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Ductless Heating and Cooling System Rebate

The Ductless Heating and Cooling System rebate is made possible by Energize Connecticut and administered by CL&P. A rebate of $250 per system is available. 

A ductless heat pump, or mini-split heat pump, is a highly efficient heating and cooling system that is easily installed as a new primary heat source. They can heat and cool homes at a fraction of the cost of baseboards and wall heaters, and their superior air distribution helps make living spaces more comfortable. They are well-suited to homes with open floor plans.

Ductless heat pumps are especially effective for electrically heated homes or areas where ductwork does not exist or is not possible. They are also a good option for home remodeling, additions, and new construction.

Studies have shown ductless heat pumps can save 25-50 percent on energy bills. These are competitively priced and the systems are available from many well-known manufacturers. Their ease of installation also keeps costs low compared to other heating and cooling methods.  Systems must have Inverter technology; this is a type that utilizes a high efficiency variable speed compressor.

How Do Ductless Heat Pumps Work?  

A ductless heat pump transfers air using refrigerant expansion and compression, the same way your refrigerator operates. It works in the summer to cool, but more importantly, works in reverse in the winter to provide ample amounts of heat.

Ductless heat pumps have three main parts: 

  1. An indoor unit that mounts on the wall or ceiling
  2. An outdoor unit that typically sits on the ground
  3. A remote control that operates the inside unit

The indoor and outdoor units are connected by small refrigerant lines, which are installed through a very small hole in the wall. The indoor unit then distributes the heated or cooled air into the room. The units are smaller than conventional air conditioning equipment and less intrusive. This type of system allows for easy and inexpensive installation because it eliminates the need for expensive and invasive ductwork.

Easy to Install  

The ductless system design allows you to retain the original aesthetics of a room and do not require expensive and invasive ductwork. Installation is as simple as mounting the indoor unit and placing the outdoor unit on the ground, connecting the refrigerant lines, and making a few electrical connections. Most installations can be done in a day or two.

Proven Technology  

Ductless systems have been around for several decades and are manufactured by many of the companies you’re used to buying products from. You can rest assure that your investment is in a verified technology that you will be happy with for many years to come.

Q: What is a ductless heat pump?
A: A ductless heat pump is a highly efficient zonal heating and cooling system that does not require the use of air ducts. The systems consist of an outdoor compressor unit and one or more indoor air-handling units, called “heads”, linked by a refrigerant line. Indoor heads are typically mounted high on a wall or ceiling covering a 3” hole where the refrigerant line passes through to the outside unit, which is mounted at the base of the house. Each indoor head corresponds with a heating and cooling zone that can be controlled independently.

Q: Do I still need my old heaters?
A: While a ductless system can be used as a primary heat source, most homeowners are encouraged to keep their existing electric heating units to supplement the DHP system in extreme weather conditions or in hard to reach extremities of the home.

Q: How does a ductless heat pump work?
A: Ductless heat pumps are reversible, two-way heat pumps that use electricity to transfer heat between outdoor and indoor air by compressing and expanding a refrigerant. Using a refrigerant vapor compression cycle, like a common household refrigerator, ductless heat pumps collect heat from outside the house and deliver it inside on the heating cycle, and vise versa on the cooling cycle.

Ductless heat pumps use variable speed compressors with “inverter technology” (AC to DC) to continuously match the heating/cooling load, avoiding the on/off cycling of conventional electric resistance and central heating systems that are associated with uncomfortable temperature variations and high energy consumption.

Ductless Systems consist of several parts:

  1. An outdoor unit that contains a condensing coil, an inverter-driven variable speed compressor, an expansion valve and a fan to cool the condenser coil.
  2. An indoor unit that contains an evaporator and a quiet oscillating fan to distribute air into the space.
  3. A refrigerant line-set that is made of insulated copper tubing and is housed in a conduit alongside a power cable, and a condensation drain.
  4. A remote control that can be used to set the desired temperature and program in night-time settings.

Q: How is the system controlled?
A: The system is controlled with a remote control that also functions as a programmable thermostat. Most systems offer various modes of operation such as quiet, high, or timer. Wall mounted controls are also available.

Q: What are appropriate applications for a ductless heat pump?
A:Replacing an existing zonal heating system – Ductless heat pumps can replace or supplement existing electric baseboard/wall/ceiling units, woodstoves and other space heaters (propane, kerosene). A cost effective electric heat conversion in a small house might consist of single system serving the main area of the house, while leaving existing electric baseboards in bedrooms and bathrooms.

