Are you searching for a efficient, budget-friendly home comfort system? If electricity is the better or only solution available to you, a central heat pump or ductless mini-split could be a convenient option. Both systems run on electric power and run in heating and cooling modes for year-round comfort. So, have you made your choice? 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 kind of central climate control system. Compared with a furnace, which generates usable heat for the home by igniting a fuel source, a heat pump transfers 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 allows it to complete this process backward in the summer, running 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. 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 connects directly to an outdoor condensing unit through a small hole drilled through the wall. Various indoor units can connect with a single outdoor unit, providing whole-home comfort with no ductwork required.
Making Your Selection
These are key points to review when deciding between a heat pump and a mini-split for your Edmonton home.
Ductwork & Installation
If your home is already heated and cooled with a standard furnace and AC unit, the necessary ductwork infrastructure is already in place. So in this case, installing a heat pump is likely the more cost-effective option.
However, if you live in an older home or have just made an addition, you may not have ductwork where you want climate control. In this case, adding a mini-split is much less involved and costs far less than adding in the ductwork required for a heat pump.
Heat pumps are managed in a way similar to most other central heating and cooling systems: by setting a wall-mounted thermostat installed in a central location. Having said that, ductless mini-splits use a remote that lets you control each wall-mounted unit from anywhere in the room.
If you’re happy with controlling the temperature throughout the house using a single thermostat, zoning may not be required. If it is, you can maximize home comfort and save energy by heating and cooling separate rooms separately.
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 simpler and more affordable to install mini-splits in rooms with individual temperature demands, whether they’re heated and cooled by a central HVAC system or not.
Heat pumps don’t focus on flexibility. Instead, they can replace your existing furnace and air conditioner and supply whole-house comfort thanks to a network of air ducts.
Mini-splits have more choices for where you can put the unit. You can install one in a single room that you would otherwise find challenging to keep comfortable. You could mount one in a transformed garage or sunroom 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 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 inadequate air sealing or a lack of insulation. This means that a mini-split is likely to supply the same amount of hot or cold air at a lower cost.
Heat pumps look similar to central AC units. The outdoor cabinet is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler is within a utility closet or space in the basement.
By comparison, 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 mounted on the wall or ceiling.
Schedule Heat Pump or Mini-Split Installation
No matter which system you decide is right for your home, Rob's Albertan Service Experts can complete the professional installation you want. Our techs are ready to provide 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 Rob's Albertan Service Experts office today.