Are you looking for a dependable, affordable home comfort system? If electricity is the ideal or only option available to you, a central heat pump or ductless mini-split could be a convenient option. Both systems function on electric power and run 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 decide, 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 type of central climate control system. Compared with a furnace, which creates usable heat for the home by combusting a fuel source, a heat pump redirects heat from one place to another. In the winter, it pulls out heat energy from the air outdoors and redirects it inside. Then, a built-in reversing valve allows it to perform this process backward in the summer, behaving the same as an air conditioner to transfer heat and humidity from indoor air and vent it outside.
What Is a Mini-Split?
A mini-split is designed on the same principle as a heat pump. As a matter of fact, it is a kind of heat pump — minus 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 equipment connects directly to an outdoor condensing unit from a tiny hole drilled through the wall. Several indoor units can connect with a single outdoor unit, enabling whole-home comfort with no ductwork needed.
Making Your Choice
Below are key details to review when choosing between a heat pump and a mini-split for your Clearwater home.
Ductwork & Installation
If your home is currently heated and cooled with a standard furnace and central AC system, the required ductwork infrastructure is already in place. So in this case, installing a heat pump is likely the more affordable solution.
On the other hand, if you live in an older home or have just completed a renovation, you may not have ductwork where you want climate control. In this case, adding a mini-split is much less complex and is more cost effective than adding in the ductwork required for a heat pump.
Heat pumps are managed identical to most other central heating and cooling systems: by using a wall-mounted thermostat installed in a accessible location. Having said that, ductless mini-splits have a remote that lets you operate each wall-mounted unit from anywhere in the room.
If you’re happy with regulating the temperature throughout the house using a single thermostat, zoning may not be necessary. But you can enhance home comfort and conserve 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 simpler 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 focus on flexibility. Instead, they can replace your existing furnace and air conditioner and supply whole-house comfort with help from a network of air ducts.
Mini-splits have greater versatility for where you can put the unit. Homeowners can add one in a single room that you would otherwise find tough to keep comfortable. You could mount one in a modified garage or sunroom without extending the ductwork. You can also outfit the entire house with a mini-split air handler in each room, all connected to the outdoor condensing unit for cost-effective operation.
Today’s heat pumps are more efficient than ever. There are even cold-climate versions on the market for a performance boost at low temperatures.
All the same, ductless mini-splits are usually more efficient because they don’t suffer the energy losses connected with leaky ductwork. An ordinary home wastes more than 20% of the air traveling through the ductwork to poor air sealing or a lack of insulation. This suggests that a mini-split is likely to provide the same quantity of hot or cold air at a lower cost.
Heat pumps look similar to central air conditioners. The outdoor unit is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler stays concealed within a utility closet or somewhere in the basement.
On the other hand, 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 displayed on the wall or ceiling.
Schedule Heat Pump or Mini-Split Installation
No matter which system you decide is right for your home, Midway Services can perform the professional installation you are expecting. Our techs are ready to provide excellent products and services protected by our one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee. To learn more about heat pumps vs. mini-splits or request an installation estimate, please contact your nearby Midway Services office today.