Heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems are available in different types. Most homes use an air conditioning system and a furnace. The combination of an air conditioning system and a furnace is an HVAC system. Air conditioning systems cool the homes in which they are used, whereas furnaces warm the homes in which they are used. There are also heat pumps, however, including mini-split heat pumps.
What Is a Mini-Split Heat Pump?
A mini-split heat pump is a type of ductless heating and cooling system that works by transferring heat. It’s known simply as a ductless heat pump. Mini-split heat pumps don’t contain or otherwise use ductwork. Upon producing conditioned air, they’ll release it directly into a given room.
How Mini-Split Heat Pumps Works
Mini-split heat pumps work like most other heat pumps: They transfer heat from an indoor space to an outdoor space and vice versa. The direction in which they transfer heat varies depending on whether they are cooling or warming your home.
All heat pumps, including mini-split heat pumps, can both cool and warm your home. They consist of the same parts as an air conditioning system. Mini-split heat pumps have a condenser coil, an evaporator coil and a compressor (among other parts.) When running, they will transfer heat from the evaporator coil to the condenser coil.
Pros and Cons of a Mini-Split Heat Pump
If a particular room has a noticeably different temperature than the rest of your home, you may want to use a mini-split heat pump. You can install the indoor unit of the mini-split heat pump in the problematic room.
Mini-split heat pumps have an indoor unit and outdoor unit. The indoor unit will serve as the evaporator coil when cooling your home. When warming your home, the indoor unit will serve as the condenser coil. Regardless, you can install the indoor unit in a room that doesn’t receive the same amount of conditioned air from your home’s primary HVAC system.
On the other hand, a mini-split heat pump won’t be able to cool and warm your entire home. Only centralized and ducted HVAC systems offer complete coverage. They will distribute conditioned air through the ductwork, which then redirects the conditioned air to individual rooms.
Mini-split heat pumps don’t use ductwork. You can use a mini-split heat pump to warm and cool a single room, but it’s not a substitute for a centralized and ducted HVAC system.