Are you searching for a efficient, 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 good choice. Both systems run on electric power and run in heating and cooling modes for 365 days of comfort. So, have you made your choice? If you're still trying to decide, get the details 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. Unlike a furnace, which creates usable heat for the home by burning 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 enables it to complete this process backward in the summer, running the same as an AC system 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. In fact, it is a kind of heat pump — but although they don’t use the ductwork. That’s 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 via a small hole drilled through the wall. Multiple indoor units can connect with a single outdoor unit, allowing for whole-home comfort with no ductwork necessary.
Making Your Decision
Here are key factors to consider when deciding between a heat pump and a mini-split for your Atlanta home.
Ductwork & Installation
If your home is already heated and cooled with a conventional furnace and central AC system, the necessary ductwork infrastructure is already in place. Therefore, installing a heat pump is probably the more practical solution.
However, if you live in an older home or have just completed a renovation, you may not have ductwork in reach. In this case, adding a mini-split is much less complicated and is more affordable than installing in the ductwork required for a heat pump.
Heat pumps are managed the same as most other central heating and cooling systems: by setting a wall-mounted thermostat installed in a accessible location. On the other hand, ductless mini-splits have a remote that lets you control each wall-mounted unit from anywhere in the room.
If you’re satisfied with controlling the temperature throughout the house using a single thermostat, zoning may not be needed. If it is, you can enhance home comfort and save 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 easier and more affordable 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 prioritize flexibility. Instead, they can replace your existing furnace and air conditioner and offer whole-house comfort with help from a network of air ducts.
Mini-splits have more options for where you can put the unit. Homeowners can install one in a single room that you would otherwise find difficult to keep comfortable. You could mount one in a transformed garage or sunroom without adding more ductwork. You can also install a mini-split air handler in each room, all connected 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.
Even so, ductless mini-splits are basically more efficient because they don’t suffer the energy losses associated with leaky ductwork. A normal home wastes 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 more likely to provide the same amount of hot or cold air at a lower cost.
Heat pumps look similar to central air conditioners. The outdoor cabinet is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler sits within a utility closet or somewhere in the basement.
On the other hand, mini-splits are more noticeable. 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
Whatever you decide to do, Peachtree Service Experts can perform the professional installation you want. 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 Peachtree Service Experts office today.