Mini split heat pumps are electric heaters that uses refrigerant to extract heat from the outside air, even during cold temperatures. Heat pumps rely on the refrigeration cycle in the same way as your refrigerator or freezer does, extracting heat from the air even at very cold ambient temperatures. ReVision Energy utilizes an advanced refrigerant called R410A that boils at a very low temperature (as low as -60 deg F) at ambient pressure, and thus can absorb heat energy from even very cold outside air. The heat pump compressor then pressurizes and pumps the refrigerant inside where is passes through a condensor and gives up its heat to the indoors. Because the heat pump is simply moving heat around, rather than creating it, the unit is 2-3 times more efficient than traditional ‘resistive’ electric heat.
As an additional benefit, the refrigerant can also move through the cycle in the opposite direction – absorbing heat inside your home and releasing it to the outdoors, making the heat pump an exceptionally efficient air conditioner as well as a heater. Because of the advanced controls and refrigerant, mini-split heat pumps typically use roughly half as much electricity in cooling mode when compared to a conventional window air conditioner.
There are a great variety of heat pumps in the market; the most popular ones currently in the Northeast are ‘ductless mini-split’ types, meaning that there is no ductwork in the house. The system consists of just an indoor blower unit and outdoor cooling unit connected by a small diameter copper refrigerant line set. The highest performing heat pumps are usually installed as 1:1 models (1 indoor per 1 outdoor unit) but 2:1 ‘multi-split’ units are available as well for multi-room and multi-zone applications.