Guide to Mini-Splits vs. Heat Pumps

Are you shopping for a dependable, affordable home comfort system? If electricity is the ideal or only choice available to you, a central heat pump or ductless mini-split could be a convenient option. Both systems run on electric power and operate in heating and cooling modes for 365 days of 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 kind of central climate control system. Compared with a furnace, which generates usable heat for the home by burning 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 will allow it to perform this process backward in the summer, working 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 operates on the same principle as a heat pump. Actually, 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 equipment links directly to an outdoor condensing unit through a small hole drilled in the wall. Several indoor units can connect with a single outdoor unit, allowing for whole-home comfort with no ductwork needed.

Making Your Decision

These are key details to consider when choosing between a heat pump and a mini-split for your Winnipeg home.

Ductwork & Installation

If your home is currently heated and cooled with a conventional furnace and air conditioner, the required ductwork infrastructure is already in place. Therefore, installing a heat pump is probably the more affordable solution.

That being said, if you live in an older home or have just made an addition, you may not have ductwork in reach. In this case, getting a mini-split is much less complicated and is more cost effective than installing in the ductwork required for a heat pump.

Unit Control

Heat pumps are controlled identical to most other central heating and cooling systems: by using a wall-mounted thermostat installed in a accessible location. On the other hand, ductless mini-splits use a remote that lets you operate each wall-mounted unit from anywhere in the room.

Zoning

If you’re content with adjusting the temperature throughout the house using a single thermostat, zoning may not be necessary. But you can improve home comfort and reduce wasted energy by heating and cooling separate rooms individually.

Such ‘zoned’ temperature control can be integrated into a central heat pump system by installing multiple thermostats and ductwork dampers. But it may be more straightforward and more practical to install mini-splits in rooms with distinct temperature requirements, whether they’re heated and cooled by a central HVAC system or not.

Design Versatility

Heat pumps don’t emphasize 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 greater versatility for where you can put the unit. Homeowners can place one in a single room that you would otherwise find tough to keep comfortable. You can mount one in a transformed garage or sunroom without adding more ductwork. You can also equip the entire home with a mini-split air handler in each room, all hooked up to the outdoor condensing unit for cost-effective operation.

Energy Efficiency

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 generally more efficient because they don’t suffer the energy losses that come 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 means that a mini-split is more likely to supply the same quantity of hot or cold air at a lower cost.

Appearance

Heat pumps look almost identical to central air conditioners. The outdoor unit is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler is]] {hidden within a utility closet or place in the basement.

On the other hand, mini-splits are easier to spot. The air handlers come in sleek jackets designed to be unobtrusive, 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 decision you make, Winnipeg Supply Service Experts can accomplish the professional installation you are expecting. Our specialists are ready to deliver 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 Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office today.

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