall or ceiling, preferably away from a window or any heat-generating appliance. The fan pushes the heated or cooled air through your living space. Its unit also contains a small filter. You’ll need to check the filter monthly and clean or replace it when it’s dirty. Avoid waiting more than three months between filter changes for your ductless heat pump.

Benefits of a Ductless Heat Pump

According to the Department of Energy, leaky air ducts can waste up to 30% of the heated or cooled air. With no ducts, your heat pump will operate more efficiently. Your energy bills will be lower, especially during the peak heating or cooling season. Ductless heat pumps make less noise. The expansion and contraction of the metal ducts can get quite noisy in some homes. Ductless heat pumps set up with multiple comfort zones allow you to customize the temperature in each area. If you like it cool while you sleep, but another household member likes their bedroom to be warmer, you can both be happy by setting each zone’s thermostat to each person’s comfort preferences. Ductless heat pumps conserve energy, and they’re compatible with smart thermostats.

At Dugan Heating Cooling, we’re the trusted installation team for heat pumps. We also repair, maintain and install other heating and cooling systems. Our smart thermostats help you save money and optimize your comfort. We’re available 24/7 for emergency heating and cooling repairs. For more details about ductless heat pumps, get in touch with us at Dugan Heating Cooling today.



Request Service

Woman reading about HVAC maintenance plan details
Woman reading about HVAC maintenance plan details

Join Our Premium Clover Club

Take Advantage of Our HVAC Maintenance Plan

Have you ever wondered if a service plan is really the pot of gold it’s rumored to be? Trust us — ours is! Signing up for a Premium Clover Club membership includes the following perks:

  • Annual heating and cooling checks
  • Discounts on repairs and parts
  • Waived service call and overtime fees
  • Priority scheduling
  • Peace of mind
LEarn More