If you're thinking of switching from your central HVAC to a heat pump for your heating and air conditioning, the first thing to decide is if you want to use ducts or mount blowers on the wall. Some heat pumps are made to work without ducts, but others might be able to connect to your existing ducts so you can avoid having blowers on the walls of your home. Here's a look at how these systems are installed.
Heat Pumps Use Refrigerant To Heat And Cool
A heat pump can both heat and cool your home, but it works differently from a traditional forced-air furnace and AC. A heat pump circulates refrigerant throughout the system to move heat from place to place. In the summer, the equipment moves heat outside and in the winter, the pump moves heat indoors.
The equipment needed for a heat pump is different from the equipment used for a traditional heater and AC. A condenser is required, but there is no air handler or furnace needed. Instead, the condenser acts as an air conditioner and then switches to a heater thanks to a reversing valve. Cables are run from the condenser to the blower on the wall inside.
Some Systems Can Work With Ducts
If you're considering using ducts, have your home checked by a professional first. The ducts need to be in good shape and the right size to be suitable. If your existing ducts are not in good enough shape, the contractor might discuss installing new ducts if you want them, but that adds to the cost of installing a heat pump.
The advantage of using ducts is that the air is distributed throughout your home uniformly via the duct system. If you want every room the same temperature, and you also don't like the way blowers look on the wall, then using ducts may be the right choice.
Ductless Heat Pumps Don't Need Ducts
Heat pumps are designed to work without ducts, so you don't have to worry about buying new ducts or converting your old ones. They require small blowers that mount on the walls of your home. Each blower creates a zone that can be controlled independently with a remote.
The advantages to installing a ductless system are that the heat pump can work more efficiently, which means you can heat or cool only certain rooms in your home. As a result, eliminating ducts keeps costs as low as possible.
A heat pump might be right for you when it's time to get a new heating and cooling system. However, you'll want to discuss your choice with a contractor so you understand the pros and cons of having a heat pump, blowers on the walls, and independently controlled cooling and heating zones in your home.