AC vs. Heat Pump vs. Ductless Split: What’s the Difference

May 1, 2024

With summers in the Lower Mainland getting hotter every year lately, many people are rethinking the lack of cooling systems in their homes. But which cooling system is right for you? First of all, it is important to realize that, depending on the type of furnace you have in your home, you may only be able to install certain types of cooling systems.

Before you settle on a cooling system for your home, ask yourself these questions: 

  • Do you have a forced air furnace? If not, you can opt for a ductless AC unit, but most people prefer a heat pump in this situation.
  • Do you just want to cool one area of the house and not another?
  • Do you have room for the outdoor condenser on the correct side of the house?
  • Do you need both cooling and heating?
  • Do you have access to natural gas, or just electricity?
  • How much do you want to spend?
Outdoor unit for a ductless split system.


Air Conditioning

Air conditioning (AC) is a popular option because it is effective and more affordable than either a heat pump or a ductless split. However, you can only install air conditioning if you already have a forced-air furnace, which many homes do not. Make sure that you know whether or not your home can support AC. That being said, you can opt for a ductless air conditioner as opposed to a traditional one. Ductless AC units are generally about the same price as a heat pump.


Heat Pump”

Of the three options, a heat pump costs the most to buy and install. However, it can provide your home with both heating and cooling and you do not need a forced-air furnace in order to have a heat pump installed in your home. A heat pump is also by far the most affordable option for heating your home up to a certain temperature, making it a popular option in milder climates like the Lower Mainland. 


Ductless Split

This is your main option for cooling if you don’t have a forced-air furnace. A ductless split is a wall-mounted piece of equipment with lines that run to an outdoor cooling unit. It can provide both heating and cooling, and is a great choice if you just want to cool a particular area, such as your bedroom or one floor of your home. Ductless splits do not take up a lot of space and are energy efficient as well as effective for cooling whatever area(s) of your home that you choose.

If you have questions about cooling your home or want to book service, get in touch with John Sadler Plumbing & Heating today at 604-531-4355.


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John Sadler Plumbing & Heating

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