How Does a Ductless Mini Split System Work?

There are many types of heating and cooling equipment available for use in Cedar Rapids area homes. While most homeowners are familiar with conventional forced air furnaces and air conditioners, few are aware of other HVAC system types and how they function. The ductless mini split HVAC system is one such example, and you may be passing up a highly efficient heating and cooling solution if you don’t know about it! Learn how mini split heat pumps work and if one is right for your home.

What Is a Ductless Mini Split?

A ductless mini split is a type of home heating and cooling system that delivers conditioned air to living areas without the use of ducts. Traditional forced air HVAC systems, such as central air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps, deliver heated or cooled air from centralized equipment throughout the home via a duct system. 

Ductless mini splits work much differently. Instead of using a centralized furnace or air handler to push air through ducts into rooms, the mini split system uses a network of air handlers installed within each room or area of the home. The air handlers connect to an exterior heat pump (or air conditioner in cooling-only systems), which transfers heat between indoor and outdoor air to provide heating and cooling. The air handler in each area holds a fan and evaporator coil which extracts heat and recirculates cooler air during the warmer months. For heating spaces, the outdoor heat pump extracts heat from the air outdoors, and this energy is sent to the coil within the air handler to distribute heat.

Key Differences and Advantages

The most obvious difference between mini split systems and other HVAC systems is the way they distribute conditioned air. No ducts are needed, which makes installation possible in homes without existing ducts, homes that do not have the space to install ductwork, or homes where ductwork replacement would be necessary yet it’s out of the budget.

Another difference is a ductless mini split’s energy efficiency. They use far less electricity to operate than other system types, generating up to 30 percent energy savings over conventional air conditioners and as much as 60 percent energy savings compared to electric resistance heating units.

Because an individual indoor air handling unit is installed in each area of the home, comfort and temperatures can be controlled in each area independent from one another. Comfort levels can be tailored to individual preferences, and energy can be conserved in areas where heating or cooling are not needed.

Ductless mini splits can be sized in many different configurations, providing heating and cooling in one zone or many. Mini splits are extremely versatile, which makes them a great solution for adding heating and cooling to areas of a home where the forced air central HVAC system does not extend. Install a mini split to heat and cool a newly finished basement or home addition without the cost of extending ductwork and upgrading furnaces or air conditioners to account for the added space.

Go Ductless in Cedar Rapids

As you can see, ductless mini split systems are a great option for many Cedar Rapids area homes. Novak Heating and Cooling can install the perfect mini split system to deliver energy-efficient comfort throughout your home. Contact us today to request and estimate for ductless mini split installation!

How Can an Air Purifier Protect Your Home from COVID-19?

COVID-19 is still a real and present health threat in Cedar Rapids. To ensure safety and good health, homeowners are taking many precautions to prevent contracting this virus and protecting their loved ones.

Many homeowners have asked us in recent months whether a whole-house air purifier can protect their families from COVID-19. In our most recent blog, we’ll discuss how air purifiers work and how effective they are at stopping the coronavirus.

How Air Purifiers Work

Air purifiers work to remove pollutants from an air supply. Whole-home air purifiers are installed alongside a home’s HVAC equipment to treat the entire volume of indoor air that circulates through the ductwork. Different air purifier models use various methods for air purification, including high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, electrostatic charge, and ultraviolet light.

  • The SARS-Cov-2 virus that causes COVID-19 infections is extremely small, at 0.125 microns in size. However, it is thought that the virus spreads when it’s attached to respiratory particles that are a bit larger in size, around 1 micron. Whether an air purifier provides protection from COVID-19 depends on the efficiency of any filter the system uses. The filter must be able to capture airborne particles down to 1 micron. Filters with MERV 13 to MERV 16 ratings show efficiency in removing particles of this size from the home’s air supply, so it is likely that an air purifier can provide some protection from COVID-19 if these filters are in use.
  • Ultraviolet light air purifiers offer protection from the coronavirus by killing virus particles floating through the air. As air passes through the air purifier, the UV light energy neutralizes the particles, which renders them incapable of infecting someone. The neutralized virus particles stay in the air supply, but they are no longer a danger to those indoors.

What Viruses Do Air Purifiers Kill?

What types of viruses a certain air purifier model will treat varies from one product to another. While many products on the market today have not yet been specifically tested for their use against the COVID-19 virus, certain air purifiers have been shown to be effective at treating similar viruses. It is reasonable to think that such an air purifier can protect people from COVID-19 due to its efficacy against viruses with similar traits to SARS-CoV-2.

Should I Use an Air Purifier?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people should use air purifiers as part of a more comprehensive strategy, not as a single solution, for protection against COVID-19. Air purifiers cannot prevent COVID-19 infections on their own but are thought to be useful in reducing airborne transmission and infection risks when used alongside social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand washing.

If someone in your household has COVID-19, air purifiers are likely to offer some protection against transmission of the virus to other family members. Some experts suggest running portable air purifiers or air cleaners near rooms that are occupied by the sick person so that viral particles are more likely to be intercepted by the device and neutralized so they cannot be passed to another person.

Air Quality Improvement in Cedar Rapids

Novak Heating and Cooling aims to keep your family safe, healthy, and comfortable with the finest indoor air quality solutions available. If you are interested in using air purifiers to protect your family from COVID-19, we are happy to help you find the best device for your needs. For air purifier installation, contact us today.