Among the impressive advantages of a ductless heat pump is the one implied by its name: no ducts. In any house, ductwork is a major source of lost heating and cooling efficiency, high operating costs, and diminished comfort. Residential ductwork isn’t fabricated to the heavy-duty standards of commercial ducts, and increasingly leaks air as years pass. In the average house, air leakage from ductwork is estimated to be at least 20 percent. In many homes, that figure is much higher.
A ductless heat pump integrates a low-profile indoor air handler with an energy-efficient outdoor heat pump to deliver powerful, economical heating and cooling to single rooms or limited spaces. The components are linked by a narrow refrigerant conduit that only requires a three-inch hole in an exterior wall. In homes where the considerable expense and disruption to install ducts or extend existing ductwork isn’t doable (or desirable), a duct-free system provides the perfect alternative.
Other advantages of a ductless heat pump include:
- Straightforward, low-impact installation. A ductless system can be installed by a two-man crew in a single day without major construction activity. Because a single outdoor heat pump can accommodate up to five indoor air handlers in separate rooms, expanding the system is also uncomplicated.
- Placement flexibility. The inconspicuous indoor air handler can be installed in a variety of configurations ranging from wall and ceiling mounted units to stand-up units. The outdoor component of the system is about the size of a large suitcase and can be placed on the ground or mounted to the back wall of your home with brackets.
- Power without noise. No distracting sound of forced air rumbling through your ductwork. The internal blower fan in a ductless heat pump is whisper-quiet.
- Accurate temperature control. Because a dedicated thermostat—a handy portable remote control—is in each room with a ductless air handler, room temperatures are maintained to closer tolerances than a central ducted system controlled by a single thermostat centrally located in your home.
In greater Cincinnati, ask the professionals at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing about more advantages of a ductless heat pump.
A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing, especially when it comes to trying to fix your own furnace. Modern furnaces are more complicated than in the past, and repairs require a high level of technical expertise. You also risk voiding furnace warranty with DIY repairs. Here are the five top reasons why you should leave furnace repairs to the pros.
DIY Furnace Repairs: Why You Should Avoid Them
- A professional has more experience and knowledge than the untrained DIY-er, so more likely can pinpoint a problem quicker. You may think you know what’s wrong, but furnaces are complex, and there may be an issue you haven’t even guessed at.
- Every year, at least 100 people die in this country after trying to fix their own furnaces. The fatalities are mostly from exposure to carbon monoxide. Only persons trained in handling combustion-powered appliances should do repairs or installations that might involve CO leaks. It’s odorless, and victims of CO poisoning often don’t know they’re in danger until it’s too late.
- DIY furnace fixers run the risk of starting fires or causing an explosion from leaking gas. Professional technicians have equipment to detect leaks, and the right tools to repair them. More than likely, it will take more than a screwdriver, channel locks and duct tape to successfully repair a furnace, so unless you’re ready to make a big investment in specialized equipment, you’ll actually save money by calling a pro.
- You may think you’re saving money by doing the repairs yourself, but you could make a malfunction worse if you lack proper training. You’ll probably have to call a professional later anyway, and it may cost you more to fix the damage caused by the DIY repair.
- Voiding furnace warranty is another reason to let the pro do it. A manufacturer won’t honor a warranty unless all repairs are done according to the agreed-upon terms.
For more on voiding furnace warranty or other hazards of DIY furnace repair, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve served our Greater Cincinnati-area customers with pride for more than a century.
When your furnace unexpectedly goes out, try these furnace troubleshooting tips before reaching for the phone. You may be able to restore the system yourself, eliminating the discomfort that an increasingly chilly home causes.
- The thermostat. Verify that the thermostat is set to heat and the temperature setting is above the air temperature by a few degrees. If in doubt, set the thermostat four degrees higher than the room’s air. Replace the batteries if it’s not hard-wired.
- No power. All gas furnaces have a switch located in the front of the blower compartment. Reset it by pushing it or moving it to its “on” position. If it doesn’t start soon, check the circuit breaker. If the breaker tripped, reset it. If the circuit breaker trips soon after resetting it, call your HVAC contractor for professional help.
- Dirty air filter. Almost all gas furnaces have safety switches inside them that turn the furnace off when there isn’t enough air flowing through them. When furnace troubleshooting, look at the air filter. If it’s covered with dust, it won’t allow enough air into the blower compartment and if it continues to run, the components would build too much heat, creating a safety hazard. During the winter when the furnace runs routinely, it’s a good idea to check the air filter monthly and change it when it’s dirty.
- Blocked flue. If the flue vent is blocked, the furnace will automatically shut off. If you can’t access it easily, call your HVAC contractor.
- Ignition problems. Diagnosing ignition problems is fairly easy with a furnace that uses a standing pilot light. If the pilot goes out periodically, clean the thermocouple and the pilot. If the pilot still goes out, the thermocouple may need replacing. If your furnace has electronic ignition, it uses a furnace ignitor. This part uses a filament that creates a spark to ignite the fuel. They can and do wear out and should be replaced by an HVAC professional.
For more tips about furnace troubleshooting, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, serving homeowners in the greater Cincinnati area since 1910.
The middle of a harsh Ohio winter is no time for your furnace to blow cold. You want to curl up in a cozy house after you deal with harsh weather conditions, so it’s time to take a look at the reasons the furnace may be blowing cold. Some issues with the heat are easy to fix, but others require a qualified professional to get you away from the space heater and back to a house that’s warm all over. (more…)
Your furnace is your main line of defense against the winter cold. When it starts to have problems, your first thought may be about the cost of having a service person come out. Before you get too upset, you need to check out a few things first. (more…)
The old standard in home furnaces used to be the single-stage furnace, which essentially only has an on-and-off switch. When on, the unit pumps out heated air at a constant speed until it reaches its maximum capacity, and then it continues blowing air at maximum capacity. These days homeowners have a better and more efficient option for home heating systems: the variable speed furnace.
Autumn weather has descended upon the greater Cincinnati area, and a furnace evaluation should be at the top of your fall home maintenance checklist. (more…)
Before delving into furnace replacement, take some time to learn what types of furnaces are available and which receive the highest efficiency ratings. (more…)