A would-be HVAC designer wonders if a ductless mini-split head can be hidden in a closet and connected to conventional ductwork.
This post by Scott Gibson first appeared on Green Building Advisor.
A ductless mini-split head isn't everyone's cup of tea, at least not aesthetically. One reader wonders if he can still get the benefits of a ductless system if he hides the head and makes his own ducts.
Ductless mini-splits have a lot going for them. These high-performance air-source heat pumps operate efficiently in much lower temperatures than standard heat pumps, and they don't suffer the same energy losses due to leaky ducts. A tight, well-insulated house may need only one or two wall-mounted heads to maintain comfort, summer and winter.
It's the "wall-mounted" part, however, that not everyone warms up to. As is the case with Jerry Liebler's wife, as Jerry introduced in a recent Q&A post at Green Building Advisor.
Liebler is convinced a Mitsubishi Hyper Heating system would meet his heating and cooling needs. But his wife “dislikes the looks of mini-split indoor units." Liebler's proposed solution is to place the head in a closet along with a small air handler and an outlet duct through the floor.
"A 'shelf' would run horizontally around the mini-split and the outlet duct of the air handler," he writes. "With the closet door closed there would, in effect, be a 'plenum' above the shelf, pressurized by the air handler."
Liebler thinks the air handler's motor would overcome the friction losses of the ductwork. Ducts through the closet floor would be connected to conventional ducts to distribute heated or cooled air.
"Has anyone done something similar?" he asks. "See any problems?"
That's the topic for this Q&A Spotlight.