Serving Greater Seattle and North King County
Doug Holman

Is there a cold spot in your house? Stuck with electric baseboards? Remodeling an unfinished space?



Ductless mini split HVAC systems are a lesser known heating and cooling alternative that may be the perfect solution for your needs.  Mini-splits are ductless.  Taking ductwork out of the equation immediately eliminates 20-30% of heat loss but the added bonus of freeing up space. Mini-splits systems have two components: an indoor air-handling unit (or units) and an outdoor condenser, the two connected by conduit in place of ducting.

The technology has been around for 30 years, commonly used in Europe and Japan. Like a refrigerator, a heat pump uses electricity to pump refrigerant, transferring heat from one place to another. They are generally designed to cool and heat a single room or zone, and there may be up to four indoor handling units hooked up to a single outside condenser.

Mini splits are not right for every space, but there are definitely advantages for particular applications. Here are a few places you might consider installing such a system:

  • A home that has no ductwork, like one that has previously had radiant or electric baseboard heat. One outdoor condenser can operate up to four indoor air handlers, so you could individually control four rooms/zones with a single mini-split system
  • Rooms that are not regularly occupied. You can turn off the mini-split system and close the door to save money.
  • Additions or outbuildings where extending or installing ductwork is not feasible.
  • Spaces adjacent to unconditioned spaces (like garages, attics, and unfinished basements) where ductwork would be exposed to harsher temperatures.

Mini splits can be hung on the wall or ceiling, some even come as freestanding units. Mini-splits aren’t pretty. Upgrading will not land you on the cover of Architectural Digest. But these systems can lower the heating portion of your electrical bill by as much at 30% and might just be the special situation solution you are looking for.

AND, if you are a Seattle City Light customer, you may qualify for rebates as high $1200 when using qualified providers.  You can learn more about SCL rebates and whether or not you might qualify at

3 Responses to “Is there a cold spot in your house? Stuck with electric baseboards? Remodeling an unfinished space?”

  1. November 17, 2014 at 8:29 pm, Sandy Yeh said:

    Great idea for some homes and likely many people don’t know about it- thanks for the tip!

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