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Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -

Serving Orange County

- SINCE 1981 -


Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30-5:30PM
Saturday: 8:00-1:00PM


Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog

Heat Pumps & Mini Splits: What’s the Difference?


If you’re here because you googled, “What’s the difference between heat pumps and mini splits?” we have the answer for you: a mini split is a type of heat pump that doesn’t use ductwork. It’s that simple. 

Now that your question has been answered, you might click away—but hang on! There’s a lot more to tell you about why you should consider a heat pump installation in Orange County. You might be wondering which is better for your home: the ducted heat pump or the ductless mini split. Let’s go over the pros and cons of each.

Central, Ducted Heat Pumps

Ducted heat pumps (also called central heat pumps) are great for homes that already have existing ductwork that’s in good condition in place. Similar to a central furnace or a central air conditioning system, a heat pump consists of two components: an indoor and outdoor unit. The indoor unit is connected to the network of ducts in your home, through which it delivers the conditioned air.

However, unlike a central furnace or a central AC, heat pumps provide both heating and cooling. That means you can replace two systems with one heat pump. Heat pumps can be easily installed in homes with existing ductwork. During a consultation visit, our technicians will assess your home’s ductwork. We may recommend some duct sealing to maximize the benefits that your new heat pump will provide.

Heat pumps are known for their energy efficiency, and if you choose a super-efficient model with high SEER2 and HSPF2 ratings, it’ll be extremely energy efficient. Over the lifetime of the heat pump, you can expect to recover the initial cost of purchasing a high-efficiency heat pump through savings on utility bills.

Ductless Mini Splits

For older homes where the ductwork is problematic or newer homes that lack ductwork altogether, ductless mini splits are the way to go. Rest assured that mini splits use the same exact technology as heat pumps and are therefore highly energy efficient and also provide heating and cooling.

Ductless mini splits consist of a single outside unit and multiple, wall-mounted air handlers. You can have an air handler installed in every room of your home or rely on a single air handler in combined living spaces such as a living room/dining room. We can advise you on the best layout. 

The huge benefit of mini splits is your ability to customize the temperature of each room of your home. For example, if you work from home and no one else is in the house during the day, you can heat or cool only that one room. As you can imagine, this provides enormous energy savings since you don’t have to heat or cool the entire home. 

We hope we’ve answered all of your questions about the difference between heat pumps and mini splits. Be sure to contact us for any additional questions you may have. 

Contact Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air for fast, professional heat pump installation. We have served Orange County since 1981.

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