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Do you have spaces in your home that feel hotter than others, like a recent addition or a room above a garage? For these spaces, a mini-split heat pump is a great solution. These units provide highly efficient space conditioning with no ductwork, saving you money while making your home more comfortable.

How mini-split heat pumps work

Mini-split systems have an outdoor unit and indoor air handlers. A conduit which contains a power cable, refrigerant tubing and a condensate drain connect the outdoor unit with the air handlers inside.

Refrigerant flows constantly through the tubing. To provide cooling, refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor space and transfers it outside as it evaporates into a gas. In winter, this process is reversed as the unit takes heat from outside and and brings it inside to heat the space.

Mini-split models have as many as four indoor air-handling units connected to one outdoor unit. The number depends on how much cooling is needed in the area of the home. Each air-handling unit comes with its own thermostat, providing individual control for specific rooms or zones.

Benefits compared to window units

Window air conditioning units are a common solution for cooling individual spaces, but mini-splits heat provide a number of advantages.

  • More efficient. Mini-split heat pumps are typically much more energy efficient than window units.
  • Quieter operation. Window units can be noisy. Mini-split heat pumps operate more quietly.
  • Design flexibility. Window units must be installed in a window. With mini-splits, the indoor air-handling units can be installed anywhere in the room where it is least intrusive and provides the most effective comfort.
  • Better look. Window air conditioners stick out of your window and block your view from inside. Mini-split heat pumps, by contrast,, are designed to look like a more seamless part of your home.
  • Year-round comfort. Window units only provide cooling. Mini splits, however, provide highly efficient cooling in summer and heating in winter.
  • Increased safety. If not mounted securely, a window unit could fall, causing injury or damage to the unit. Mini-splits are permanently mounted to a wall.

Mini-split heat pumps cost more to install than window units, but they're also a permanent solution. Once installed, mini-splits provide year-round comfort with no need reinstall them every summer.

To optimize savings and comfort, make sure your mini-split heat pump is ENERGY STAR®-certified for efficient performance.


Beltrami Electric Cooperative has great incentives for installation of a mini-split heat pump. Savings of up to $650 per ton!

Contact a local HVAC contractor for pricing and installation information.