Ductless minisplit heat pumps have gotten many favorable reviews at Green Building Advisor, but Roy Goodwin sums up a concern that’s popped up more than once: Despite their virtuoso heating and cooling performance, they’re a little on the homely side.
“My wife and I are 69,” Goodwin writes in Q&A post at GBA. “We’re in the process of designing a house for our retirement with our architect. It’s going to be a ‘pretty good house’ with a very small heating/cooling load. Neither my wife nor I think the ductless minisplits are all that attractive.”
In addition, Goodwin adds, the air filters on a wall-mounted head could be a challenge to change because of their location. Ceiling-mounted ducted minisplits look like they’d present similar challenges and require a step ladder for filter changes. That’s something they’d like to avoid.
Their 2,000-square-foot house will be built in the mountains of western North Carolina in Climate Zone 4. “We’re looking for something like a conventional heat pump (ducts and all) with air filters that are easier to access,” Goodwin says.
Any suggestions? That’s the topic for this Q&A Spotlight.
Mount the unit lower on the wall, or directly on the floor
While the indoor units of ductless minisplits are usually mounted high enough on the wall to keep them out of the way, there’s no reason they can’t be lowered, GBA senior editor Martin Holladay points out. He includes a photograph of a unit mounted on an interior wall at roughly knee-height (see Image #2, below.).
Its location might mean an occasional sore shin, but filter changes would be a snap.
Or, adds Dana Dorsett, choose a unit designed for installation on the floor. They look like small wall furnaces,…