Ductless Heat Pumps (Mini Splits)
Ductless Heat Pumps are perfect solutions for clients who:
- Currently heat with electric baseboard.
- Wish to supplement existing boiler system.
- Don't have a central air handling system.
How Ductless Heat Pumps Work:
Tubing runs through a small opening in the wall or ceiling and connects the indoor and outdoor units.
Refrigerant in the tubes extract heat from the outside air and brings it inside, quietly distributing warm air to the interior space.
In the summer months, the process is reversed, warm air is removed from your home. Which means you get a fully functional air conditioning (AC) unit at no additional cost!
Size - Ductless heat pumps are small, so they are flexible for zoning, and heating/cooling individual rooms.
Ductless - These units have no ducts. So they avoid the energy losses associated with the duct work of central forced air systems.
Excellent Add-On Option – For homes with "non-ducted" heating systems. Such as hot water heat (hydronic), radiant panels, and space heaters.
Efficiency – A heat pump moves heat instead of generating heat, which means more energy efficiency. The system works best as it stays constant, as you can keep the system running continuously without worrying about sky-high energy bills.
With newer technologies exclusive to E.T. Mechanical, and expert installation by our extensively trained service team, our ductless heat pumps saved our clients up to 60% on their heating costs last winter.
E.T. Mechanical Ltd. provides Ductless Heat Pump sales, installation, and maintenance service to Fredericton, New Brunswick and surrounding areas.
Heat Pumps - Frequently Asked Questions
Every heat pump is different, it is best to check the temperature rating of your specific heat pump model. In colder climates (Canada), cold climate heat pumps are installed that are rated for colder temperatures. Depending on the specific heat pump this can be from -15 °C, or even as low as -30°C.
Heat pumps are one of the most energy efficient ways to heat your home. Instead of using energy to generate heat, it extracts heat from the outside air and transfers it into your home by means of refrigerant that is circulated by a compressor. A ductless heat pump can save you 30 – 40% or more on your utility bill.
With the added benefit of being able to cool your home in the summer months. Heat Pumps not only helps you save, but contribute to year round comfort.
Your heat pump is designed to run efficiently until -10°C,-15°C, or -25°C (without wind chill) depending on which model is installed in the home. All heat pumps require an alternative source of heat. The system can work efficiently until these temperatures are reached. At that time, some systems should be shut off, while others will automatically do so. Running electric baseboards or other sources of heat is necessary approaching these temperatures.
During cold winter months (February & January) a power bill should be expected to rise as the system has less ideal temperature to run. The entire season’s results will show savings. Relative to outdoor temperature and where the heat from a system will travel, it may also be necessary to run heat sources (ex. Electric baseboard) in other parts of the home. Don’t worry, as these sources will only be supplementing at a fraction of their regular use. To some measure, heat from the ductless system will reach these areas, and less heat is produced by the alternative (such as electric baseboard) in order to reach a comfortable temperature.
We recommend all systems be shut off at -15°C (with the exception of our cold climate heat pumps), this will assist the lifespan of the unit as it works hardest during colder temperatures. This will also maintain efficiency of the unit, as at this temperature the cost of operation is the same as electric baseboards.
All heat pumps will have a defrost cycle that will take place more often as the temperature drops. After running for a period of time, the system creates frost that must be melted away from the outdoor unit. This happens by temporarily reversing the flow of refrigerant which makes a strange sound in the home. This can be as often as every 45 minutes or sooner in colder temperatures; it is necessary for your system to maintain its efficiency.
When the outside air temperature drops below 4 – 5 °C, your heat pump may go into defrost mode.
It may also make an unusual sound when this mode is activated. In this mode your heat pump may not appear to be pumping out hot air. If this is the case, it is best to leave the unit alone until it has gone through this cycle. If you know it is going to be cold and frosty overnight, you can be sure your system will go through at least one of these cycles. The colder the temperatures that a heat pump operates at, the more often defrost cycles must occur. The unit is removing frost and ice buildup, in order to run as efficiently as possible.
It’s generally much more efficient to leave your heat pump running, opposed to turning the heat source off/down when not needed as with other traditional means of heating (wood furnace, electric baseboard, etc.).
Heat pumps are most efficient when they slowly maintain the temperature of the room. When a large difference in temperature is required (more than 1°C), compressors ramp up, and a heat pump will activate alternate/backup modes of heating in order to quickly achieve temperature.
It is possible to turn a heat pump down overnight. Program the system to drop 1°C every hour, and rise 1°C every hour to when you wake up.
Generally it is recommended to have the home stay a consistent temperature.
It is important that you check and clean the filters on your indoor unit every 2 weeks. Keeping the filters clean will help your Heat Pump run efficiently.
E.T. Mechanical recommends becoming a club member to guarantee an annual visit by our technicians. This will help your unit to continue to run as specified and to its full capabilities.
For more information on how to best keep your filters clean see our user guide.
Your heat pump will be able to gradually reach a wide range of temperatures. However in order to maintain the best possible efficiency by the product, the largest increment in temperature should 1°C each hour. By gradually turning up the temperature, the heat pump doesn’t have to use alternate sources of heat to achieve temperature, or ramp up the compressor.
This occurs because the heat pump and the indoor blower fan start at the same time and the heat pump requires a few seconds or minutes to build up the required heat with the refrigerant.
Heat Pumps are designed to gradually rise to a desired temperature over a long period of Time with a small heat output and a large amount of air flow. A comfortable temperature could be considered 22°C, yet our body temperature is 37°C; because the Heat Pump is producing air potentially colder than our body temperature the outputted air could seem lukewarm or
even slightly cold to the touch. Don’t worry; this is part of its normal operation of being efficient and producing proper comfort.
