Homeowner Articles Can a Mini-Split Heat a Whole House

So, you’re interested in purchasing a mini-split system, but there’s still one question giving you concern: will the mini-split be able to heat your entire house?

The straight answer is yes, as long as you have a mini-split system that’s properly sized and set up for your home.

However, making sure you get the right system for your home can be a bit of a challenge.

To help you, here’s a guide on how mini-split systems work and what you need to do to ensure your home is warm this winter.

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What Are Mini-Split Systems?

Ductless Mini split layout

Mini-split systems are a very popular and well-established kind of heating system that operates differently to regular furnaces.

The key difference? Mini-split systems are ductless. This means that instead of transporting heat throughout your home using air ducts, mini-splits work by using refrigerant lines.

Some mini-split systems are also built for heating, while others are used just for cooling. The ones you want to heat your house are called ductless mini-split heat pumps.

What do “ductless mini-split heat pumps” do?

Does that sound really complex? Don’t worry.

To understand what “ductless mini-split heat pumps” do, we’ll break up the name and explain the purpose of each part.

Heat pump

A heat pump operates by transferring heat energy from the outside of your home to the inside. This quickly warms up the indoor temperature of your home.

This works due to thermal conduction. Cool air is attracted to the mini-splits heat, which allows the pump to attract and draw out the cooled air from the whole house.

A compressor within the pump also adds heat to the air sucked in from outside, which allows the system to keep cycling air without losing heat.

The system consists of both outdoor and indoor units, which are both used in the heat pump process.

Most heat pumps can also be inverted to work as a cooling system in the summer months, as the heat transfer can be reversed.

These cooling abilities allow it to function like an air conditioning system.


A mini-split system is a special kind of heating system that allows you to control the heating on a room-by-room basis.

This means you can independently control the temperature of individual rooms in your home, as long as your mini-split is connected to them.

You would typically be able to control multiple zones in your house from the mini-split system’s thermostat or remote control.

If need be, more rooms can be added with additional head units.


As we’ve explained, this heat is diffused using refrigerant lines instead of ducts. This is why it’s called a “ductless mini-split.”

So that’s why your system is a “ductless mini split heat pump” because it incorporates ductless heat pumps that are connected to individual rooms using refrigerant.

Will I Need a Connection in Each Room?

Having head units in every room will most likely not be necessary. In fact, most ductless mini-split systems have a maximum capacity of head units.

So unless you want to buy multiple indoor units, you probably won’t have a head unit in every single room in order to heat your entire home.

If your head units are well-placed, then they will be able to heat multiple rooms at once.

This mainly comes down to how big your house is and how much airflow is possible between rooms.

Where you put your head units will depend on your needs. For example, some individuals may want the heat evenly distributed throughout the entire house, whereas others would want to concentrate it in certain areas.

Do I Need More Head Units if I Have a Big House?

Mini split head unit

If you have a bigger house, you most likely won’t need more head units. Instead, you’ll need a more powerful heating system.

You’ll need a ductless system that matches the square feet of your home. The power of a system is measured in BTU (British Thermal Units) and is used by most manufacturers.

How many BTU you need for your square footage can be approximately calculated with this tool here, but it is recommended you have a professional HVAC technician confirm this for you.

Ductless mini-splits generally provide heating between 70-90 feet from the outdoor unit.

This should be more than enough for most homes, but if not, you might need to consider two units or even multiple units.

What Is Installed When Installing Mini-Splits?

heat pump installation

Ductless mini-split systems are comprised of a number of different components, which all serve to heat your home.

At the exterior of your house, an outdoor unit will be installed. The outdoor compressor is contained within the outdoor unit, also called a condensing unit during summer operation.

The compressor is responsible for transferring heat that warms the air pumped into your home.

The outdoor unit is connected to the indoor unit through a small hole in the wall, allowing the refrigerant lines to access the individual wall-mounted units.

The indoor part is known as the indoor air handler. Air handlers are responsible for directing warm air into your home.

One of the major attractions of ductless systems is their much more concealed nature.

The installation of both the indoor and outdoor units is very subtle, unlike the typical window air conditioning unit or a central AC system.

A Final Word on Mini-Splits

Ductless mini splits are some of the most energy-efficient heating systems available.

As they don’t require ducts, they can intelligently be used to target certain areas in your home. Yet they can still be used to heat your entire house whenever you need them.

If you live in the Spartanburg and Greenville Counties and are interested in installing a mini-split system, get in touch with Upstate Home Maintenance Services today.

We offer professional and experienced mini-split installation and can help you work out the right system for you.

We also offer services for all other kinds of both heating and cooling systems. We can assist you if you have a furnace, an air conditioning unit, or any type of HVAC unit.

Don’t compromise your indoor comfort this winter. Contact us now!

This article was written by Morgan Loch

Owner of Upstate Home Maintenance Services LLC and Local HVAC Guru

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