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Community and Q&A

Are there any ductless GSHP systems?

Kohai | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

It appears all of the mini-split systems available are air-source. Are there any mini-split systems designed for ground-source? All of the GSHP split systems I can find still require a large air handler and ducting — is there a reason why small wall-mount or ceiling cassette units are not available as for ASHP mini-split systems?

I am building a new home with geothermal heating and cooling, and would like to reduce the amount of ducting and increase zones, such as in bedrooms and a finished attic bonus room. Utilizing a mini-split with the GSHP would seem a simple and effective solution. Am I missing something, since no units seem to be available?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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  1. user-659915 | | #1

    I doubt you'll find any. Minisplits are not plug-and-play, they're designed as integrated systems of matched compressor and air handler units. Moreover their efficiency is such that they have little or nothing to gain from ground-source integration. You'd likely save a ton of money and get a far better ROI by ditching the ground-source and going for standard air-to-air minisplits. Use the spare cash to upgrade the insulation package.

  2. Aaron Birkland | | #2

    I don't think there are any GSHP systems based on variable refrigerant flow to multiple heads like mini-splits. However, if you're just interested in eliminating ducts, a water-to-water heat pump would work. It would involve piping the hot or chilled water produced by the heat pump to individual fan-coil units. Some people use a hydronic system with radiators or radiant floors for heating, utilizing the fan coils only for cooling.

    The downside is that such distribution systems (even ignoring the fact that it's attached to a GSHP) are less common in the residential context. It would be necessary to find a contractor with experience with them, or else something like this could happen.

  3. davidmeiland | | #3

    This brand came up in a recent thread:

    Looks like cooling-only, but maybe a place to start.

  4. Kohai | | #4

    Thanks everyone for the responses and advice. It sounds like my options with geo are limited, which is the same conclusion I was reaching, I was just hoping I was missing something. I'm already committed to geo -- the ground loop is already in place. And unfortunately I am a little late to the game on mini-splits as I only learned about them after the geo system was designed and the ground loop was installed.

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