If you’re searching online for a new HVAC system, you’re going to be met with quite a bit of information. This is especially true when you start investigating ductless heat pumps, air conditioners, and mini-splits. If you’re getting confused with all of the terminology – don’t stress! You aren’t alone. We’re going to make it plain and simple and cover the benefits and any drawbacks for each type of system so you can make an informed decision about your home comfort.
Ducted vs. Ductless HVAC Systems
Without getting too technical, the terms “ductless” and “mini-split” are really referring to the same thing! In most cases, what we’re talking about here are heat pumps. Heat pumps work by either introducing heat or removing it to keep your indoor temperature how you want it.
With a ductless heat pump (also called a ductless mini-split, or ductless system), this is achieved with two different units – one for outside, and one for inside. The outdoor unit is a compressor that does most of the work, and then the indoor unit(s) handle the delivery of the air.
- Extremely high energy efficiency
- Customizable temperature “zones”
- Variety of indoor unit styles, sizes, and installation methods
- Great for single rooms, add-ons, garages, etc
- Most models offer both heating and cooling
- Can be used as supplemental heating and cooling
- Very quiet operation
- Simple, non-invasive installation
With a ducted system, the key difference is that ductwork is used to distribute the hot or cold air. Another difference is that generally speaking, a central system (i.e. a forced-air furnace) only runs “on” or “off”. That means if you turn up or down the thermostat, every room that the ductwork enters will receive the hot air. Not the case with a ductless mini-split! With a mini-split, you can customize the temperature of rooms or spaces that have an indoor unit.
Of course, there are exceptions to these rules. For instance, there are ducted mini-split heat pumps, 2-stage furnaces, variable capacity and speed furnaces, and plenty of other types of systems. In general, however, just remember that “ductless” means no ductwork!
- Centralized heating and/or cooling
- Often a lower price point
- Option to choose between natural gas and electric models
- Most homes already have existing ductwork
- Ducts are generally hidden away and out of sight
- Better for removing humidity
- Higher airflow rate (in most cases)
Interested in a Ductless Mini-Split?
Have more questions? Want to get an estimate for a new HVAC system? At Anderson Heating & Cooling, we’re your local experts in all things heating and cooling! We’ve been serving Oregon City and the surrounding areas since 2009, and love helping our customers find ways to improve their comfort.
To learn more or request a quote for a new ducted or ductless system, please contact us today.