Frequently Asked Questions:

Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump example Photo courtesy of ENERGY STAR

Photo courtesy of ENERGY STAR

Q. What is a Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump?

A. Ductless mini-split heat pumps have two main components — an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit. A conduit, which houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain, links the outdoor and indoor units.

Q. How do ductless mini-splits work?

A. Heat pumps move heat from one place to another. Air is compressed, heat is extracted and absorbed into a fluid which flows through a heat exchanger. Your refrigerator extracts heat from the inside in the same manner.

Q. Can mini-splits be used for both heating and cooling?

A. The same equipment provides very efficient heating and cooling. Simple controls allow the homeowner to switch the heat pump to either mode.Energy Star Logo

Q. Are some heat pumps better than others?

A. Heat pumps can vary in efficiencies by considerable amounts. NHEC only rebates high efficiency systems. Review the requirements on the application to ensure the heat pump qualifies before purchasing.

Q. How efficient are heat pumps?

A. Heat Pumps are 3-4 times more efficient than any fossil fuel or electric systems. Their efficiencies exceed 300% throughout most of the heating season – oil and propane systems are usually around 85-95%, electric baseboard 100%.

Q. Will a heat pump save me money?

A. If you heat with oil you can expect savings up to 15% on your heating bill, propane up to 50%, and up to 75% for electric heat.

Q. How much does a ductless mini-split system cost?

A. NHEC recommends that you get a qualified heating contractor to visit your home to determine what size system would work best for your situation and estimate the cost of installation.

Q. Do heat pumps still work when it’s cold outside?

A. Due to technical advances in recent years, many systems still maintain high efficiencies and output in temperatures as low as 17 degrees below zero (-17° Fahrenheit).

Q. Are there any heat pump financing opportunities?

A. NHEC has partnered with local lending institutions to offer 2% financing (up to $15,000) on qualified heat pumps, making it possible for you to have systems installed with no money down and no upfront costs. Apply for financing your project here.

Q. Can a mini-split system replace my existing heating system?

A. In most cases, you can use the heat pump system as your primary heating source all winter long. However, we do recommend that you have a backup system (existing heating system, woodstove, propane fireplace, etc.) for extreme weather conditions.

Q. What are the differences between a ductless mini-split and baseboard electric heat?

A. Both technologies use electricity, however mini-split heat pumps use much less. The mini-split also has more advanced distribution and circulation technology to provide even warmth and a more comfortable space. Another remarkable difference is that, with a flick of a switch, mini-split heat pumps also provide air conditioning in the warmer months.

Q. I don’t like the wall mounted units. Are there any other options?

A. Products differ by manufacturer, but there are ceiling and floor mounted options available.

Q. What other heat pump technologies qualify for incentives?

A. NHEC also offers rebates on geothermal heat pumps, central and hybrid air source heat pumps.

Q. Is there an ENERGY STAR® residential heat pump equipment rebate?

A. Yes.  Complete this form for residential heat pump rebates.

If you didn’t find the answer to your question here, or for more information about high efficiency heat pumps and rebates, please email Kurt Campbell or call 603.536.8672. You may also contact Joe Lajewski at or call 603.536.8663.