Are you searching for a dependable, affordable home comfort system? If electricity is the ideal or only solution available to you, a central heat pump or ductless mini-split could be perfect for your home. Both systems run on electric power and operate in heating and cooling modes for 365 days of 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 settle on a make and model.
What Is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a type of central climate control system. Different from 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 extracts heat energy from the air outside and deposits it inside. Then, a built-in reversing valve allows it to complete this process backward in the summer, behaving 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 — but although they don’t use the ductwork. This is why it’s called a “ductless” system. A mini-split could be a ceiling- or wall-mounted unit with a built-in air handler. This indoor component links directly to an outdoor condensing unit from a small 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
Here are significant things to review when choosing between a heat pump and a mini-split for your Melbourne home.
Ductwork & Installation
If your home is already heated and cooled with a standard furnace and air conditioner, the required ductwork infrastructure is already in place. Therefore, installing a heat pump is likely the more practical option.
However, if you live in an older home or have added on to the home, you may not have ductwork accessible to use that space year-round. In this case, adding a mini-split is much less involved and is more affordable than adding in the ductwork required for a heat pump.
Heat pumps are controlled very much like most other central heating and cooling systems: by adjusting a wall-mounted thermostat installed in a convenient 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 happy with regulating the temperature throughout the house using a single thermostat, zoning may not be needed. If it is, you can improve home comfort and conserve energy by heating and cooling separate rooms individually.
Such ‘zoned’ temperature control can be integrated into a central heat pump system by setting up multiple thermostats and ductwork dampers. But it may be simpler and more affordable to install mini-splits in rooms with specific 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 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 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 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 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 generally more efficient because they don’t suffer the energy losses associated with leaky ductwork. The average home loses more than 20% of the air traveling through the ductwork to poor air sealing or a lack of insulation. This means that a mini-split is likely to provide the same amount of hot or cold air at a lower cost.
Heat pumps look almost identical to central AC units. The outdoor unit is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler sits within a utility closet or place in the basement.
In contrast, mini-splits are easier to spot. The air handlers come in sleek jackets designed to be unobtrusive, 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
Whatever you decide to do, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can perform the professional installation you count upon. Our service providers 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 Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.