Are you searching for a dependable, affordable home comfort system? If electricity is the better or only choice available to you, a central heat pump or ductless mini-split could be perfect for your home. Both systems function on electric power and operate in heating and cooling modes for year-round 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 make your mind up.
What Is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a kind of central climate control system. Different from a furnace, which generates usable heat for the home by igniting a fuel source, a heat pump redirects heat from one place to another. In the winter, it pulls out heat energy from the air outside and deposits it inside. Then, a built-in reversing valve will allow it to complete this process backward in the summer, behaving the same as an AC system 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. Actually, it is a kind of heat pump — minus 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 connects directly to an outdoor condensing unit through a tiny hole drilled in the wall. Several indoor units can connect with a single outdoor unit, providing whole-home comfort with no ductwork required.
Making Your Selection
These are key things to think about when deciding between a heat pump and a mini-split for your Ocala home.
Ductwork & Installation
If your home is already heated and cooled with a conventional furnace and air conditioner, the required ductwork infrastructure is already in place. Therefore, installing a heat pump is probably the more cost-effective choice.
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, getting a mini-split is much less complicated and costs far less than installing in the ductwork required for a heat pump.
Heat pumps are controlled in a way similar to most other central heating and cooling systems: by adjusting a wall-mounted thermostat installed in a accessible location. On the other hand, ductless mini-splits have a remote that lets you adjust 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 required. If it is, you can increase home comfort and reduce wasted energy by heating and cooling separate rooms independently.
Such ‘zoned’ temperature control can be integrated into a central heat pump system by installing multiple thermostats and ductwork dampers. But it may be simpler and more cost-effective to install mini-splits in rooms with specific temperature needs, whether they’re heated and cooled by a central HVAC system or not.
Heat pumps don’t emphasize 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. Homeowners can place 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 extending the 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 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.
Regardless, ductless mini-splits are usually more efficient because they don’t suffer the energy losses affiliated with leaky ductwork. The average home loses 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 likely to provide the same quantity of hot or cold air at a lower cost.
Heat pumps look similar to central air conditioning units. The outdoor cabinet is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler sits concealed within a utility closet or place in the basement.
By comparison, mini-splits are more noticeable. The air handlers come in sleek jackets designed to be inconspicuous, but they are clearly visible in any room in which they are mounted on the wall or ceiling.
Schedule Heat Pump or Mini-Split Installation
No matter which system you decide is right for your home, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can complete the professional installation you are expecting. Our technicians are ready to bring excellent products and services supported 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 Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning office today.