The cost of living in New York and Long Island is ridiculous and seems to go up every single year. We all want to save money, but we can’t cut back on the essentials. Our families need heating and cooling throughout the year and if you’re feeling the urge to leave your winter coat on inside your home to save money on bills, you probably don’t have a system as efficient as it should be. It’s possible that a ductless mini-split heat pump is exactly what you’re looking for.
What is it?
A traditional New York heating system consists of a fossil fuel burning boiler or furnace that heats air and distributes it throughout your home through your ductwork or radiator. During the 1960s and 70s in Japan, engineers thought of a way to do it better that eliminates the efficiencies of the old way. The mini-split heat pump was born.
A heat pump doesn’t generate its own heat like a furnace or boiler, but instead extracts heat from the outside air and pumps it into your home. It can also extract heat from inside your home and pump it outside, effectively doubling as an air conditioner. In order to accomplish this, the system is “split” between an indoor and outdoor unit.
You can use a mini-split to heat and cool just one room in your home or you can have multiple indoor units throughout your home to effective control your whole-home temperature.
The primary benefit of a ductless mini-split heat pump system is the added efficiency. The more energy-efficient an appliance in your home is the greater the savings in your end of the month bills. But how can a mini-split be so cost-effective in the long term?
Central heating systems rely on ductwork to distribute warm air throughout the home. Having ductwork in your home means more require maintenance and expensive installation costs. That would be fine if your ductwork benefited your system. Unfortunately, no matter how efficient you build your ductwork, you can’t change the fact that heat will be lost when hot air travels through it. That heat loss forces your central air system to work that much harder. The same principle applies to air conditioning if you use that as well.
Since a ductless mini-split will simply blow warm air into the room the unit it is located in, there is no issue of heat loss through ductwork. The lack of ducts also allows a mini-split to be extremely quiet. This makes it perfect for a home office that needs to be quiet to help with your concentration.
Runs on Electric
This may seem like a negative at first due to New York’s high electricity prices. However, electric heating solutions like a ductless mini-split are going to need a lot less energy because they aren’t heating up air and merely transferring heat. In fact, they use so little electricity that they can reach easily reach efficiency levels over 100%. A typical boiler is 80% efficient, while a heat pump is 300-400% efficient. This added efficiency makes electric cost-competitive.
Great With Solar
With high electricity costs in New York, a great way to increase your savings is by generating your own electricity on-site. A solar panel array at your residence can easily generate electricity at cheaper rates than your utility company. This is because most solar panels generate electricity during non-peak hours such as in the morning and can store that energy for later use. Additionally, you can receive a tax credit from the state for your solar panel installation.
As we mentioned earlier, the most common heating source in our state is natural gas and oil, which are both fossil fuels. These have a huge effect on our environment and are a big reason people are looking towards electric heating as an alternative. Going green is important to a lot of our customers and installing a mini-split is a great way to ensure your home is comfortable, while also not damaging the environment.
No Carbon Monoxide
Any fossil fuel burning heating system can malfunction and cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Hundreds of people die from it every year and it is more common than you may think. If you still have a fossil fuel burning system, make sure you get annual maintenance and that you inspect your system at least once a month for soot deposits.
To help with the cost of installation and to encourage more people to switch to a mini-split system, your utility company may offer you a rebate. Click the link and find out if you qualify for some potential savings.
Great Opportunities to Install a Mini-Split
Additional Room Constructed
Mini-splits don’t have to be an all in one solution for your home heating. This makes them extremely versatile. If you have recently added to your home and don’t want to install expensive ductwork, a mini-split is an elegant solution. The same logic applies to any particularly remote rooms in your home. As we mentioned above, a workspace or office in your home can benefit from the quiet heating and cooling that a mini-split can provide.
To Help with Main Living Area
This applies particularly if you don’t have an air conditioning unit installed in your main living area. Window AC units are very common in New York but are noisy and inefficient. If you were planning on replacing yours soon, or if you don’t have one installed, a mini-split could be the perfect solution. It can provide both heating and cooling and can be used in conjunction with your current heating system if you like it. It’ll provide the cooling you’ll need in our summers that seem to get hotter every year and make your heating overall much more efficient.
If You Don’t Have Ductwork in Your Home
New York has a lot of older, historic homes that may not have ductwork installed. The same applies to new homes being constructed. Ductwork is expensive to install and can lead to uneven heating and cooling, or poor indoor air quality if done wrong. While a mini-split system can be more expensive to install than a furnace or boiler, when you factor in the cost of ductwork installation mini-splits throughout the home can be cheaper. When you add in the additional month-to-month savings on bills, a mini-split is most likely much more cost-effective.
At Master Plumbing Heating Cooling, we believe in the benefits of a ductless mini-split, but at the same time, our goal is to ensure our customers are comfortable in their home. It may not be the right heating solution for every single home. For example, if you have a furnace that’s eight years old, it still has a long life ahead of it. There’s no sense in shopping for a new heater solution for at least 2 more years. If you’re thinking about switching to a mini-split then, we’ll be there to help. In the meantime, we offer repair services on furnaces and boilers and we install them as well.
If you need to switch your heating system or haven’t had your system maintenance in a while, give us at Master Plumbing Heating Cooling a call at (631) 391-9292 or fill out a contact form online.