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What’s the Difference Between Ductless & Ducted Heat Pumps?


If you’re considering getting a heat pump for your home, that’s great! But you’ve still got some research to do. Can it fully replace both your air conditioner and your heating system? What are the options? What are ducted and ductless heat pumps, and what are the benefits of each? Knowing these details will help you make a decision you’ll be happy with long term. 

Getting the Right Size System

Before you settle on a specific heat pump, some calculations need to be made. A qualified technician can assess the size and layout of your home to determine the size of the heat pump system you need. Just like a traditional central air conditioner, a heat pump must be chosen to precisely fit the needs of the home.

If it’s either too large and powerful, or too small and not powerful enough, extra wear and tear and strain on the compressor will occur, increasing the likelihood that the heat pump will need frequent repairs, and shortening the life expectancy of the system.

Heating Potential

Because heat pumps transfer heat from one location to another rather than generating heat, they are the most efficient option that exists for home heating. And it doesn’t need to be warm in order for the system to bring warmth into your home—the outdoor air just needs to be warmer than the very cold refrigerant.

In temperatures as low as 40 °F, heat pumps maintain this incredible efficiency, so spring and fall heating costs can be reduced dramatically. But our winters drop well below that temperature, sometimes for weeks at a time! We’ve got good news, though. A dual-fuel system can provide auxiliary heat as needed during the deepest winter chill. You can also consider a cold-weather heat pump that works efficiently in colder temperatures.

Ducted Vs Ductless

If your home already has a system of ductwork, the simplest heat pump installation would make use of that existing framework and continue to use the ducts to convey heat throughout your home. If your home has no ductwork, or the ductwork is in very poor condition, you might consider a ductless mini split alternative in Boston.

This involves making a small hole in your exterior wall for the conduit which contains refrigerant, drainage, and power lines. Inside your home, air handlers are mounted on walls in separate parts of the home, each with its own thermostat for zone control, further reducing energy waste by only heating or cooling as necessary.

If your home does have ductwork and you’d like to continue to use it, you should have it inspected to see if any sealing or repair is necessary. While the operating cost of a ductless system is lower, the inconvenience and expense of the more complex installation might affect your choice as well.

Specific recommendations based on your home, your needs, and your budget can be provided by a member of our team to help you decide how to move forward.

Reach out to Cooling Unlimited, Inc. to speak with qualified heat pump experts.

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