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A-1 Mechanical Blog

Are Heat Pumps and Mini Splits the Same Thing?

Are you on the search for a new HVAC system? Have you been Googling heating and cooling near me, trying to figure out what type of system is the best? Many homeowners who are in the market for a new air conditioner or furnace are feeling confused by all the options that are now available.

One of the systems that has probably come up in your research is a heat pump. You may even be confused if you’re searching for an air conditioner and you’re constantly getting something with “heat” in the name. 

A common question we get is: “Are heat pumps and mini splits the same thing?” The short answer is yes, but they also have many differences. Let’s go over what heat pumps and mini splits are so you can be an informed homeowner when it’s time to purchase a new system.

What Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump gets its name from the fact that it transfers or “pumps” heat to create either cooling or heating for your home. It’s a 2-in-1 system. In the summer, it pumps heat out of your home to decrease the temperature. In the winter, it taps into the ambient heat outside and brings it into your home. 

Heat pumps can be “ducted” or “ductless” All this refers to is whether the system relies on ductwork to distribute the conditioned air throughout the rooms of your home. All central air conditioners and furnaces use ductwork. A ducted heat pump has a similar setup to a central AC or furnace and consists of one indoor unit and one indoor unit.

What Is a Mini Split?

When a heat pump is ductless, it’s almost always a mini split system. Instead of having just one air handler inside the home as you’d have with a ducted heat pump, a ductless mini split heat pump has multiple air handlers.

The air handlers are installed on the walls or ceilings of your home and deliver conditioned air to that room. Most homeowners choose to have one in each bedroom and the living spaces. The great thing about mini splits is that you can add them to rooms that have been traditionally difficult to heat and cool such as a garage or a new room addition.

Which Is Better: Ducted or Ductless Heat Pumps?

A mini split system usually costs more for the initial purchase and installation. This is because of the need for multiple air handlers. However, you’ll receive amazing zone control and the ability to heat/cool certain rooms. If cost isn’t as much of an issue and you plan to keep your home for a while, a mini split is a great choice. 

When it’s time for a new HVAC system, you can always count on us for an expert opinion on the best option for your home. Our contractors are NATE- and EPA-certified and possess the knowledge and experience to tackle all repairs with expertise and confidence.

Contact A-1 Mechanical Heating & Cooling for your next AC installation in Lansing, MI. Comfort and Character You Can Depend On!

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