Mini-split heat pump systems are highly efficient temperature control units that can keep your home comfortable during the colder months. Whether you experience mild winters or subzero temperatures, a mini-split can help you stay warm. However, when temperatures dip extremely low, it’s harder for mini-split systems to eject or absorb heat, which can result in a performance decline. If you require optimum efficiency from your system to keep your home from turning into an ice castle, use these helpful tips to get more from your mini-split heat pump in cold climates.
Keep Snow Off of the Outdoor Unit
When snow accumulates on the outdoor unit of a mini-split heat pump, it can prevent the system from operating effectively and efficiently. As such, it’s important to install the outdoor unit in an area that receives coverage from snowfall. For example, you may choose to install the exterior unit under an overhang to prevent show from building up on it. Just make sure there’s ample clearance above the unit to ensure it has enough space to circulate air properly. For optimal protection from the snow, you may also choose to elevate the unit at least two feet off the ground to reduce its contact with potential snowfall.
Strategically Mount the Indoor Unit
Where you mount the indoor unit can also have a large effect on the effectiveness of the mini-split heat pump. For peak performance, consider mounting the unit lower to the floor. Because heat rises, mounting the unit lower will pull in and warm up the coldest air in the room. In addition to mounting the unit lower, you should also make sure there’s plenty of clearance around the system. If any furniture or large items are located near the unit, they’ll block the flow of air and make it more challenging for the system to effectively heat the room.
Utilize a Drain Pan Heater
Another tip to get more from mini-split heat pumps in cold climates is to utilize a drain pan heater. If you live in an area that experiences subfreezing temperatures, melted frost from the outdoor coil can freeze before it escapes the mini-split drain pan. Eventually, a thick layer of ice buildup can cause the blades of the fan to freeze to the pan, which will impede the operation of the mini-split.
To avoid costly repairs and ensure your ductless or ducted mini-split heat pump works properly in cold temperatures, it’s beneficial to invest in a mini-split drain pan heater. The heater will rest in the drain pan and connect to the outdoor condenser’s control board, which will signal the heater to turn on and prevent ice from building up on the drain pan.