What You Need to Know About Mini-split Heating & Cooling Systems

  18 October 2023

Mini-split heating and cooling systems are a reliable and energy-efficient solution. Also known as ductless mini-split systems or heat pumps, they are an increasingly popular option for residential heating and cooling. They can enhance comfort and air quality while reducing energy costs. They also provide flexibility in how you heat and cool your co-op’s homes.

In this video, Airlux Heating and Air Conditioning explains what a heat pump is, how it works and it’s benefits. With recent advancements in technology, a heat pump has become the most efficient way to heat and cool your home, even in extreme temperatures. Since it’s up to 5 times more efficient many home owners and businesses are reduce their energy bills of up to 50%.

Here is a summary guide providing advice for housing co-ops interested in upgrading their current heating system to an air source heat pump system. You will learn about heat pumps and their benefits. You will also advice for planning and organizing a ground oriented or low-rise multi-unit residential building heat pump retrofit projects.

Group Buying Partner

Airlux Heating and Air Conditioning

CHF BC’s group buying partnership with Airlux offers members products and services from a locally owned and operated company with a history of working with housing co-ops.

Airlux is a BC-owned and operated company that has specialized in providing heating and cooling solutions through heat pumps for over 16 years. They are registered Program Registered Contractor (PRC) through the Clean BC Better Homes Rebate Program. Some housing co-operatives that have worked with Airlux include H.W. Flesher (see case study below), Granville Gardens, Halston Hills and Riverside Landing.

This video shows examples of installation of Airlux multi-zone wall mounted air conditioners and heat pumps. It also list the top features of the units.

Key Advantages of
Mini-split Heating & Cooling Systems

Here are 12 of their key advantages of mini-split systems:

  1. Energy Efficiency: Mini-split systems employ inverter technology to regulate the compressor’s speed by the heating or cooling requirements. This results in very high energy efficiency and decreased energy use and utility costs.
  2. Zoned Heating and Cooling: A thermostat and temperature control can separate mini-splits into numerous indoor units. By not conditioning vacant spaces, this zoning feature enables you to heat or cool only certain rooms or zones, conserving energy.
  3. Easy Installation: Unlike conventional central HVAC systems with ductwork, mini-split systems require less installation labour. All that is needed to connect the indoor and outdoor units is a tiny hole in the wall.
  4. Adaptable Installation: Mini-split indoor units can be installed on walls, ceilings, or even concealed in the ceiling. This provides versatility in both placement and design. This adaptability enables effective utilization of space.
  5. Quiet Operation: Mini-split systems run without making a sound inside and outside. Silent fan motors and the absence of loud ductwork facilitate a quiet interior atmosphere.
  6. Air Quality: Air purification elements are common in mini-split systems. These include filters that remove dust, allergens, and other particles, improving indoor air quality.
  7. Individualized Comfort: Mini-splits offer fine temperature control for each indoor unit. This allows people in various rooms to adjust the temperature to their comfort level.
  8. Lack of Ductwork: Mini-split HVAC systems lack ducts. This means that there is no chance of energy loss from leaking or poorly insulated ducts, which is typical in conventional HVAC systems. This may lead to increased energy effectiveness.
  9. Cost-Effective: Mini-split HVAC systems may initially cost more to buy and install than conventional ones. However, over time, their energy savings and zone-specific heating and cooling may make them more affordable.
  10. Year-Round Use: Mini-splits are adaptable year-round because they can perform heating and cooling duties. They can handle extreme cold or heat with ease.
  11. Remote Control and Smart Integration: Most mini-split systems have remote control features timers. Many are also compatible with smart home automation systems. This enables you to manage the climate in your room using a smartphone or other smart device.
  12. Easy Maintenance: In general, mini-splits require less upkeep than conventional HVAC systems. Regular cleaning and filter replacement are reccommended to maintain system efficiency.
A family standing in front of an air source heat pump.

Here is a summary guide providing advice for housing co-ops interested in upgrading their current heating system to an air source heat pump system.

You will learn about heat pumps and their benefits. You will also advice for planning and organizing a ground oriented or low-rise multi-unit residential building heat pump retrofit projects.

Case Study

H.W. Flesher Housing Co-operative

H.W. Flesher was one of the first housing co-operatives in B.C. to make a comprehensive switch to heat pumps. This is what the maintenance coordinator and vice-chair had to say about the experience of working with Airlux.

Heat pumps installed at H.W. Flesher Housing Co-operative
A mini-split heating and cooling system installed at H.W. Flesher Housing Co-operative in the Joyce-Collingwood neighbourhood of Vancouver B.C.

“My housing co-op chose Airlux over other equipment and installation suppliers because their price point, their commitment to service and their ability to deliver the products on our time schedule.  Our experience with Airlux to date has been excellent. The project [went] going better than expected and the timeline being met.

The Airlux team [was] responsive to our input and open to feedback as well as work change requests due to sensitivity issues with some of our members. So far, a lot of people are reporting feeling warm for the first time in their apartments because of the Airlux heat pumps and savings on their Hydro bills of 30% and more. That’s huge for seniors on fixed incomes and for young families with limited incomes. “

H.W. Flescher’s maintenance coordinator and vice-chair

North Shore Installation

The next video features a homeowner couple who installed a multi-split unit and two heat pump units in their home, along with an EV charger and panel upgrade. The installation was prompted by a program offering free money. The homeowners were pleasantly surprised by the benefits of the upgrades. These include consistent temperatures and improved heating efficiency, as well as the usefulness of air conditioning during a heatwave. The upgrades also allowed them to reduce their carbon footprint.


Mini-split heating and cooling systems are—all things considered—a dependable and energy-efficient option for housing co-operatives. They can improve household comfort and air quality while lowering energy bills and giving you choice over how you heat and cool your area.

The heat pump’s indoor air handler installed inside Granville Gardens Community Hall.
The mini-split heating and cooling systems indoor air handler installed in the community hall at Granville Gardens Housing Co-operative in Richmond B.C.

CHF BC Group Buying Icon: a  blue house shape with a dollar sign inside of it.