Using a Portable Heater? Consider Switching to Ductless

November 12, 2013

If you’ve been using a portable heater to warm a space in your home that’s not served by your heating system, like a garage, you might want to look into ductless heating instead. Over the long run, using a ductless mini split for your heating needs can save you money and keep you safer.

A ductless mini split is a heat pump that uses no ductwork to deliver conditioned air. Like a heat pump, it’s an energy-efficient appliance, unlike many portable heaters. Heat pumps work by moving heat from one place to another. In the summer, they take it out of your home, and in winter, they extract it from the outdoor air.

Heat pumps have two primary components: an indoor air handler that vents directly into the space and an outdoor condenser. A flexible conduit that carries the refrigerant, drainpipe and power connects the two. This requires just a 3-inch hole through an exterior wall to connect the air handler and condenser.

If you’re using an electric portable heater, you’ll save substantial energy dollars by switching to a mini split system. Mini splits have the same energy efficiency requirements that heat pumps do, indicated by their coefficient of performance (COP), which can range from 2 to 4 or even higher. The COP indicates how much heat the heat pump creates from one unit of energy. A unit with a COP of 4 creates four times the heat from one unit of energy. Portable electric heaters, on the other hand, create just one unit of energy from each unit they use.

The ductless heating system also offers advantages over portable heaters that use combustion fuel, like kerosene or propane. Some of these heaters burn nearly all the fuel they use, which increases their efficiency, but they’re not as safe as a ductless system. Although these systems have sensors that measure the room’s oxygen content, there’s always the risk of the sensor malfunctioning.

To learn more about using ductless heating versus a portable heater, contact the experts at Keith Air Conditioning. We serve homeowners in the Mobile and Baldwin County.