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All About Minisplits

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Ductless minisplit” is one of the most commonly searched terms on GBA. And minisplits are likewise among the most common topics of discussion in our Q&A forum. And this all makes sense. These compact heat-pump heating and cooling systems shine in the smart, energy-efficient homes GBA members are designing, building, and remodeling. Whether you’re considering a ductless minisplit for your project or just want to get acquainted with what they are, how they work, and where they work best, the following collection of articles, our newest and most read on the topic, is a great place to start.

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Goldman on Minisplits

    Jordan Goldman, the engineering principal at Massachusetts-based ZeroEnergy Design, knows a lot about minisplits. At the first annual Fine Homebuilding Summit, Goldman gave a presentation, “Making the Most of Minisplits,” that provided valuable minisplit system design and installation tips to HVAC engineers, contractors, and architects. Here's a recap and some takeaways from the presentation.

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Getting the Right Minisplit

    Curious readers regularly post questions here at GBA on how to size minisplit heat pumps and how to select the right equipment. Although our web site contains dozens of articles on the topic, the questions keep coming, so, this new article provides some straightforward guidance on the issue.

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Rules of Thumb for Ductless Minisplits

    After much research from the field and many articles and blog posts on GBA we now have enough information on the use of ductless minisplits to heat and cool cold-climate homes to set out some rules of thumb. The nine rules of thumb presented here are based on the work of builder Carter Scott, energy consultant Marc Rosenbaum, and researchers Kohta Ueno and Honorata Loomis.

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Ductless Minisplits May Not Be As Efficient As We Thought

    A monitoring study of ductless minisplits installed in seven New England homes found that these heating appliances had lower airflow rates and lower coefficients of performance (COPs) than expected. The results of the study raise at least as many questions as they answer, but perhaps the most useful outcome of the study is that it sets up a framework for recommendations that could enhance minisplit efficiency.

  • Musings of an Energy Nerd

    Bruce Harley’s Minisplit Tips

    Bruce Harley is a Vermont energy consultant and heat-pump specialist. At the Better Buildings By Design conference in Burlington, Vermont, Harley shared a wealth of information on ductless and ducted minisplits. The title of his February 8 presentation was “Real-Life Air Source Heat Pump Performance Testing: Results and Reasons.” Since Harley left his longtime job at Conservation Services Group, he’s been working as an independent consultant. Harley told the audience, “Now 90 percent of my work is related to heat pumps.” Here's what he's been learning.


  • Collection

    All About High-Performance Wall Assemblies

    The drawing above shows what may be the most commonly wall built in America today, with some slight variation from one climate zone to another and from one builder to…


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