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Get cool, affordable comfort with a ductless system

by Josh Mitchell | Aug 06, 2019
Don't let cost keep you from considering these efficient units

Ductless heat pumps (DHPs) are a popular new technology in home heating and cooling and it’s easy to see why. These systems are easy to install, don’t require ductwork, provide heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, and are quiet and efficient. Chelan PUD expects to provide 100 rebates to households with existing furnaces, baseboards or wall heaters that add DHPs this year.

Customers tell us they love their ductless heat pumps. “How very nice to not have the constant drone of the in-window air conditioner, not to mention that we no longer have to install and take them out (seasonally),” one customer said in a recent survey.

DHPs save on electric bills. For every dollar you put into your baseboard or electric furnace, you get one dollar of heating out of it. For every dollar you put into a ductless system, you essentially get $2.50 of heating from it.


In addition to added comfort, your electric bill should drop by $75 to $120 a year.


DHPs are super-efficient due to modern inverter technology and because there is no loss of heated or cooled air through leaky ductwork.  Inverter technology allows the compressor to run only as fast as necessary to handle the demand of heating and cooling. (The  traditional way a compressor runs is with an on/off switch. That’s like turning your car engine on and it having it run as fast as possible. Inverter compressors work more like a cruise control system, providing only enough gas -- electricity in this case -- as is needed).

We are pleased that the technology is catching on with customers, but we’d like to see even more units installed. We understand that one drawback is cost, which has been inching up. Reasons include required electrical upgrades, improvements that allow DHPs to perform better at colder winter temperatures, size of system, and number of indoor units, called “heads.” The more heads installed, the higher the project cost.

Lower your initial cost

One way around the high cost is to install a single head where you spend most of your time, such as the family room. In summer, you can set your thermostat to 72 degrees in that area and let the cooled air fan out to adjoining rooms (leaving doors open). The temperature may be a few degrees warmer than at the source but still much cooler than if there was no system at all. 

In winter, you will achieve the same effect, but you can use your existing furnace, baseboards or wall heaters to supplement those back rooms.  This allows you to have that efficient, quiet heating/cooling system in the area where you spend most of the time – at a much lower cost than if you had installed a whole-house ductless system. 

The average cost in Chelan County for a 1:1 system (one indoor and one outdoor unit) is $4,500. That number more than doubles with a three-head system.  Chelan PUD offers a $1,000 rebate to help customers make the initial investment.

In addition to the added comfort, you can expect your electric bill to drop by $75 to $120 a year.

Ductless heat pumps, mini-splits, DHPs… these are synonymous terms for the hottest (excuse the pun) technology in home heating and cooling. They’re also synonymous with comfort.

If this sounds like a solution for your home, visit our website, call (509) 661-8008 or email conservation@chelanpud.org.

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