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In the dead of winter, there’s nothing worse than coming home to a cold house. Or, on the flip side, struggling to sleep in a stuffy house during a heat wave. That’s where ductless heat pumps come into play.

Ductless heat pumps offer a convenient and energy-efficient way to keep your home comfortable by heating or cooling individual rooms or areas. But before you install one in your own home, you should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of ductless heat pumps.

Understanding the pros and cons will help you decide whether the heat pump is suitable for your home.

Keep reading for a quick overview of ductless heat pumps and their benefits and drawbacks.

What Is a Ductless Heat Pump?

A ductless heat pump is a heating and cooling system that doesn’t require ductwork. Unlike central air conditioners and furnaces, ductless heat pumps don’t rely on ducts to distribute conditioned air throughout your home.

Instead, ductless systems have one outdoor compressor unit connected to an indoor unit through a small hole in your wall. The indoor and outdoor units are connected using refrigerant pipes, tubing, power cables, or drain lines. Each indoor unit can heat or cool a specific area or room in your home.

The Advantages of Ductless Heat Pumps

There are several advantages that ductless heat pumps have over ducted heating and cooling systems. Here are some of the most notable benefits:

Better Heating of Individual Rooms

Ductless pumps will give you better control of heating and cooling your home. If your property has different indoor units, you can control each one independently of the others.

For example, you can make the bedroom warmer or colder than the sitting room. That means you can keep your living room at a comfortable temperature without wasting energy heating or cooling other areas of your home that you’re not using.

With a ducted heat pump, you will most likely have one thermostat that controls the whole system. This means you and your family will have to compromise on the temperature.

Energy Efficiency

The way ductless pumps operate makes them more energy-efficient than ducted heat pumps. The lack of ductwork enhances the system’s efficiency because it doesn’t lose any heat or cool air through ductwork.

The heat pumps also save energy because they can heat a limited space. If you want to heat a single room using a traditional heat pump, you’ll have to heat the whole home.

That’s a waste of energy and money. When you have a heat pump ductless, you’ll only turn on the indoor unit in the room you intend to heat. 

Easy Installation

Ductless heat pump installation is easier because there is no ductwork. A qualified technician can complete the installation within a few hours.

The technician needs to drill a small hole in the wall to connect the outdoor and indoor units. There is also more flexibility regarding where to place the indoor and outdoor units.

Although you’ll need to follow some placement requirements to improve efficiency, your options won’t be as limited as when using ductwork.

They’re Quiet

Ductless systems are much quieter than ducted systems. You won’t even notice when the heat pump is running because the outdoor compressor unit makes very little noise.

You’ll only hear anything when the system starts up, and that’s only for a few seconds. You’ll also choose how loud or quiet you want the system to be when you buy it.

Some ductless heat pumps have a customization feature that allows you to program them to run at a slower speed and volume when you’re sleeping. Check out some of the quietest ductless air conditioners

The Disadvantages of Ductless Heat Pumps

There are also some drawbacks to ductless heat pumps that are worth mentioning. When you opt for a ductless heat pump, expect to deal with the following:

Higher Initial Cost

Although ductless heat pumps are more energy-efficient in the long run, the initial cost is higher than ducted heat pumps. The cost of installation will also add to the total price.

The ductless heat pump cost will increase if you want a multi-zone system for your entire home. Fortunately, some states offer incentives or rebates to homeowners who install ductless heat pumps.

You can check with your state or local utility company to see if any ductless heat pump tax credits or rebates are available.

Lack of Aesthetic Appeal

If you have an eye for design aesthetics, ductless heat pumps might not be the best option for you.

The outdoor unit is usually big and ugly, and it can be an eyesore in your yard or on your property. The ductless indoor unit is also quite large, and it might not fit well with the design of your home.

You can try to hide the outdoor unit by placing it behind a bush or piece of landscaping. You can also try to blend the indoor unit with your home’s decor by choosing a color and style that match the rest of your interior.

You’ll also find some indoor units with a sleek design that will go well with any decor.

Potential Refrigerant Leaks

Ductless heat pumps use a type of refrigerant called hydrofluorocarbon (HFC). This refrigerant is harmful to the environment because it contributes to global warming.

The good news is that ductless heat pumps usually don’t leak as often as ducted systems. But when they do, it can be difficult and expensive to repair the leaks.

This is one of the reasons why you should choose a ductless heat pump that has a good warranty. That way, you won’t have to pay for repairs if there is a problem with the unit.

Make an Informed Decision About Ductless Heat Pumps

As you can see, ductless heat pumps have both advantages and disadvantages. But the pros outweigh the cons, which is why ductless heat pumps are a good option for heating and cooling your home.

If you’re thinking about installing a ductless heat pump in your home, do your research to make an informed decision.

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