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Choosing between a ducted and high wall heat pump for your home requires careful consideration, and FAS Energy is dedicated to making this decision simpler for you. This article uncovers essential factors such as cost, efficiency, flexibility, aesthetics, and overall impact on comfort within your home as it unravels the intricacies of both options. From the seamless integration and quieter operation of ducted heat pumps to the cost-effective and energy-efficient qualities of high wall units, you’re sure to gain a clearer perspective. Whether your home is small or large, our aim is to guide you to the heat pump solution that best fits your unique needs.

Ducted vs High Wall Heat Pumps - Considerations for Your Home

Understanding Heat Pumps

What is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a versatile device that can be used to either heat or cool your home. It works by transferring heat from one place to another, using very little energy in the process. Primarily, it works like a refrigerator that can operate in reverse. Rather than generating heat themselves, they pull heat from the outside air or ground and bring it indoors. As a home temperature solution, they are incredibly energy-efficient and can lead to significant savings on energy bills.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Heat pumps function by using the principles of evaporation and condensation. They have a refrigerant that absorbs and releases heat as it circulates between the indoor and outdoor units. When heating your home, the heat pump takes heat from the outside air (even when the temperature is cold), and transfers it inside. When cooling, it operates in reverse, taking the heat from inside your home and moving it outside.

Types of Heat Pumps

Generally, there are three main types of heat pumps – air-source, ground-source, and water-source heat pumps. Air-source heat pumps are the most common, and they draw heat from the outdoor air. Ground-source, or geothermal heat pumps, use the earth’s relatively stable temperature as the heat source or sink. Lastly, water-source heat pumps extracts heat from a body of water, like a pond or lake.

Overview of Ducted Heat Pumps

Meaning of Ducted Heat Pumps

Ducted heat pumps, also known as central heat pumps, work by circulating warm or cold air through a series of ducts to multiple rooms simultaneously. They are typically installed in the ceiling or under the floor, becoming an essential part of your home’s structure.

Functioning of Ducted Heat Pumps

Ducted heat pumps function similarly to other kinds of heat pumps by using a refrigerant to transfer heat. The main difference lies in how they distribute the heated or cooled air, utilizing a system of ducts that can deliver comfort throughout your entire home. They can either be implemented into existing ductwork or can be a part of a new installation.

Installation of Ducted Heat Pumps

Ducted heat pump installation is best done by skilled professionals. They are generally installed in the ceiling or under the floor to be hidden away from view. The process involves fitting the indoor unit, laying down a network of ducts, and then ensuring all the rooms in the house are connected to receive regulated air.

Ducted vs High Wall Heat Pumps - Considerations for Your Home

Advantages of Ducted Heat Pumps

Whole Home Comfort

One significant advantage of utilizing ducted heat pumps is their ability to provide whole-home comfort. They are designed to heat or cool your entire home, offering a uniform temperature across multiple rooms. This ensures everyone in your household enjoys the same level of comfort, regardless of where they are.


Unlike other types of heat pump systems that have visible elements, ducted systems are designed to be nearly invisible and seamless. They sit out of sight, quietly providing regulated temperature to your home without impacting your décor or living spaces.

Noise Control

With the main system components tucked away in the ceiling or under the floor, ducted heat pumps are often quieter than other types of heat pumps. The sound of the system running is less noticeable, contributing to a quieter home environment.

Drawbacks of Ducted Heat Pumps

Installation Cost

While ducted heat pumps offer numerous benefits, they are generally more expensive to install than other heat pumps. This is due to the complexity of installing ductwork throughout your home. However, it is important to consider the long-term energy savings they may provide.

Maintenance Considerations

Unlike a single-room system, a problem with a ducted heat pump can impact the comfort of your entire home. Regular maintenance is essential to ensure all areas function perfectly and to prevent costly repairs down the line.

Efficiency in Small Homes

Ducted systems might not be the most efficient choice for smaller homes. If constant heating or cooling for the entire house isn’t necessary, a single-room heat pump might bring more value.

Ducted vs High Wall Heat Pumps - Considerations for Your Home

Overview of High Wall Heat Pumps

Meaning of High Wall Heat Pumps

High wall heat pumps, also known as wall-mounted heat pumps, are installed at a high position on a wall. They typically operate to heat or cool a single room or an open-plan area.

