Are you looking for a dependable, 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 perfect for your home. Both systems operate 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 settle on a make and model.
What Is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is a kind of central climate control system. Different from a furnace, which creates usable heat for the home by igniting a fuel source, a heat pump moves heat from one place to another. In the winter, it draws heat energy from the air outside and redirects it inside. Then, a built-in reversing valve enables it to complete this process backward in the summer, behaving the same as an air conditioner 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. 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 can be a ceiling- or wall-mounted unit with a built-in air handler. This indoor portion links directly to an outdoor condensing unit via a tiny hole drilled in the wall. Multiple indoor units can link up with a single outdoor unit, allowing for whole-home comfort with no ductwork necessary.
Making Your Choice
These are significant things to review when deciding between a heat pump and a mini-split for your Richmond home.
Ductwork & Installation
If your home is already heated and cooled with a traditional furnace and air conditioner, the necessary ductwork infrastructure is already in place. So in this case, installing a heat pump is probably the more affordable solution.
However, if you live in an older home or have added on to the home, you may not have ductwork where you want climate control. In this case, adding a mini-split is much less complex and is more affordable than putting in the ductwork required for a heat pump.
Heat pumps are managed identical to most other central heating and cooling systems: by using a wall-mounted thermostat installed in a convenient location. On the flip side, ductless mini-splits use a remote that lets you adjust 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 required. But you can enhance 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 installing multiple thermostats and ductwork dampers. But it may be simpler and more cost-effective to install mini-splits in rooms with distinct 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 supply whole-house comfort through a network of air ducts.
Mini-splits have more options for where you can put the unit. Homeowners can add one in a single room that you would otherwise find tricky to keep comfortable. You can mount one in a transformed garage or sunroom without adding more ductwork. You can also outfit the entire house 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 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 connected with leaky ductwork. The average home squanders more than 20% of the air traveling 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 amount of hot or cold air at a lower cost.
Heat pumps look pretty much the same as central air conditioners. The outdoor cabinet is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler stays concealed within a utility closet or space in the basement.
In contrast, mini-splits are easy to view. The air handlers come in sleek jackets designed to be unnoticeable, but they are clearly visible in any room in which they are positioned on the wall or ceiling.
Schedule Heat Pump or Mini-Split Installation
No matter which system you decide is right for your home, Eveready Service Experts can accomplish the professional installation you count upon. Our specialists are ready to deliver excellent products and services supported 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 Eveready Service Experts office today.