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Ductless Heat Pumps vs. Air Conditioners

Updated: Aug 13


In a 2019 study, research found that Seattle was the least air-conditioned metro area in the US, with just 44% of homes equipped to handle the heat with either a window unit or a central air conditioner. With the rising temperatures and the inevitable heat waves that summers bring, many homeowners are now updating their homes to include a cooling system. But how do you decide what type of system is best for your home? Whether you are building a new home or making updates to your current residence, determining what your specific temperature needs are, along with understanding what each system can provide, will help in your selection process.

Air Conditioners: One System, One Solution

If you are looking to only cool your home, both air conditioners and ductless heat pumps will do the trick. Did you know that air conditioners do not actually blow cold air into your home? Like ductless heat pumps, they capture heat within your home and move it outdoors via refrigerant lines. To purchase the most appropriate air conditioner for your space, you will need to determine the air conditioner’s cooling power, which is measured by a BTU rating. However, if your temperature needs for your home require both heating and cooling, air conditioners will not be able to provide heat—they only have the capacity to cool. This means when heating needs arise, you will have to purchase an additional heating solution.

The Ductless Difference: One System, Two Solutions

With the installation of a ductless heat pump, you will obtain the capacity to both heat and cool your space. To provide cooling, ductless heat pumps capture cool energy from outside and heat energy from within your home and exchange it via refrigerant lines. When heating is required, ductless heat pumps reverse the flow of refrigerant, absorbing warm heat energy from the outdoor air and moving it indoors to warm your space—providing you with one system, two solutions. It is important to note that while the initial cost of a ductless heat pump may be more substantial than an air conditioning unit, that is quickly offset by the extreme efficiency of the ductless heat pump. Ductless heat pumps use an air sourced heat exchange process that enables you to acquire a two-in-one system—one that reduces your energy consumption by 40–60% and allows you to control the temperature of your home. Keep your carbon footprint and utility bill low on both hot summer days and cool winter nights.



Evaluating Efficiency

In terms of efficiency, ductless heat pumps are an all-in-one solution that provides high efficiency on both heating and cooling modes without having to purchase two separate systems, such as an air conditioner and a furnace. Ductless heat pumps run on electricity only and have close to zero energy loss, which results in optimal efficiency and low utility costs. If you are considering purchasing an air conditioner, it’s important to double check the air conditioner’s seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER), as it indicates efficiency—efficiency directly affects utility costs.

Comfort Control

With an air conditioner for cooling your space, you have limited control of your cooling needs. You must select one temperature that your air conditioner will maintain throughout your entire home. A huge perk of ductless heat pumps is that they offer zoned comfort control. This way you gain the power to customize your heating and cooling settings in each zone, for the most comfortable temperature in each area of your home. In the big picture, this is a huge money saver as you can heat or cool per zone, rather than the whole house at once.


In closing

If you are building a new home or making updates to your current HVAC system, identifying your temperature needs and requirements is a good place to start. Air conditioners can provide cooling; however, you will need to purchase an additional heating solution for the cooler months. Ductless heat pump systems provide efficient heating and cooling from one system that is customizable to your temperature needs.

Right now, there are outstanding rebates and incentives, plus great financing options to making installation more affordable than ever.


Give us a call or submit a request to learn how a ductless heat pump can meet your heating and cooling requirements.

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