Mini-Split Heat Pumps

Mini-Split Heat Pumps

Mini-split, wall mounted indoor heat pump.
Mini-split, wall mounted indoor heat pump. Image courtesy of Mitsubishi Electric

Ductless Mini-Split, Cold Climate Heat Pumps (CCHPs) are single room heaters. A conduit, which houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain  runs to each head (indoor air handler) from the outdoor condenser unit. The conduit requires only a 3 inch penetration and can be run through basement, attic, and the plumbing chase between floors. Learn more about mini-split heat pumps.

Why is it so difficult to get a clear answer about the exact cold temperature limitation of CCHPs?

Because the answer will depend on: 1) Your geographic location, which determines your [sg_popup id=”6″ event=”click”]design day[/sg_popup]. 2) Your home’s [sg_popup id=”3″ event=”click”]heat loss[/sg_popup] as determined by the integrity of your building envelope (see How Cold is Too Cold for a Cold Climate Heat Pump?) and 3) The performance characteristics of your particular CCHP (see At What Temperature Will a Heat Pump Become Ineffective?)

During coldest winter temperatures auxiliary heat will be necessary to maintain indoor comfort.

The basic principle is that CCHPs become less efficient (and less effective at heating your home) as outdoor temperatures drop. Put simply this is because there is less heat in the outdoor air to convert to indoor heat. If your electric bill is too high, or you have cold areas around your home, here are your options for single-room auxiliary heaters:

Wall-vented gas heater

Direct-Vent Gas Heaters

Direct-vent gas heaters have the advantage of combusting the fuel right in the room where heat is needed, instead of ...
Electric Baseboard Heater

Electric Baseboard

Even though electric baseboard heaters work on resistance heat which does not have the leveraging effect of a heat pump, ...

Wood Stove

A wood stove works great in a home with an open floor plan. In addition to the ambience and comfort ...
Wood Pellet Stove

Wood Pellet Stove

A wood pellet stove has a few advantages over traditional wood stoves: A wood pellet stove doesn't need to be ...
Fireplace Inserts

Fireplace Inserts

A fire in your fireplace gives the room a comforting glow and does warm a small area. The EPA estimates ...


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ceiling mounted electric heater

Miscellaneous Electric Heaters

There are a variety of electric resistance heat emitters on the market. Wall and ceiling mounted units are typically found ...