Are you searching for a reliable, 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 function on electric power and operate in heating and cooling modes for 365 days of comfort. So, what’s it going to be — heat pump or mini-split? 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 type of central climate control system. Compared with 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 outdoors and deposits it inside. Then, a built-in reversing valve will allow it to complete this process backward in the summer, running the same as an air conditioner to pull heat and humidity from indoor air and vent it outside.
What Is a Mini-Split?
A mini-split is designed on the same principle as a heat pump. As a matter of fact, it is a kind of heat pump — just without 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 hooks up directly to an outdoor condensing unit through a small hole drilled into the wall. Multiple indoor units can link up with a single outdoor unit, enabling whole-home comfort with no ductwork required.
Making Your Selection
These are significant factors to think about 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 standard furnace and central AC system, the needed ductwork infrastructure is already in place. Therefore, installing a heat pump is probably the more cost-effective solution.
However, if you live in an older home or have just completed a renovation, you may not have ductwork in reach. In this case, adding a mini-split is much less complex 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 using a wall-mounted thermostat installed in a convenient 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 satisfied with regulating the temperature throughout the house using a single thermostat, zoning may not be worth the effort. But you can maximize home comfort and reduce wasted 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 more straightforward and more cost-effective to install mini-splits in rooms with specific 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 deliver whole-house comfort with help from a network of air ducts.
Mini-splits have greater versatility for where you can put the unit. You can install one in a single room that you would otherwise find tricky to keep comfortable. You could mount one in a transformed garage or sunroom without extending the 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 basically more efficient because they don’t suffer the energy losses associated with leaky ductwork. A typical home loses 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 more likely to produce the same quantity of hot or cold air at a lower cost.
Heat pumps look pretty much the same as central AC units. The outdoor cabinet is nearly indistinguishable, and the indoor air handler sits within a utility closet or place in the basement.
On the other hand, mini-splits are more noticeable. The air handlers come in sleek jackets designed to be inconspicuous, but they are clearly visible in any room in which they are installed on the wall or ceiling.
Schedule Heat Pump or Mini-Split Installation
Whatever you decide to do, Winnipeg Supply Service Experts can perform the professional installation you want. Our technicians 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 local Winnipeg Supply Service Experts office today.