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


If you are in the market for a new cooling system, you might be hearing a lot of terminology that you didn’t hear the last time you searched for an AC system. Or perhaps you are a new homeowner who is completely new to trying to select an HVAC system and you’re feeling overwhelmed by your initial research.

Undoubtedly, you’ve come across terms such as heat pumps, ductless AC, and mini splits. What exactly do all these terms mean? That’s just what we’re going to explain. You see, heat pumps come in either two versions: ducted and ductless. Let’s go over the difference.

Ducted vs. Ductless Heat Pumps

In a nutshell, a ducted heat pump relies on your home’s ductwork and a ductless heat pump doesn’t need ductwork. It’s really that simple.

It helps to think of a ducted heat pump as having the same setup as a central air conditioner. A ducted heat pump consists of an indoor and an outdoor unit, the same as a central AC setup. 

A ductless heat pump, also known as a mini split or a ductless mini split, consists of an outside unit and multiple indoor units that are usually mounted on the walls or ceilings of rooms in your home.

Which Is Better?

The good news is that no matter if you get a ducted or ductless heat pump, you can rest assured that you are getting a highly energy-efficient system. Not only that, but heat pumps are two-in-one systems that provide both heating and cooling.

For many homeowners, the decision comes down to whether your home has ductwork and what shape it is in. If your home doesn’t have ductwork, then obviously the ductless option is for you. If your home is old and your ductwork is problematic, you might want to consider going ductless. But if your home is newer and in great shape, a ducted heat pump might be best.

How to Make the Decision

If you need more help to make your decision, here are a few things you should know. A ductless system is ideal for homeowners who want to easily create custom temperature zones throughout their home. With an air handler in each room, you can set the temperature to each person’s preference, eliminating squabbles over the thermostat. 

However, ductless systems usually cost more to purchase compared to a ducted heat pump because of the extra equipment. Ductless systems also require being more vigilant about maintenance because the filters usually need to be manually cleaned. Compare this to a single ducted heat pump air filter, which can be easily replaced.

For any heat pump service in Jefferson and the surrounding areas, contact us today! We can answer all your lingering questions and define any confusing terminology for you. 

At Hagerstown Heating & Cooling, we want to protect customers from Google and other contractors in Hagerstown, MD. Honesty at Its Best. 

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