Is Ductless Heating Cheaper Than Gas?

Gas heating systems use natural gasses and burn them to heat up your home. On the other hand, ductless heating uses heat exchanger coils to move warm air from one location to another. But, which one is going to save you money? 

Ductless heating is generally cheaper than gas heating systems. That’s because electricity, especially in the US, costs significantly less than natural gas. However, in some other countries, natural gas may be less expensive than electricity, making ductless heating a less viable option. 

The rest of this article will discuss topics related to this subject in great detail, including information on ductless heat pumps saving money, the efficiency of mini splits, and tips on saving money on heating costs. 

Do Ductless Heat Pumps Save Money? 

Gas-fired furnaces have been used for decades to heat homes, but the tech is pretty old school. Today, there are cheaper and more efficient options available. 

Generally, ductless heat pumps cost less to operate, saving homeowners money compared to gas furnaces. This is because electricity costs are lower than the cost of natural gases. 

Heat pumps are more innovative in technology because they can heat and cool your home. Instead, heat pumps do not need a furnace but rather have two major components to operate effectively. They have an outdoor condenser unit and an indoor air unit. Both of these parts use electricity to function – saving you money. 

Natural gasses, like the ones used to operate furnaces and boiler systems, are not only in high demand and depleting in resources daily; they are also expensive. On the other hand, electricity rates are relatively low. So, when systems use electricity, that usually means less money out of your pocket. 

Since ductless heat pumps rely on electricity to operate, you don’t have to spend as much money on them heating your home. 

Read: Ducted Vs Ductless Heat Pump

How Ductless Heat Pumps Function?

Ductless heat pumps are straightforward in terms of functionality and operation. However, they basically move air from one area to another, so they aren’t actually creating any heat or cool air. 

So, the heat pump from the outdoor condenser takes the heat from the air outside of your home. From there, it pushes air into your home, heating or cooling it, depending on your temperature needs. 

A ductless heating system has many parts, including a condenser, which is essentially an evaporator coil. This part is what releases heat that was absorbed outside the home. 

A compressor also increases the pressure and temperature by compressing it. Additionally, ductless heating systems have an evaporator that extracts heat from the indoor air and pushes it out. 

Two other important components include an expansion valve and a refrigerant. The expansion valve quickly expands the liquid from the refrigerant and reduces the temperature and pressure. The refrigerant extracts heat from the inside air and pushes it outside during warmer seasons.

To learn more details about the functionality of ductless heating systems, check out this article from Cielo

Read: Ductless Vs Central Air System – What Is More Efficient?

Are Mini-Splits More Efficient Than Gas Heat? 

Mini-splits are heating and cooling systems that allow you to control the temperatures in individual rooms or spaces. They are thought of as innovative solutions for energy efficiency and saving costs, but how much more efficient are they than gas heaters? 

Like ductless heat pumps, mini-splits run on electricity and don’t cost much to install or operate. Because they use electricity, they are generally more energy-efficient than gas heating systems. Therefore, they’re more cost-effective than gas heating systems. 

Gas heating systems work by creating a cycle of cool air warmed in the unit’s furnace. Basically, the furnace’s burner burns propane or natural gas to generate heat. Then, a heat exchanger is used to create hot air by sending the produced heat through the exchanger. 

Then the hot air is pushed out into the supply duct and spreads it throughout the home. 

According to Petro Home Services, gas-based systems vary in efficiency. This article from the previously mentioned source states that “high-quality natural gas systems can be more than 90% efficient. However, less expensive systems are 78% efficient.” 

So, basically, you can pay to have an efficient gas heating system, but why would you want to? Another technology exists that’s more efficient and easier on your wallet. 

One such heating technology that’s gaining in popularity is mini-splits. While heat pumps and mini-split systems used to be strictly for geographical locations with moderate climates, the technology has adapted to be effective in colder climates with harsher winters, such as in the New England area of the U.S. 

Mini-splits are very similar to heat pumps in that they only consist of two central parts. One of those parts is a condenser outside the house and the air handler inside the home. The system can heat or cool your home, depending on the season, and are highly efficient because they don’t burn fuel to operate or generate heat. 

Read: Cost Of The Heat Pump: Everything You Need To Know About It

How To Save Money on Heating Costs?

If you live in a frigid, icy location as I do during the winter months, you may find yourself wondering what you can do to save a few bucks on your heating costs. 

Lucky for you, I have some tried and true tips to help you lower your heating bill, regardless of what type of heating system you have. 

  • Turn your thermostat down when no one is home and when everyone’s asleep at night. Sleeping in cooler temperatures is better for you anyway! What’s your philosophy when it comes to keeping your home toasty in the dead of winter? Do you usually just set your thermostat and forget about it until winter has passed? If so, you might be wasting dollars. 
  • Consider what you and your family wear inside during colder months. For example, are you walking around in shorts and tank tops? If so, this will make you want to crank up the heat! Instead, wear pants and long-sleeves inside and warm socks to not have to raise the temperature as much to be comfortable. 
  • Consider whether or not your home has insulation. If the insulation in your home is poor, this will cause heat to leave your house and force you to increase the thermostat. Additionally, suppose your windows aren’t sealed properly, or you don’t have window coverings. In that case, heat leaks out from those areas and costs you more money. 
  • Invest in window coverings to keep your windows and doors closed and completely sealed to lock in heat. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to have your insulation situation investigated to make sure it’s doing its job thoroughly. Or, consider adding more insulation. 
  • If you have ceiling fans, use them during the winter! Did you know that ceiling fans are significant during the summer and during the winter? Yes, that’s right. They can help distribute the heat throughout your home. 
  • If you have unused rooms in your home, close them off during the winter months. This will force more heat into areas where you and your family spend time rather than wasting it on spaces no one spends time in. 
  • Try getting an energy audit if you really want to up your energy and money-saving game. An energy audit can tell you where you’re losing heat and advise you on ways to lower your energy bills and save you money. 
  • You can also install a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat learns your preferences and adjusts the temperature in your home when you’re there, in bed, and away. That way, you don’t constantly have to remember to change the settings! Game changer! 

Read: What Is Heat Pump? Everything You Need To Know

Conclusion

Cold winter days make me want to stay inside and curl up with a blanket, but they also leave me wondering what I can do to save on heating costs. 

Suppose you’re considering buying a home with ductless heating or switching out your furnace or boiler with a gas heating system. In that case, you are definitely making a cost-effective and energy-efficient choice! 

Ductless heating is significantly cheaper to install and operate than gas systems. Still, there are tons of free ways to save on your energy bills, like sealing your windows and doors.

Read: Heat Pump Effectiveness In Cold Weather