Are you shopping for a reliable, affordable home comfort system? If electricity is the best or only option 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, is it a heat pump or mini-split for you? If you're still trying to figure it out, 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 type of central climate control system. Different from a furnace, which generates usable heat for the home by combusting a fuel source, a heat pump redirects 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 allows it to operate 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. In fact, 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 component connects directly to an outdoor condensing unit via a small hole drilled through the wall. Several indoor units can connect with a single outdoor unit, providing whole-home comfort with no ductwork necessary.
Making Your Decision
These are the most important things to think about when choosing between a heat pump and a mini-split for your Mobile home.
Ductwork & Installation
If your home is already heated and cooled with a conventional furnace and AC unit, the required ductwork infrastructure is already in place. Therefore, installing a heat pump is likely the more affordable option.
On the other hand, if you live in an older home or have added on to the home, you might not have ductwork where you want climate control. In this case, getting a mini-split is much less complex and is more affordable 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 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. But you can increase home comfort and save energy by heating and cooling separate rooms individually.
Such ‘zoned’ temperature control can be incorporated into a central heat pump system by using multiple thermostats and ductwork dampers. But it may be simpler and more cost-effective to install mini-splits in rooms with individual 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 supply whole-house comfort with help from a network of air ducts.
Mini-splits have more options for where you can put the unit. You can place one in a single room that you would otherwise find difficult to keep comfortable. You can 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.
New heat pumps are more efficient than ever. There are even cold-climate versions available 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. A typical home wastes more than 20% of the air traveling through the ductwork to poor air sealing or a lack of insulation. This suggests that a mini-split is likely to supply the same quantity of hot or cold air at a lower cost.
Heat pumps look almost identical to central air conditioners. The outdoor cabinet is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler sits concealed within a utility closet or place in the basement.
In contrast, mini-splits are easier to spot. 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 decision you make, Climate Control Service Experts can complete the professional installation you want. Our technicians are ready to deliver excellent products and services backed 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 Climate Control Service Experts office today.