What Is A Ductless Heat Pump?

September 21, 2022

A ductless heat pump is otherwise known as a mini-split heat pump. This is a highly efficient tool for those homeowners who do not have duct work to cool or heat their home. Other forms of central air conditioning will work by feeding air through a number of vents and ducts that have been installed directly within the room that they are cooling or heating. Whereas, the most basic ductless heat pump works as a single-zone pump that includes one indoor unit alongside an outdoor unit.

This enables you to install numerous indoor units in order to form a ductless system within your household, enabling you to heat or cool numerous spaces without using ducts. Thus, this mini-split unit is an affordable and efficient solution to indoor temperature adjustment.

How Does A Ductless Heat Pump Work?

Heat pumps are able to cool and heat a household, depending on the weather conditions and your temperature requirements. Whenever it is cold, a heat pump works by extracting heat from the ground and transferring it into your household. Whenever the weather is warmer, a heat pump will reverse this process using a switchover valve that cleverly redirects the airflow. Heat is removed from the home and sent outside using this method of redirection.

How Does A Ductless Heat Pump Cool Down?

The cooling process for a ductless heat pump is similar to how a mini split air conditioning system works. A ductless heat pump will cool down by implementing the following steps:

1) The cooling process starts whenever the heat inside your house has been extracted and placed into the ductless heat pump.

2) Then, the heat is blown over an indoor coil. The refrigerant that is contained inside this coil will absorb the heat.

3) Next, the refrigerant transfers from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit via the pipe. When it reaches the outdoor unit, it enters into a compressor that heats up the refrigerant to a temperature that is higher than the outside air.

4) Finally, the hot refrigerant enters into the outdoor coil and the heat that has been drawn from your household is released into the atmosphere.

How Does A Ductless Heat Pump Heat Up?

Whenever a ductless heat pump switches from a cooling to a heating process, the reversal will redirect the overall flow of the refrigerant. The system does this solely based on the temperature that has been set, thus, you will never be required to adjust the reversing valve. Once your ductless heat pump becomes ready to heat, then it will implement the following steps:

1) The heating process will start whenever heat from outside your house is extracted into the ductless heat pump.

2) This heat is blown across the outdoor coil where it is absorbed by the outdoor coil itself.

3) The heat travels across to the compressor where the heat intensifies.

4) Finally, the heated refrigerant will travel through the pipe into the indoor unit, where it enters the indoor coil. From here, the heat can be released into your home environment. 

What Are The Most Common Types of Ductless Heat Pumps?

Ductless mini splits are able to be mounted in a variety of places, making it far easier for homeowners to place their systems in specific places across their homes. Some of the more common types of ductless systems include floor mounted, cassette, wall mounted, and more.

6 Reasons Why Ductless Heating Is Right For You

A ductless heat pump may not be the best option for everyone, however, there are a number of circumstances in which ductless pumps are a worthy option for your household. If any of the following applies to your circumstances, then you may wish to consider investing in a ductless cooling or heating system:

1) If your home does not have ductwork installed.

2) If you only want to heat a specific section of your household.

3) If you wish to invest in an energy-friendly means of heating or cooling your household.

4) If you have recently added more room to your household and need to control the temperature within this particular space.

5) If you have a section of your household that is always too cold or too hot.

6) If you have numerous people within your household who prefer different temperatures.

How Do I Choose A Ductless Heat Pump?

Once you have decided that choosing a ductless heat pump is the best option for you, then you will need to select the specific type of heat pump that is best suited to your needs. While this is usually a matter of personal preference, it is always advisable to install a ductless single-zone heat pump whenever it is only a single space that requires heating or cooling attention.

Whenever you want to heat or cool multiple spaces, or if numerous people live within your household, then you should select a ductless multi-zone heat pump. This means that you can tailor each space to suit the desires of each individual. You will also be able to receive cooled or heated air across your household, tailoring this accordingly without any discrepancies.

What Is The Lifespan and Cost Of A Ductless Heat Pump?

The cost of a ductless heat pump is largely dependent on how many units you have decided to install within your home. As previously mentioned, mini split heat pumps are available as single-zone and multi-zone pumps. This provides you with the potential to install six units in a multi-split, and this will inherently be more expensive.

Due to the expense of installing a multi-zone unit, you should ensure that you are scheduling regular maintenance with a HVAC professional. This will increase the overall lifespan of your ductless units, ensuring that you do not have to spare excessive amounts of money on replacing your systems after you have initially installed it.

The average lifespan for a ductless heat pump ranges from 15-30 years. However, this depends on the maintenance practices that you implement, as well as your location and usage.


To conclude, installing a ductless heat pump in your household is a highly proficient means of ensuring that your home remains cool or heated without the need for ducts in your home. You can either choose to install a single-zone heat pump or a multi-zone heat pump. The latter is advisable if you have numerous areas within your household that you wish to heat or cool.

A single-zone heat pump is recommended for those who wish to heat or cool a specific area within their home. These pumps are easy to install, however, you should always ensure that you are running regular maintenance checks on your ductless heat pumps in order to ensure that the lifespan of your heat pump is extended.

Ensuring that your heat pump is well maintained is crucial, especially if you are choosing to install a multi-zone ductless heat pump system. This is because the installation process can be relatively expensive for these ductless heat pumps, and as such, you will save yourself time, energy, and hassle by ensuring that your system is well maintained.

While a ductless heat pump may not be the best option for everyone, they are undoubtedly helpful in ensuring that your home remains heated or cooled accordingly. They are also incredibly energy efficient. As such, you should consider installing a ductless heat pump if you are trying to reduce your impact on the environment. I hope that you have found this article to be insightful and informative. Thank you for reading. 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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