A ductless heat pump unit up against a wall outside a home

The short answer is Yes! 

Now let’s talk about why…

What Makes Ductless Heat Pumps Eco-Friendly?

Ductless heat pumps are currently the most eco-friendly HVAC system on the market. Additionally, they provide a higher ROI than ducted systems over their lifetimes.

They Need Less Energy To Operate

According to the US Department of Energy, ductless heat pumps have an energy efficiency of 400%

Gas and propane furnaces have an energy efficiency of about 78%–97%, depending on the model. Most high-efficiency gas furnaces fall around 95%

Appliances like furnaces, baseboard heaters, and wall heaters that operate through electrical resistance heating are about 95%–100% efficient at converting electricity into heat.

But why are heat pumps so much more efficient?

Heat Pumps Simply Need To Move Heat, Not Create It.

Heat pumps, as the name implies, work using heat transfer. They don’t need to “create” heat like a furnace does. They simply use the existing heat in the ambient air and move it from one area to another.

A stylish-looking ductless heat pump outside a home

In cooling mode, they work just like an air conditioner, absorbing heat in the indoor air with refrigerant and transferring it outside to the condenser, where it is expelled into the air.

However, unlike air conditioners, heat pumps can work in reverse.

In heating mode, they pull heat from the ambient air outside and transfer it inside, where it is distributed from the air handler. They can do this even when outdoor temperatures are as low as -15°F!

Mini Splits Use Inverter Technology

Ductless heat pumps contain variable-speed compressors that use inverter technology.

These compressors utilize smart technology to sample the air and analyze its temperature and other ambient conditions.

Then, the compressor adjusts the heating output by altering its speed based on this information.

Inverter-driven variable-speed compressors let heat pumps operate within the full range between 0 and 100%, ensuring the appliance is neither underperforming nor running excessively. 

They Prevent Energy Wastage

Central HVAC systems don’t have the ability for zone control unless zoning is installed. It’s either all or nothing. In most cases, zoning for ducted systems is limited to large houses, as it is not practical to zone smaller homes.

On the other hand, ductless heat pumps have in-built zone control features.

Each indoor head unit has its own individual temperature control to heat or cool only the spaces you want them to, which both maximizes comfort and prevents electricity wastage.

Their ductless design also prevents energy wastage commonly found in ducted systems.

They Are Recyclable

With regular maintenance, ductless heat pumps last for 20 years. In addition, almost 80% of the components of high-quality pumps are recyclable.

Therefore, very little of a ductless heat pump ends up in a landfill at the end of its life cycle.

The filters on ductless mini splits are reusable and only need to be rinsed off in the sink, not replaced. While it may not seem like a big deal, the filter waste in forced-air systems can add up.

These typically need to be replaced and discarded monthly. For a furnace that lasts 20 years, that’s 240 filters thrown in the trash!

Why Do Ductless Pumps Provide Higher ROI Than Ducted Systems?

Ductless pumps provide a higher return on investment (ROI) than ducted systems because they reduce your utility bills and cost less to install and maintain.

They can heat and cool spaces with a single system, and some can also filter indoor air.

Therefore, as you don’t have to buy multiple appliances, the ROI further increases.

The Biggest Reason Is Their Low Operation Costs

These systems might be fully electric but they use very little power.

Even after considering the differences in energy efficiency ratings, operating conditions, and the region’s climate, ductless heat pumps can save you anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 in yearly operational costs compared to ducted HVAC systems.

A homeowner uses a screwdriver to remove the cover of his ductless heat pump

How Do You Increase Your ROI Of Ductless Heat Pumps?

You can increase your ROI on a ductless heat pump by buying a high-efficiency model. All mini-splits are “high efficient,” but you can do your research and find one with a higher SEER rating.

For maximum performance, you should also keep the indoor and outdoor units clean and schedule regular inspections and maintenance.

Remember to clean the filter every six weeks and make sure no debris gets caught in the outdoor condenser.

Another way to lower your energy bills is to upgrade the insulation in your home and seal around windows and doors to lessen the work your pump has to do to heat or cool the indoor space.

Final Thoughts

Mini-splits are one of the most eco-friendly HVAC options available. If you are looking for a heating and cooling solution with low operation costs and little impact on the environment, a mini split should be your first choice.

That being said, all homes are different and you should contact an HVAC professional if you are thinking about installing one of these systems.

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