Room additions – Another application for ductless heat pumps is when a room is added to a house or an attic is converted to living space. Rather than extending the home’s existing ductwork or pipes or adding electric resistance heaters, the ductless heat pump can provide efficient heating and cooling.

New construction – New homes can be designed or adapted to take advantage of the characteristics of ductless heat pumps. Typically one or more systems might be installed in various “zones” of the house to simplify installation and minimize refrigerant line length.

Q: Are ductless heat pumps efficient?
A: Yes! Ductless heat pumps can operate using 25 to 50 percent less energy that electric resistance and forced air systems.

Three key factors account for the high efficiency of ductless heat pumps:

  1. Ductless heat pumps allow the user to control each heating/cooling zone independently, eliminating the costly over-heating and cooling common to central air systems. Why pay to heat or cool rooms that are not currently occupied? While central air systems lose as much as 30percent efficiency through air leaks and conduction in the ductwork, ductless heat pumps distributing air directly into each zone.
  2. Ductless heat pumps use inverter-driven variable speed compressors that allow the system to maintain constant indoor temperatures by running continuously at higher or lower speeds. Thus, the system can ramp-up or down without great losses in operating efficiency, avoiding the energy intensive on/off cycling common in electric resistance and forced air systems.
  3. Modern ductless heat pumps have ultra-high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEER) between 16 and 26, and Heating Seasonal Performance Factors (HSPF) between 8.5 and 12.

Q: How long have ductless heat pumps been around?
A: Ductless heat pumps were developed in Japan in the 1970’s and have since become a preferred heating and cooling system in Asia and much of Europe. In the United States ductless heat pumps have been used in commercial applications for over 20 years.

Q: How much does a ductless heat pump cost?
A: The average cost of an installed ductless heat pump with one indoor heating/cooling zone is between $3,000 and $5,000. Additional heating zones and greater heating capacities will increase the cost of the system. Other factors that will affect the cost of an installed system include: the manufacturer and model, refrigerant line-set length, difficulty of installation, and contractor rates.

Q: What incentives are available for ductless heat pumps??
A: You may qualify for an incentive through the Energy Efficiency Fund of up to $1,000. In addition, you may qualify for a federal tax credit of $300.

Q: How long will a ductless heat pump system last?
A: With proper maintenance and care, a ductless heat pump should perform for more than 20 years. Many systems installed in the 1980s are still functioning today.

Q: What kind of maintenance does a ductless heat pump require?
A: Ductless heat pumps require some basic maintenance to ensure optimum performance. In most cases, keeping the filters and coils clean is all the maintenance needed and can be performed easily by the home owner.

Q: How do I know what size of system my house needs?
A: Ductless heat pump systems are sized to meet the heating and cooling needs of individual zones in the home. There is a great deal of flexibility when it comes to system sizing as one indoor unit can provide between 9,000 Btu and 30,000 Btu depending on its capacity rating. Some common capacities for indoor units are 9,000, 12,000, 18,000, 24,000, and 30,000 Btu. Outdoor units are sized to meet the combined load of all heating/cooling zones. More than one outdoor unit may be necessary for multi-zone systems.

Resource Links:

Ductless Heat Pump System rebate application: 

Verify that your equipment qualifies: 

Minimum requirements:

  • AHRI Rated Ductless Matched Heating and Cooling System 14.5 SEER/ 12 EER/ 8.2 HSPF
  • AHRI Rated Ductless Matched Cooling System 14.5 SEER/ 12 EER

Locate your qualifying equipment and obtain an AHRI certificate: 

Locate an approved installer: 

Your ductless heat pump system must be installed by one of our approved contractors in order to be eligible for the Energize Connecticut rebate.

Qualify for financing: 

  • www.chif.org Connecticut Housing and Investment Fund. Please note that to obtain CHIF financing your contractor must be approved by CHIF. 

Manufacturers of Ductless Heat Pumps: 

The following manufacturers have been named as preferred due to their positive engagement with the project and intention to support contractors with a well-maintained distribution channel.

Technical manuals from all preferred manufacturers are available, and will be updated with the latest information available throughout the project. Individual technical assistance will also be provided by manufacturer representatives, project team members and a community of regional contractors experienced with ductless heat pump installations.

Other resources: 

Homeowner’s Guide & Rebate  

A ductless system Homeowner's Guide is available for download below. This guide is designed to help you maximize the efficiency of your ductless heating and cooling system.

 

For Contractors:  

  • Contractors interested in becoming approved should check the CL&P calendar for the next scheduled training. 

For more information, call 1-877-WISE-USE (1-877-947-3873).