360Chestnut Home Energy and Green Living Blog

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360Chestnut's blog aims to help our readers find the most cost effective home improvement solutions and trends that will help you save money and live better. 360Chestnut hopes to inspire you in taking the next step in making your home more energy efficient, more sustainable and healthier without having to break the bank. Save Energy. Save Money. Live Better with 360Chestnut.

Energy Efficient Mini Split Heating and Cooling System

Posted on Thu, Mar 15, 2012

I recently attended the Building Energy 12 conference and trade show for renewable energy and green building professionals at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA.  As this was my first BE 12 conference and trade show, I was like a kid in a candy store.  

There were exhibitors from the solar panel and installation world, geothermal technology, local utility companies, energy star rated windows, wood pellet stoves, and my new personal favorite, the mini split dual air conditioning and heating system, to name just a few!  Mitsubishi in particular had a great exhibit and a very knowledgeable representative explaining their mini split systems for both residential and commercial use. 

What the heck is a mini split dual ac and heating system, you may be asking?  I certainly was!  Well, the short answer is it’s an electricity-based energy efficient heating and cooling system that utilizes inverter based technology and helps to save money (Inverter based technology = inverter-driven compressors that automatically adjust to changing conditions).  Energy efficient, saves money, and isn’t based on oil or gas?  All of these facts provide great incentive to consider and research this technology further.  The driving benefit for considering this technology at this stage, however, may be the immediate and increasing cost of oil.  
heat pump heating ani
What else caught my attention about these kinds of systems?  

1) They’re more energy efficient than traditional HVAC systems.

2) They’re up to 40% more efficient than window air conditioning units.

3) They use only the exact amount of energy needed to maintain comfort.

4) Most of the systems are energy star rated and qualify for state and federal tax credits, as well as local utility rebates.  

5) They don’t require duct work.  (Up to 30% of energy loss occurs through leaks in duct work.)

6) They’re "whisper" quiet.  (I can attest to that first hand!)  

7) Have a built in allergen filtration system.

So who is the ideal candidate for the mini split system?  Here are a few prime scenarios:

  1. If you’re planning an addition to your existing home, a single zone unit would be a great solution.

  2. If you want to convert from oil or gas to significantly lessen your monthly heating bill, and you don’t currently have central ac or duct work.

  3. If your lifestyle has changed and you’re only using a few rooms in your home, the mini split system allows you to heat or cool only what you use.  No more, no less.   

DHP outdoor1 inline

As you research this technology further to determine if it’s a practical solution to meet your home heating and cooling needs, don’t forget to reach out to our "Ask an Expert" section at www.360Chestnut.com.  We’ll be happy to answer your concerns and provide additional information and advice.  We can also put you in touch with an accredited service provider.      Connect with a Contractor


Lastly, as always, while planning any energy efficiency related upgrades/projects, keep in mind the financial incentives.  There may be state and federal tax credits available, as well as local utility rebates and interest free loans.  Do your homework and find out what makes the most financial sense.  You may not only help your pocketbook, but also help save some finite resources.  Now that’s real savings!!!

Check out 360Chestnut's latest Whiteboard lesson on Mini Split Systems!




Lauren Small