Are you shopping for a reliable, affordable home comfort system? If electricity is the better 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 year-round comfort. So, is it a heat pump or mini-split for you? If you're still trying to decide, read more about each HVAC system to help you make your mind up.
What Is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a type of central climate control system. Compared with a furnace, which produces usable heat for the home by burning a fuel source, a heat pump transfers heat from one place to another. In the winter, it draws heat energy from the air outside and redirects it inside. Then, a built-in reversing valve allows it to complete this process backward in the summer, running the same as an air conditioner to pull 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. This is why it’s called a “ductless” system. A mini-split is designed as a ceiling- or wall-mounted unit with a built-in air handler. This indoor component links directly to an outdoor condensing unit from a tiny hole drilled in the wall. Several indoor units can link up with a single outdoor unit, providing whole-home comfort with no ductwork necessary.
Making Your Selection
These are significant factors to review when deciding between a heat pump and a mini-split for your Hurricane home.
Ductwork & Installation
If your home is currently heated and cooled with a conventional furnace and AC unit, the required ductwork infrastructure is already in place. So in this case, installing a heat pump is probably the more cost-effective choice.
That being said, if you live in an older home or have just made an addition, you may not have ductwork accessible to use that space year-round. In this case, getting a mini-split is much less complicated 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 central location. On the other hand, ductless mini-splits use a remote that lets you operate each wall-mounted unit from anywhere in the room.
If you’re content with adjusting the temperature throughout the house using a single thermostat, zoning may not be necessary. But you can increase home comfort and conserve energy by heating and cooling separate rooms individually.
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 precise 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. You can install one in a single room that you would otherwise find difficult to keep comfortable. You could mount one in a converted garage or other home addition without adding more ductwork. You can also equip the entire home with a mini-split air handler in each room, all hooked up to the outdoor condensing unit for cost-effective operation.
Modern 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 basically more efficient because they don’t suffer the energy losses connected with leaky ductwork. A normal home wastes more than 20% of the air traveling through the ductwork to inadequate air sealing or a lack of insulation. This means that a mini-split is more likely to produce the same amount of hot or cold air at a lower cost.
Heat pumps look almost identical to central air conditioners. The outdoor cabinet is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler sits hidden within a utility closet or space in the basement.
By comparison, mini-splits are easy to view. The air handlers come in sleek jackets designed to be unobtrusive, but they are clearly visible in any room in which they are installed on the wall or ceiling.
Schedule Heat Pump or Mini-Split Installation
No matter which system you decide is right for your home, Teays Valley Service Experts can complete 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 nearest Teays Valley Service Experts office today.