While heat pump systems are known to be more energy-efficient than other heating options, that’s not the be-all and end-all. There are ducted heat pump systems and ductless ones too. It’s natural to have some confusion in the marketplace about the differences between each type, so we cover the topic in this article.
Heat Pumps 101
A heat pump is intended to be a greener option for homeowners who wish to create a more energy-efficient home. They use less energy than a furnace does to operate. They’re also entirely electric, so there’s no risk of having natural gas fed inside the home if you don’t want it. Compared to other heating options, they require less energy to produce a similar amount of warmth.
Even though they provide heat, they can also cool a room. Therefore, they perform double duty as both a viable heating system and an AC system in one. It’s a good idea to get more information about heat pumps if you’re entirely new to them. They’re not too complicated to understand.
Ductless Heat Pump Systems
A ductless heat pump operates by moving heated (or cooled) air across a room. They’re also sometimes referred to as mini splits, so don’t be confused about the different terminology. Air is pushed across the room by fans built into the indoor heat pump unit. There is no ducting at the ceiling level to move warm or cool air to other interconnected rooms through air distribution. Therefore, a single heat pump unit will typically be expected to warm or chill an open-plan area or a large room.
They’re less expensive to get installed than a ducted heat pump system. There is a minimal amount of equipment needed, so it looks neater and more presentable compared to other solutions. Skilled technicians are still required for the installation though. This includes making a hole in an exterior wall to connect the indoor heat pump unit to the outdoor one.
Ducted Heat Pump Systems
A ducted heat pump system is usually a ground source one or it uses a geothermal solution. These are usually installed below the ground which means they need a special space to set them up. This is not always possible with modern home configurations. Once the heat is generated below, it is then moved up through a ducting system and to interconnected rooms. This requires extensive ducting to be fitted to facilitate the passive movement of warm or cool air through a building or home.
Walls are built with the ducting fitted, and vents built within them to let treated air into the living space. Therefore, the ducting is not directly visible. These can be better for new construction homes where the ducting can be incorporated directly into the home design, rather than needing to be redesigned to accommodate it.
Both the ductless and ducted heat pump systems are more energy-efficient compared to other alternatives. A ducted system is likely better for expansive properties but requires a more extensive installation process. Ductless heat pumps are far easier to get installed, require less space, and are easier to maintain too.