Are you searching 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 operate in heating and cooling modes for year-round comfort. So, have you made your choice? If you're still trying to decide, read more about each HVAC system to help you determine the right fit.
What Is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a type of central climate control system. Different from a furnace, which creates usable heat for the home by combusting a fuel source, a heat pump moves 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, working the same as an air conditioner to remove heat and humidity from indoor air and vent it outside.
What Is a Mini-Split?
A mini-split works on the same principle as a heat pump. As a matter of fact, it is a kind of heat pump — just without 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 equipment is connected directly to an outdoor condensing unit from a tiny hole drilled in the wall. Multiple indoor units can connect with a single outdoor unit, providing whole-home comfort with no ductwork needed.
Making Your Selection
These are significant points to review when deciding between a heat pump and a mini-split for your Charlotte 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. Therefore, installing a heat pump is likely the more affordable option.
That being said, if you live in an older home or have added on to the home, you might not have ductwork where you want climate control. In this case, adding a mini-split is much less complex and is more affordable than adding in the ductwork required for a heat pump.
Heat pumps are managed very much like most other central heating and cooling systems: by adjusting a wall-mounted thermostat installed in a convenient location. On the flip side, ductless mini-splits have a remote that lets you control each wall-mounted unit from anywhere in the room.
If you’re satisfied with regulating the temperature throughout the house using a single thermostat, zoning may not be needed. If it is, you can increase home comfort and save energy by heating and cooling separate rooms separately.
Such ‘zoned’ temperature control can be incorporated into a central heat pump system by using multiple thermostats and ductwork dampers. But it may be simpler and more affordable to install mini-splits in rooms with precise temperature needs, 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 through 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 challenging to keep comfortable. You can mount one in a modified garage or other home addition without new ductwork. You can also equip the entire home with a mini-split air handler in each room, all connected to the outdoor condensing unit for affordable operation.
Today’s heat pumps are more efficient than ever. There are even cold-climate versions available for a performance boost at low temperatures.
Even so, ductless mini-splits are usually more efficient because they don’t suffer the energy losses affiliated with leaky ductwork. A normal home squanders more than 20% of the air passing through the ductwork to spotty air sealing or a lack of insulation. This suggests that a mini-split is more likely to produce the same quantity of hot or cold air at a lower cost.
Heat pumps look pretty much the same as central air conditioners. The outdoor unit is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler sits hidden within a utility closet or place in the basement.
On the other hand, 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, Komfort Air Service Experts can perform the professional installation you expect. Our techs are ready to bring excellent products and services protected 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 Komfort Air Service Experts office today.