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Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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Sunset Air Blog

The Difference Between Ducted and Ductless Heat Pumps

If you’re in the market for a new HVAC system, with all the innovations being made in the world of HVAC lately, you’ve probably heard a lot of different terms and might be wondering what they all mean. For example, you might’ve heard of this “heat pump” that is an air conditioner. Or a “mini split” that is both an air conditioner and a heater.

The real confusion comes when people ask us if they should get a mini split or a heat pump installed. In a nutshell, a mini split IS a ductless heat pump. Most of the time! Are you confused already? Let’s clear up any confusion with a deeper explanation. That way, you can be an informed consumer when it’s time to pull the trigger on a new system. 

What’s the difference between a heat pump and a mini split?

Heat pumps can be ducted (meaning they rely on a system of ductwork) or ductless. As we mentioned earlier, a mini split is a ductless model of a heat pump. Although there are some models of mini splits that provide cooling only, most of them are 2-in-1 systems that provide both heating and cooling. And this is what heat pumps are known for.

A ducted heat pump is similar in its set-up to a central air conditioner. It consists of an outside unit and an indoor unit. However, a heat pump can provide both heating and cooling, unlike an air conditioner which can only produce cooling.

A ductless mini split has a unique set-up unlike anything on the market. It consists of an outside unit but has multiple indoor units or air handlers. These air handlers are mounted on the walls or ceiling of individual rooms of your home. Instead of using a system of ductwork to deliver the conditioned air to the rooms of your home, the mini split relies on each air handler for that. 

Which one is better for my home? 

The answer is: it depends!

  • If your home doesn’t have ductwork or its ductwork is old and worn out, then a mini split is the perfect solution. 
  • If you’re on a budget or don’t intend to keep your home for very long, a traditional, ducted heat pump is cheaper to purchase upfront and to install. 
  • If you have family members who are constantly arguing about what the temperature should be, mini splits allow for amazing zone control.

The Verdict

No matter whether you choose a ducted or ductless heat pump, both systems are eco-friendly, highly efficient, and work like a charm. Whether or not you choose the ductless system because your home doesn’t have any air ducts, or you choose a heat pump because it’s more affordable or works with your air duct system, you’re in good hands. Just make sure to have the system installed by a highly experienced and qualified team such as ours. 

Count on the team with the most experience. Contact the team at Sunset Air for heat pump services today.

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