Are you looking for a dependable, reasonably priced home comfort system? If electricity is the better or only solution available to you, a central heat pump or ductless mini-split could be a convenient option. Both systems operate on electric power and operate in heating and cooling modes for 365 days of comfort. So, what’s it going to be — heat pump or mini-split? If you're still trying to figure it out, get the details about each HVAC system to help you settle on a make and model.
What Is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a kind of central climate control system. Unlike a furnace, which generates usable heat for the home by combusting a fuel source, a heat pump moves heat from one place to another. In the winter, it extracts heat energy from the air outdoors and deposits it inside. Then, a built-in reversing valve will allow it to operate backward in the summer, working the same as an AC system to pull heat and humidity from indoor air and vent it outside.
What Is a Mini-Split?
A mini-split operates on the same principle as a heat pump. As a matter of fact, it is a kind of heat pump — just without the ductwork. That’s why it’s called a “ductless” system. A mini-split can be a ceiling- or wall-mounted unit with a built-in air handler. This indoor portion links directly to an outdoor condensing unit through a small hole drilled in the wall. Various indoor units can link up with a single outdoor unit, providing whole-home comfort with no ductwork required.
Making Your Decision
Here are the most important things to consider when deciding between a heat pump and a mini-split for your Concord home.
Ductwork & Installation
If your home is already heated and cooled with a conventional furnace and air conditioner, the needed ductwork infrastructure is already in place. So in this case, installing a heat pump is likely the more practical choice.
On the other hand, if you live in an older home or have just made an addition, you may not have ductwork where you want climate control. In this case, adding a mini-split is much less complicated and costs far less than installing in the ductwork required for a heat pump.
Heat pumps are managed the same as most other central heating and cooling systems: by using a wall-mounted thermostat installed in a accessible location. On the flip side, ductless mini-splits have a remote that lets you adjust each wall-mounted unit from anywhere in the room.
If you’re happy with controlling the temperature throughout the house using a single thermostat, zoning may not be required. But you can improve home comfort and reduce wasted energy by heating and cooling separate rooms independently.
Such ‘zoned’ temperature control can be added into a central heat pump system by using multiple thermostats and ductwork dampers. But it may be more straightforward and more cost-effective to install mini-splits in rooms with distinct temperature requirements, whether they’re heated and cooled by a central HVAC system or not.
Heat pumps don’t prioritize flexibility. Instead, they can replace your existing furnace and air conditioner and offer whole-house comfort thanks to a network of air ducts.
Mini-splits have more options for where you can put the unit. You can install one in a single room that you would otherwise find tough to keep comfortable. You could mount one in a converted garage or sunroom without new ductwork. You can also install a mini-split air handler in each room, all hooked up to the outdoor condensing unit for affordable operation.
Today’s heat pumps are more efficient than ever. There are even cold-climate versions offered for a performance boost at low temperatures.
Regardless, ductless mini-splits are usually more efficient because they don’t suffer the energy losses associated with leaky ductwork. An ordinary home wastes more than 20% of the air passing through the ductwork to poor air sealing or a lack of insulation. This means that a mini-split is likely to provide the same quantity of hot or cold air at a lower cost.
Heat pumps look almost identical to central air conditioning units. The outdoor cabinet is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler is hidden within a utility closet or somewhere in the basement.
By comparison, mini-splits are easy to view. The air handlers come in sleek jackets designed to be unnoticeable, but they are clearly visible in any room in which they are positioned on the wall or ceiling.
Schedule Heat Pump or Mini-Split Installation
No matter which system you decide is right for your home, Freschi Service Experts can accomplish the professional installation you are expecting. Our technicians are ready to provide excellent products and services supported by our one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. To ask more questions about heat pumps vs. mini-splits or request an installation estimate, please contact your local Freschi Service Experts office today.