If you think of a central heating system for a home that doesn’t use any ducts, you might first think of a hydronic boiler system. It’s true that boilers don’t need any ductwork because they send heat into rooms by circulating hot water into terminal points, such as radiators. These objects radiate heat off in waves directly into the rooms.
But unless a home was constructed to work from a boiler system originally, using a boiler isn’t an option for a new heating installation or replacement—not unless the home undergoes extensive restoration. What we mean when we talk about “ductless heating” is a ductless mini split heat pump, a forced-air system that is able to provide multiple rooms with heated air, but doesn’t need a ventilation system to transport the air.
How Does This Work?
How can a single system send forced-air (air blown from a fan) to different locations if it doesn’t have ducts? The answer is that ductless mini splits operate through individual wall-mounted blowers that send heated air directly into rooms. Each blower contains a refrigerant coil and its own fan. The refrigerant coil connects through the back of the wall to a single outdoor cabinet. The outside cabinet absorbs heat through refrigerant, then the refrigerant releases heat through each wall unit and the fan blows it right into the room.
If this sounds like air conditioning working in reverse—well, that’s what heat pumps are! During the summer, you can switch the ductless mini split system to cooling mode, and the wall units will send cool air into the rooms and exhaust heat from the outdoor unit.
Will This Keep Up With Your Heating Needs?
People are sometimes suspicious about using a heat pump for heating. The outdoor unit must absorb heat from the outside air during winter, which sounds like it shouldn’t work. Where is the heat coming from? There’s always some thermal energy in the air, no matter the temperature, and modern heat pumps are effective at drawing the heat a home needs to stay warm during most cold temperatures. In the Durham area, heat pumps rarely encounter troubles during our winters. The only time heat pumps struggle with energy efficiency during winter is when the temperatures drop far below freezing.
However, a heat pump (ductless or otherwise) is only as good as the installation work it receives. To ensure you have a ductless system that will provide the warmth you need to all the spots in your house that need it, only work with professional HVAC services in Mebane, NC. You can trust to our technicians for matching your house with the right size ductless system and the right number of indoor units. If a ductless system isn’t the right type of HVAC system for your house, our technicians will help you find the best way to deliver both heating and cooling around the year.