Mini-Splits vs Heat Pumps: Understanding the Differences

Source: GREE

When it comes to choosing the right heating and cooling solution, mini-splits and heat pumps are often at the top of the list. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to understand the differences between mini-splits, traditional heat pumps, and mini-split heat pumps. In this article, we'll take a closer look at each type of system, and the differences between them.

What are Mini-splits?

Mini-splits are ductless heating and cooling systems that can be installed in individual rooms or zones throughout a home or business. They consist of an outdoor compressor unit and an indoor air handler that work together to regulate the temperature in each area. This allows homeowners to have precise control over the temperature of each room, without the need for ductwork. The term "split system" comes from the fact that there is both an outdoor unit and indoor unit(s).

One of the biggest benefits with mini-splits is their flexibility and ability to zone heat or cool specific areas of a home or building, rather than heating or cooling the entire space. This allows for greater energy efficiency and cost savings, as well as improved comfort control. Mini-splits are also easier to install than ducted heat pump systems or central AC systems, as they don't require existing ductwork or extensive renovations. Additionally, mini-splits are often quieter and more discreet, making them a more appealing option for those looking to maintain the aesthetic of their home or building. Furthermore, mini-splits are often more reliable and require less maintenance than ducted systems, making them a more convenient option for those who want a worry-free heating and cooling solution.

What are Heat Pumps?

Heat pumps use a technology that moves heat from one location to another using a small amount of energy. Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the air or ground outside and then compressing it to raise or lower the temperature to a level that can be used for heating or cooling. Heat pumps can either be used in a ducted system, which distributes heating and cooling throughout a space through ducts and air vents, or paired with one or more indoor air-handlers across different zones of a space, to create a mini-split system.

The difference between ducted heat pump systems and traditional AC systems is that heat pumps provide both heating and cooling, while traditional central air systems generally just provide cooling and are often paired with a furnace to send heat through the duct system. While ducted heat pumps are more efficient than traditional central air, they both distribute air through duct systems, making them both much less efficient and flexible than mini-split systems.

What are Mini-split Heat Pumps?

Mini-split heat pumps are HVAC systems that combine mini-split systems with heat pump technology. They offer the convenience & flexibility of ductless indoor air-handlers along with the heating & cooling power & efficiency of heat pumps. This combination has become so popular that when you hear someone say, "mini-split", "heat pump", or blend of the two words, it is likely that they’re referring to this powerful type of HVAC system.

At this point you may be asking yourself: "Are all mini-splits also heat pumps?"

The answer is "no", mini-splits are not all heat pumps. Similarly to central air systems, some mini-splits only provide cooling and don’t provide heating functionality. A mini-split heat pump system is designed to do both. It is worth noting that all mini-split systems made by GREE comfort are mini-split heat pumps, and provide both heating and cooling capabilities and maximum efficiency and flexibility.

Ultimately, GREE’s mini-split heat pumps combine the efficiency & flexibility of ductless mini-split systems, with the heating & cooling capabilities of heat pumps, providing the ultimate climate control experience for your client’s home or business. GREE also keeps an ample supply of mini-split heat pump replacement parts available so that you can keep your client’s HVAC system running optimally year round. If you have questions about installing mini-split heat pumps, be sure to visit our instructional videos and FAQ page. If you’re a homeowner and you’re still confused about the difference between mini-splits and heat pumps, please take a look at our contractor locator page so we can connect you with a certified GREE installation specialist in your area. Your licensed GREE technician will be able to help you understand which HVAC system is the best option for your home!