Do Ductless Mini Splits Use Gas For Fuel?

No telling what will come out in future designs or models. Haven’t seen a mini split fueled by gas yet. I have to say it seems sort of futile to use natural gas or propane combined into a mini split for several reasons.

The ductless heat pumps and air conditioners are all electric as of today being August of 2020. These ductless heating and cooling units can be among the most efficient systems in the HVAC line up of equipment. Don’t know how gas could improve upon that.

The mini splits big brother, the full sized heat pump does come in a gas fired version called an absorption heap pump. Could be possibility some day for a mini split absorption heat pump.

I used to work on those back in the 80’s and was getting the technology down somewhat but I quit the company that had the corner on that market in my area. Not a very popular way to condition the air anymore in the Northwest at least.

It’s true that if a mini split had natural gas or propane for the heating side that you would have warmer heat out of the unit at lower outdoor temperatures. These mini splits can fall off on there heating capabilities as the ambient temperature fall below zero.

Some of the lesser efficient models won’t even make it to zero degrees. That’s why it’s important and even required in some areas to have a supplemental source of heat such as Cadet baseboard heaters.

Knowing how a heat pump works might be to your advantage if you’re delving into this area of HVAC. You’ll find that link to be a simple guide.

Seems almost like an engineering night mare. Incorporating venting and clearances and adding gas piping to a system that already has cooling capability. By the time you got done adding all the components your mini split wouldn’t be a mini anymore.

These units are so compact and tightly put together they can be a nightmare to repair. I just can’t see the same size being converted to burning fuel of any kind.

The other day a customer called me and said she tried to clean her unit explaining that she was fairly mechanical and does a lot of this type of stuff for herself around the house, but in when starting the unit back up the blower wouldn’t spin and the motor began to have a burning smell.

I was impressed at what she accomplished. It took a little while to get the wheel freed up to spin, but what I’m getting at is the compactness of these things. The whole idea behind them is there versatility and ability to fit into small areas.

For those of you stuck on the idea of a gas powered heat pump you should study up on dual fuel heat pumps. Combining a modulating gas furnace with a heat pump gives you the best of sooo many worlds.

Heating with the heat pump during those most efficient times of weather above 40 degrees or so and then automatically switching into gas heat mode when the ambient drops.

And cooling is all in the package.

Chad Peterson

Chad Peterson is near 40 year veteran of the HVAC industry. "I like to explain heating and air conditioning problems in a way the average home owner can understand. "

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