Mini Split Vs. Heat Pump HVAC: What Are The Major Differences?

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

Heat pumps and mini splits are both considered central HVAC units because they are able to bring heat from inside to outside in order to control indoor temperatures. However, they are not the same. Paying attention to their differences is important in selecting the type you need for your home.

While both mini splits and heat pumps can heat and cool your home, heat pumps are environmentally friendly, require installing just one unit, and require less long-term maintenance. On the flip side, mini splits can be installed anywhere in the room, offer increased efficiency, and can reduce your cooling and heating costs by as much as 60%.

It is important to know the difference in order to choose the one that is right for your home.

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What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump moves heat from one area to another. It can also be used as an air conditioner. It removes the heat from your home and brings it outside. Heat pumps do not generate heat but rather move the heat. A heat pump can both heat and cool by moving the air.

Advantages of a Heat Pump

There are several advantages of a heat pump. These include the installation and maintenance, the cost, and efficiency. Consideration of these advantages might help you to decide if a heat pump is the right choice for your home.

Installation and Maintenance of a Heat Pump

Unlike a mini split, you will not need to install and maintain several different units. Rather, you will only need to install and maintain one unit. This means that the installation will be quick and smooth.

Maintaining one unit is much easier than maintaining several units as you would need to do with a mini split.

Cost of a Heat Pump

Heat pumps are efficient and can reduce your monthly energy costs. There are also possibilities that your heat pump may qualify for tax credits. To purchase a heat pump and have it installed, it can cost between $3,500 and $7,500.

Efficiency of a Heat Pump

Heat pumps have great efficiency. This type of pump is known for being more environmentally friendly and more efficient for burning fuels. They are electrically powered.

Limitations of a Heat Pump

One limitation of a heat pump is that if you are in an area where there is not much heat, this is likely not the right choice for you. Because the heat pump functions by moving heat from one area to another, if there is no heat, it is ineffective.

If you live in a warm climate, this might be a good choice for you. With a temperature of 40 degrees or more on a regular basis, this could work for your home. Heat pumps are more ideal for moderate to warm climates.

What is a Mini Split?

Another name for a mini-split is called a ductless heat pump. It can also be called a mini-split heat pump or a mini-split. Mini splits work by blowing the air, heated or cooled, directly into the room. Mini splits can heat or cool your home.

Advantages of a Mini Split

There are many pros to mini splits. Some of these include the flexibility of installation, a lack of intrusion, the costs, the rebates, the efficiency, and their quiet sound. These advantages should be considered when choosing if a mini split is right for your home.

Mini Splits can be Installed Anywhere in the Room

Mini splits can be installed anywhere in the room. This can include the ceiling, the wall, or the floor. This provides for great options and flexibility. Depending on the size and shape of your room, you can choose your preferred location.

Mini Splits can be Easily Installed by a Professional

A great thing about mini splits is that they are not intrusive to install. They only need a small hole. However, the hole should be created by a professional and should be properly installed.

Mini splits are compact in size. There are lots of different models to choose from based on your budget, the size of the unit you are looking for, and where you would like the unit in the room.

Costs of a Mini Split

Mini splits can be a highly cost-effective option, especially when compared with installing ducts. Heat pumps and the installation can cost between $1,500 and $5,000. You are able to control the temperature in each room by using a remote control. The remote controls are generally small and user friendly.

Because you will have a mini split in multiple rooms, you can use the remote control to turn the mini split on or off in rooms that you are not using. This is a great way to save money and only use the energy you need in the rooms you need it.

Rebates for Purchasing a Mini Split

Power companies sometimes offer rebates if you have a mini split. Contact your power company to see if they offer a rebate to customers with mini splits.

Efficiency of a Mini Split

Compared to eclectic resistance-based systems, you can cut your heating costs up to 60%. On average, the cooling costs can be 30% less when comparing to traditional air conditioners. They are slightly less efficient than heat pumps, but they are still more efficient than traditional air conditioners.

Mini splits are known for using variable-speed compressors. This provides a lot more variety than central air units that have only a few speed options. This is a great benefit.

A Mini Split’s Quiet Sound

Newer models of mini splits have a very quiet sound. There is less noise, and even if you hear a sound, it is often smooth and calming. If you are looking for a quiet option, this might be the way to go.

The quiet sound could also be ideal if you have a baby or young children in your home. The quiet sound can serve as soothing white noise during nap time.

Cons of a Mini Split

There are also some cons to using a mini split. Some of the cons include their inefficiency in large spaces, expensive installation, their required maintenance, and the possibility that they are an eye sore. These cons should be considered when thinking about purchasing and installing a mini split.

Mini Splits are Inefficient in Large Spaces

Mini splits work best in smaller spaces, so if you are looking to heat a larger home, this might not be your ideal choice. Consider the size of your home when choosing between a mini split or a heat pump. If you have a smaller home, a mini split might be the right choice for you.

Mini Splits Require Expensive Installation

Installing a mini split is not a DIY project and must be done by a professional. The professional can help you to determine the correct size of the unit you need for your home. The installation could be quite costly, especially if you have a larger home.

Mini Splits Require Regular Maintenance

Mini splits are not a low maintenance item. Rather, they need to have their filters cleaned on a monthly basis. If the filters are not cleaned properly, professional cleaning may be needed, which adds another additional cost.

If you are not interested in doing regular maintenance on your mini split, you might choose another option that requires less regular attention. Ignoring the required maintenance could create future problems that end up costing you a lot of money.

Mini Splits can be an Eye Sore

Because mini splits can be located in all places, they might be in places that impact your line of vision. This can create an eyesore and ruin how a room looks, depending on the aesthetic you are aiming for in the room.

However, because mini splits are flexible, you could consult a designer or professional about where to place the unit in each room. This may help to minimize the impact this has on the overall look of the room.

Related Questions

How much does it cost to install a mini split?

Expect to pay between $1,700 and $8,500 for a mini split installation. The cost will depend on the size of the unit plus installation fees.If water is dripping from my mini split, can this issue be fixed?Yes, this issue can be resolved by cleaning the air filters, replacing the drip pan, or calling a professional for help. Be sure to work on resolving this issue as soon as you notice your mini split is dripping as this will not stop on its own.

Why is my heat pump blowing hot air?

If your heat pump is blowing hot air, even in cool mode, there are a number of reasons why this could be happening. It could be due to leaks, a clogged filer, dirty coils, or failed valve. The issue can be resolved with troubleshooting or with the help of a certified HVAC technician.

Which option uses a remote control?

Mini splits can be operated by a remote control. This allows for you to change the desired temperature in the room as well as turn the unit off/on based on your needs, wishes, and preferences. This is more flexible than a heat pump.

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In Summary

There are key differences between a mini split and a heat pump. There are many factors to consider when choosing which option is right for your home. Consider the climate, the size of the home, the size of the rooms, and your budget when deciding if a mini split or a heat pump is right for you.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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