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Using Ductless Systems in Colder Climates Is Just Fine, and Here’s Why

For years, ductless heat pumps were promoted as an energy-efficient alternative to the electric furnaces and baseboard heaters common in milder climates. Today, heat pump performance is no longer so limited. Technological advancements have made using ductless systems in colder climates a convenient and affordable way to stay comfortable all year.

Better Heating in Cold Temperatures

Older ductless models remained highly efficient as long as the temperatures stayed above 45 degrees. Below this, the average heat pump was forced to rely on electric supplemental heating, which is just as energy-hungry as an electric furnace.

Today's ductless systems can perform at 100 percent capacity at temperatures as low as 5 degrees. Even when the temperature falls to -13 degrees, some of these systems can still provide heat. Unless your local temperatures routinely drop this low, you may not even need electric supplemental heating.

To find a ductless system that will perform well in the cold, look for a model with a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) of between 8.5 and 11. You'll find the most efficient models contain certain technologically advanced components.

Inverter-Driven Compressors

In older heat pumps, the compressor could run at only one speed. As soon as the thermostat temperature was reached, the system shut off completely only to start up again when more heat was required. This on-and-off operation wastes energy just as stop-and-go driving does.

Modern ductless heat pumps contain variable speed compressors, which is part of what makes using ductless systems in colder climates efficient. These compressors allow the system to gently decrease or increase heat or cooling output as needed. This not only saves energy, but also prevents uncomfortable temperatures swings.

Electronic Expansion Valve (EEV)

This type of refrigerant valve uses an electronic controller to precisely regulate the flow of refrigerant into the coil, allowing for better temperature control and less reliance on supplemental heating.

For trustworthy information on using ductless systems in colder climates, use our find a contractor service at Mitsubishi Electric Contractor. We make it easy to get in touch with a knowledgeable local professional anywhere in the U.S.

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