Are you searching for a reliable, reasonably priced home comfort system? If electricity is the best or only solution 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 year-round comfort. So, is it a heat pump or mini-split for you? If you're still trying to figure it out, 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. Compared with a furnace, which generates 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 outside and redirects 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 transfer heat and humidity from indoor air and vent it outside.
What Is a Mini-Split?
A mini-split operates on the same principle as a heat pump. As a matter of fact, it is a kind of heat pump — minus 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 portion links directly to an outdoor condensing unit from a small hole drilled into the wall. Multiple indoor units can link up with a single outdoor unit, providing whole-home comfort with no ductwork needed.
Making Your Decision
Here are significant details to think about when deciding between a heat pump and a mini-split for your Fort Worth home.
Ductwork & Installation
If your home is currently heated and cooled with a traditional furnace and central AC system, the needed ductwork infrastructure is already in place. In this situation, installing a heat pump is potentially the more affordable option.
On the other hand, if you live in an older home or have just made an addition, you might not have ductwork accessible to use that space year-round. In this case, adding 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 very much like most other central heating and cooling systems: by adjusting a wall-mounted thermostat installed in a convenient location. Having said that, ductless mini-splits have a remote that lets you control each wall-mounted unit from anywhere in the room.
If you’re satisfied with adjusting the temperature throughout the house using a single thermostat, zoning may not be worth the effort. But you can increase home comfort and save energy by heating and cooling separate rooms individually.
Such ‘zoned’ temperature control can be added into a central heat pump system by setting up multiple thermostats and ductwork dampers. But it may be more straightforward and more cost-effective to install mini-splits in rooms with individual 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 offer whole-house comfort thanks to a network of air ducts.
Mini-splits have more options for where you can put the unit. You can add one in a single room that you would otherwise find difficult to keep comfortable. You could mount one in a transformed garage or other home addition without extending the ductwork. You can also install a mini-split air handler in each room, all hooked up to the outdoor condensing unit for affordable 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 that come with leaky ductwork. A typical home squanders more than 20% of the air traveling through the ductwork to spotty 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 air conditioners. The outdoor unit is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler stays concealed within a utility closet or somewhere in the basement.
In contrast, mini-splits are easy to view. The air handlers come in sleek jackets designed to be inconspicuous, 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
No matter which system you decide is right for your home, Calverley Service Experts can accomplish the professional installation you count upon. Our specialists are ready to provide excellent products and services backed 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 Calverley Service Experts office today.