What can we say about heat pumps? They’re energy efficient, they can serve as both air conditioners and heaters, and they can fit in almost any size home. If you’ve already decided that you want your next heater or AC to be a heat pump, then the big question you have to ask is:
“Do I want ducts, or a ductless system?”
There are a few key differences between the two, so we’ll help explain down below.
More often, you’ll hear these systems simply referred to as “heat pumps.” The fact that they use ducts is usually a given, but it won’t hurt to clear up the misconception.
A duct system is the network of tubes and tunnels in your attic that deliver heated or cooled air to the rooms in your home. Many homes are already equipped with these systems, so many homeowners are likely to be familiar with them.
There are a few points to consider with them:
- Whole House Heating/Cooling With Ease: When it comes to heating or cooling your entire home, duct systems are still the king. Ductwork installed by a professional HVAC contractor in Riverside, CA can get your home’s air treated efficiently and evenly.
- Not Installed With Zone Control by Default: Zone control is the concept of zoning off sections of the home for different temperatures. Zone control can maximize comfort and efficiency by giving you greater control over your system, but it’s best to have it installed when your duct system is first installed.
- Works With Existing Duct Systems: As mentioned earlier, many homes already use a duct system, usually for use with furnaces. Going with a ducted heat pump can reduce the cost of installation in this case.
Also referred to as ductless mini split systems, they’re exactly as their name suggests: systems that do not need ducts to cool or heat your home. They consist of one outdoor unit, and then an individual indoor unit for each room. They’re connected by the necessary wiring and refrigerant lines, which only requires a small hole.
These systems have been used in Japan and Europe for several years now, and they’re now becoming more commonplace in the states.
Here are some points to keep in mind:
- Built-In Zone Control: Whereas a ducted heat pump needs modifications to use zone control, zone control is a fundamental part of ductless systems. Each unit has its own temperature controls, allowing for complete control.
- As an Addition to a Duct System: Ductless systems can be installed in conjunction with an existing duct system. In rooms where you cannot install ductwork—such as the garage or an addition—a ductless installation is an effective add-on.
- Cost: Although the efficiency will help you make your money back, the initial installation cost for each unit can make for a costly installation.