More than likely what you smell is the backup emergency heat or electric heating elements in your comfort system. The backup heat will activate when it’s very cold out, or a large temperature increase (larger than 2°F or 1°C) has been requested. It can also activate when heat is detracted from the home – opening doors or windows, outside gusts of wind, etc.
After cooling season aux heating elements that have been unused for an entire season have been coated with dust, once auxiliary heat is initiated this dust burns off and has a temporary but distinct odor.
The outdoor unit of a heat pump relies on air flow to operate properly at all times. Snow must be cleared from around the unit leaving a clearance of 2 to 3 feet minimum surrounding the unit. Heat pumps must be elevated off the ground to allow the water produced during the defrost cycle to flow away from the unit. Snow build up at the bottom few inches of the unit can prevent the unit from completing the defrost cycle properly. If the snow is not cleared, the unit will not function properly. If the system is operated under these conditions it has potential to damage a unit, even for only a short period of Time.
Heat Pumps are designed to extract every bit of available heat in order to attain maximum efficiency. When a heat pump shuts off, the indoor unit still has a residual amount of heat stored in its coil – by blowing the air over this, all stored heat is taken out of the coil.
This energy saving feature is enabled when the fan is set to “Auto” mode. In addition, the fan can be set to run continuously in the “On” mode creating perpetual airflow through the ductwork, and to better mix air in the home providing more consistent temperatures.
When it’s very cold outside and a defrost mode is activated, the system may produce steam. Usually it starts and ends with a flushing sound of refrigerant. This is a normal process; your system is clearing the frost from the outside unit in order to continue being efficient.
When a heat pump is set to cooling mode, it pulls warm air from your home’s interior and sends it outdoors. Heat pumps operating in cooling mode also eliminate excess moisture in your home’s air. The evaporator coils acts as a means to send condensation down to the designated drain. In heating mode, condensation occurs along the outdoor unit.
Possible issues that can cause your heat pump to leak:
– Drain is Clogged: The drain is used for condensation, sending extra moisture outside of the home. If the drain pan becomes clogged with algae, random debris, or other obstructions it causes the drain pan to overflow, creating a puddle of water by your heat pump.
– Refrigerant Level is Low: Lack of refrigerant can affect the evaporator coil’s ability to absorb heat. So as condensation forms along the indoor evaporator coils it can freeze into ice. Ice prevents the transfer of heat and hinders your heat pump’s functionality. As the unit turns off, the ice will melt and create the water that you have identified as a leak.
If ice form on the outdoor condensing unit the defrost function will activate, transferring heat outdoors to melt the ice. The water will slowly drip downwards until it freezes again.
These are a few common issues that can cause your heat pump to leak. But until you call in a trained HVAC technician, it’s all just speculation! To diagnose and repair the issue at hand, contact E.T. Mechanical Ltd. to schedule service in your Fredericton, NB area home today.
Don’t take our word for it.... This is what our customers say!
"Liked the substantial savings, as far as the heating season in the coldest months. I’ve saved about 100 dollars a month when compared with last year. Found the installation very neat and tidy, and they were very friendly and courteous. I would use E.T. Mechanical again."
- Wendy Vedder, Fredericton, NB
Extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff. Rene and coworker were excellent in troubleshooting our minisplit and getting it working again. Not only that, it’s working better now than it ever has! Thanks for everything guys and helping educate me along the way!
Tyler and Matt installed my new heat pump today and went above and beyond in several areas.I didn't feel like there was any inconvenience whatsoever by having them here. Conversation was great, and other than a shiny new system in my house, you wouldn't even know they were here. Everything cleaned up and put back into place. I even totally understand how to use my system. Thanks guys! Everything was greatly appreciated!
Had my heat pumps serviced today for the winter months! I HIGHLY recommend this company! All the service folks that have been to our home both past and present are Kind, Courteous and VERY professional. They know their stuff!
Greg recently serviced our heat pump as part of our maintenance agreement with ET Mechanical. He was very thorough and helpful. I recommend E. T. Mechanical to anybody as a good company with a competent professional staff.
We had a mini split installed almost 4 years ago. For the first 3 winters we noticed that our house was warm, but we were not seeing the savings that were promised to us. Upon bringing this to company's attention, they sent a service tech down to reassess the size of the unit in relation to the size of the house. Come to find out, the initial salesman had given us a mini split that was too small for our house. It was a 12,000 btu Mitsubishi Slim, top of the line at the time. Without hesitation, they replaced that unit with an 18,000 btu Sharp. It has made a huge difference. We have also had them clean our duct work our house and they did a fantastic job. We are very happy that we chose to go with this company. They are very professional. Would recommend to everyone!!
Awesome customer service. From the moment we were considering the heat pumps and until the very end when they were installed, this company was so professional. The heat pumps themselfs are great, they work wonders in my home and are one of the best investment we have best. Thanks again!
I just had a service call on my heat pump completed by Justin B and I was very impressed!! He went through a complete verbal history check on my system to determine if there have been any problems. Did a very thorough check on the complete system and explained each of the diagnostic processes to me. Once the call was completed, Justin provided an overall system condition report to me as well as explaining the value in the Service Club Membership offered by ET Mechanical. We are now sighed up!!
I have had several different companies out to do servicing and have never been completely satisfied until now!! Thanks to Justin, ET Mechanical has a new customer!
Justin is a very confident and professional technician with excellent "people skills"