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Are Heat Pumps and Mini Splits the Same Thing?

Are you in the market for a new HVAC system? Have you been frantically searching online “heating and cooling near me,” trying to figure out what type of system will be best for your home? Well, it might make you feel a little better to know you’re not alone. There’s undoubtedly been a lot of changes since the last time you bought an HVAC system.

Whether you’re shopping for a new system for the first time or replacing an old one, a common question we get is: Are heat pumps and mini splits the same thing? The short answer is yes, they’re the same thing. However, they also have many differences. Let’s go over exactly what heat pumps and mini splits are so you can be an informed consumer when it’s time to make a decision

What Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump provides heating and cooling all in one system. Heat pump installation is very similar to a central AC installation in that it uses the movement of refrigerant between two sets of coils to transfer heat. The difference with a heat pump is that this heat transference can happen in two directions thanks to a component called a reversing valve that allows for cooling in the summertime, and effective heating in the winter.

Heat pumps can be “ducted” or “ductless” All this refers to is whether the system relies on ductwork in your home to distribute the conditioned air. All central air conditioners and heaters rely on ductwork. A ducted heat pump has a similar setup to central AC or heating in that there’s 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 inside.

These air handlers are usually mounted on various walls of the home. Most homeowners choose to have one installed in each bedroom and the living spaces. The nice 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 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, you really can’t go wrong with a mini split. 

However, if you plan to sell your home sometime in the near future, you might want to go with the less expensive option since you won’t continue to reap the financial rewards over the lifespan of the system.

Don’t let the weather get you down, call Brown’s! Brown’s Heating & Cooling is your trusted resource for quality heat pump services. Contact us today!

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