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Ducted and Ductless Heat Pumps: What’s the Difference?

Monday, December 4th, 2023 at 11:00 am

If you want a heat pump system in your home, you have two options. One is a more traditional heat pump that connects to air ducts located throughout your home. But you also have the option to install a ductless mini split unit that does not require any ductwork for operation.

While both systems offer benefits, there are also some key differences that you need to be aware of before investing in heat pump installation. You can keep reading to learn more about both ducted and ductless heat pumps so you can decide which one is right for your home and family.

Ducted Heat Pump

A heat pump that has attached ductwork is very similar to a standard central air conditioner. The only real difference is that a heat pump has some additional components that allow it to operate as a heater as well as an air conditioner. A heat pump with ductwork is an excellent choice because you have an all-in-one solution for both heating and cooling without the need for a separate heater or furnace.

The potential downside is that ductwork is prone to holes and broken seals that can allow air to escape before reaching your home. Even the tiniest pinprick holes can allow a significant amount of air to escape. Losing just 20% of the air that your heat pump produces can increase your energy costs by 50%. If you have a ducted heat pump, it is important to prioritize duct inspections to make sure that your heat pump can work at its best.

Ductless Heat Pump 

A ductless heat pump operates much in the same way that a ducted heat pump does. The difference is that a ductless heat pump does not have a single central unit. Instead, you have smaller units installed in each room of your home with no attached ductwork. One of the key benefits of having ductless mini splits is that 100% of the conditioned air blows directly into your home. 

While you can enjoy a reduction of up to 50% on your monthly energy costs with a ductless mini split, you also have to consider that initial installation is significantly more. If you have a limited budget for the heat pump installation, a ductless mini split may not be the right choice. But if you can justify spending the extra money upfront, you will enjoy significant energy savings over the life of the system.

Choosing a Unit for Your Home

Much of your heat pump installation decision comes down to preference, although budget is also a major factor. You also want to consider that a ductless heat pump requires slightly more homeowner maintenance on a monthly basis. This is because instead of changing out a single air filter on a central unit, you have to clean air filters on each of the smaller individual units.

California Indoor Comfort, where comfort and technology come together. Schedule an appointment today for a heat pump installation or service.

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