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Ductless Heat Pumps
The Benefits of Ductless Heat Pumps (DHPs)
Energy-efficient DHPs are inverter-driven, variable-speed systems that can ramp up or down to meet the heating or cooling needs of the home, even when outdoor temperatures fall below 0° F. Since DHPs do not distribute heating or cooling through ducting, a duct system is not required. Installation is relatively easy, with only a three-inch hole in an exterior wall to connect the indoor and outdoor components.
Ductless heat pumps provide a range of benefits:
  • Reduce energy use by 25 – 50 percent, compared to electric resistance heat
  • Come standard with cooling functionality for year-round comfort
  • Ultra-quiet fans eliminate noise common to other HVAC systems
  • Built-in air filters improve indoor air quality
  • Provide even, consistent heat, eliminating hot and cold spots common to baseboard or zonal heat
  • Supplement an existing heating system, handling the majority of the home's heating, calling the existing system into service less frequently
  • Easy to install, with minimal disruption to the home
How BPA Supports Ductless Heat Pumps
BPA is a key player in the region, developing and maintaining energy-efficiency measures that meet total resource cost effectiveness.
In addition, BPA works with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and northwest utility partners to provide utility, contractor, and consumer-level support for ductless heat pumps.

Please note: BPA does not provide incentives directly to homeowners. Please contact your local utility for details.
How Ductless Heat Pumps Work
DHPs operate the same way as a traditional split system heat pump or a standard refrigerator. Using a compression cycle and refrigerants, heat pumps extract heat from outdoor air, concentrates that heat, and delivers it via the indoor air handler. Heat pumps also have the ability to operate in reverse, extracting heat from indoor air and sending it outside to cool the home. Since moving heat is less energy intensive than creating heat via electric resistance, heat pumps are two to three times more efficient than an electric resistance heater.
In addition, DHPs are often more efficient than traditional air-source heat pumps for two reasons. Traditional air source heat pumps are usually single-speed systems that cycle on and off as heating or cooling is needed, reducing their operating efficiency. They also require duct work to distribute the conditioned air, which frequently leaks as it runs through unconditioned spaces such as attics and/or vented crawlspaces. DHPs, on the other hand, operate more efficiently by ramping up or down to follow the heating or cooling needs of the home and have no duct losses.
Program Tools and Resources
For more information please contact Paul Hawkins, program manager, at