Is a Mini Split Heat Pump Right for Your Home?

mini split heat pump on shipboard wall

Mini split heat pump HVAC systems are ductless, which makes them a great option for many homes in California. Whether you’re looking for whole-home or partial-home heating and cooling, a mini split system could be the right choice. 

Best Uses for a Mini Split Heat Pump HVAC System  

Since they don’t need to be connected to ducts, mini split heat pumps are extremely versatile and can be used to solve a variety of heating and air conditioning problems. 

Room Additions 

It’s not always feasible to expand your ductwork system when you build a home addition, but you still need heating and cooling for your new rooms. With a ductless HVAC system, you can get the heating and air conditioning you need in your new home addition without having to extend your ducts. 

Houses without Ductwork 

Installing a ductwork system in a house that was built without one is an extensive (and expensive) project. Space heaters and window ACs can help you get around the problem, but these options are inefficient and can only heat or cool a small space. Ductless heat pump HVAC systems, on the other hand, can provide reliable and efficient heating and cooling for your entire home. 

Problem Areas 

Is there one room in your house that’s just never warm or cool enough? Maybe you have a cold room above your garage or your kid’s rooms are always too hot and stuffy in the summer. Mini split HVAC systems can solve comfort problems in specific areas of your home by providing targeted heating and cooling. They deliver heated or cooled air directly into the room they're installed in for immediate comfort. 

Mini Split Heat Pump HVAC: Pros & Cons 

In most cases, mini split heat pumps are worth it thanks to the many benefits they provide. However, it’s also important to consider the drawbacks when deciding whether a mini split is good for your house. 

Advantages of a Mini Split Heat Pump 

  • Energy efficiency - Mini split heat pumps are highly energy efficient. Since they don’t have ducts, they are not susceptible to duct leakage, which is a significant source of energy loss in most homes. 
  • Versatility - Ductless heat pump HVAC systems can be installed almost anywhere, making them extremely versatile.  A mini split can heat your whole house or be used to add heat and AC to specific areas of your home. 
  • Comfort - Mini split heat pumps perform better than other ductless heating and cooling systems like space heaters and window air conditioners.
  • All-electric operation - Because they’re all-electric, heat pump HVAC systems can run on solar or wind power and provide carbon-free heating and air conditioning.  
  • Incentives - Mini split heat pump systems qualify for incentives including up to $2,000 in federal tax credits and up to $2,000 in TECH Clean California heat pump rebates

Disadvantages of a Mini Split Heat Pump 

  • Cost - Mini split HVAC systems are more expensive than other ductless space heating and cooling systems like window ACs and space heaters. 
  • Needs professional installation - Like all HVAC systems, mini splits must be sized and installed correctly to perform as intended. Over and undersized mini splits are susceptible to short cycling, which wastes energy and will detract from comfort. 
  • Appearance - Some people do not like the way mini splits look on walls. However, there are plenty of ways to disguise a mini split, such as a ceiling mount. 

Find a Mini Split HVAC Installer in California 

The Clean Energy Connection can help you find a professional heat pump HVAC installer in your area. Our free online directory connects homeowners with licensed and certified clean energy contractors. An experienced installer will be able to tell you more about the benefits of installing a mini split system and help you decide whether a ductless heat pump is worth it for your home. 

The directory is funded by Efficiency First California, a non-profit trade organization that helps contractors thrive in the clean energy transition. It is 100% free for contractors and homeowners to use! 

Solve comfort and efficiency problems with a mini split HVAC system.