MAIL: Minisplits in China

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Retrofit minisplits on apartments in China.
Retrofit minisplits on apartments in China.

I read about ductless minisplit heat pumps in HP157. I was both surprised and intrigued to see this heating system mentioned in Home Power. I have been to China twice in the last two years. These units are in service in many thousands—probably millions—of homes in China. In 2011, I used a minisplit unit to keep my hotel room cool in July. This year, I used a minisplit to heat and cool the apartment I lived in for five months. The writer says these units can be installed on exterior walls. In China, they are installed on whatever wall the installer chooses. One can hope the unit is powerful enough to distribute hot or cold air throughout the home no matter where in the home it is placed, but this is not always the case.

In 2011, you published my letter about the widespread use of electric bicycles and tricycles in China. Minisplits are another example of technology that has been used in developing countries for a long time, but which are now being discovered and used in developed countries.

Robert Boardman • via email

Comments (1)

Fred Golden's picture

I have worked on minisplits. Yet not like these - 30 to 50 feet above the ground! Why not mount them closer to a window, where you can change a compressor without standing on a long ladder? Or why not mount them on the roof?

Minisplits can have a SEER of 18 to 25. This means 18,000 to 25,000 Btu's of cooling or heating per KW of power used! That is much more efficient than air conditioners from the 90's or running a electric heater.

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