Functioning of High Wall Heat Pumps

Just as with other kinds of heat pumps, high wall heat pumps leverage the power of evaporation and condensation to transfer heat. The indoor unit, mounted high on the wall, blows warm or cool air directly into the room.

Installation of High Wall Heat Pumps

The installation of high wall heat pumps is generally quicker and more straightforward than that of ducted systems. The indoor unit is installed high on a wall and the outdoor unit is placed in an appropriate spot outside the home.

Advantages of High Wall Heat Pumps


High wall heat pumps can be installed in almost any room, providing flexibility in where you want heating or cooling. They are particularly useful for houses with non-standard layouts, where conventional ductwork might be impractical.


Compared to ducted systems, high wall units are usually less expensive to install, making them a cost-effective option for single-room solutions. They are also comparatively cheaper to maintain and repair, which could save you money over the long term.

Efficiency in Small Spaces

High wall heat pumps can be extremely energy-efficient when heating or cooling smaller areas, as they direct temperature-regulated air straight into the room.

Ducted vs High Wall Heat Pumps - Considerations for Your Home

Drawbacks of High Wall Heat Pumps

Limited Coverage Area

As high wall heat pumps are designed to heat or cool specific rooms, they do not provide whole-home coverage. You may need multiple units for distinct parts of your home, leading to an increase in installation and operational costs.


While design improvements have made modern units less intrusive, high wall heat pumps are visible and might disrupt your home’s aesthetic. Consideration should be given to how a unit will fit with your interior décor when deciding on the installation location.

Noise Considerations

By nature of their design, high wall heat pumps can be noisier than other types. The indoor unit, which generates some noise during operation, is placed within the living spaces. Nonetheless, modern wall models have significantly improved in terms of operating noise.

Choosing Between Ducted and High Wall Heat Pumps

Comparison Based on House Size

When selecting a heat pump, the size of your home is a significant consideration. Ducted systems may be ideal for larger homes, where whole-house heating and cooling are needed. In contrast, high wall units might be ideal for smaller homes, apartments, or when wanting to heat or cool a specific room.

Comparison Based on Layouts

The layout of your home also plays a role. Homes with open floor plans or non-standard layouts might be better suited to high wall units, as these provide flexibility in installation and heating or cooling zones.

Comparison Based on Heating and Cooling Needs

If your heating and cooling needs vary significantly across different rooms, high wall units that provide independent control may be more beneficial. For uniform temperature control throughout your home, a ducted system could be the solution.

Ducted vs High Wall Heat Pumps - Considerations for Your Home

Professional Guidance for Heat Pump Selection

Role of Heating and Cooling Experts

Before making a decision between a ducted and high wall heat pump, it can be beneficial to seek guidance from heating and cooling experts. Experienced professionals can assess your home’s size, layout, and specific heating and cooling needs to help determine the best fit for your lifestyle.

Choosing a Reliable Heating and Cooling Company

Selection of a reliable heating and cooling company is crucial. Prioritize companies with a proven track record, experienced and certified experts, and excellent customer support. They should be happy to guide you through your options and provide personalized advice to ensure you achieve maximum comfort and energy efficiency in your home.

Importance of Personalized Advice for Heat Pump Selection

Every home is unique, and so are its heating and cooling needs. Receiving personalized advice based on your specific conditions and preferences helps ensure the heat pump you choose would serve you best. It’s not just about the product; it’s about the product that best fits your home and lifestyle.

Maintenance and Upkeep of Heat Pumps

Regular Service for Heat Pumps

Just like any other piece of equipment, heat pumps require regular service to keep them running optimally and efficiently. This involves routine checks and tune-ups to ensure the system is functioning as it should, often achieved through an annual service contract with your provider.

Preventing Heat Pump Breakdowns

Following a regular maintenance schedule can help prevent unexpected breakdowns. This includes tasks like replacing or cleaning filters, checking and sealing ductwork, and keeping outdoor units free from debris. Watching for early warning signs and addressing minor issues promptly can prevent larger, more costly repairs in the future.

Choosing a Heat Pump Repair Service

When repairs are needed, it’s essential to choose a reputable heat pump repair service. Your service provider should have trained technicians who understand the nuances of different kinds of heat pumps and can effectively troubleshoot issues you may encounter. Ensure that the company stands by their work and offers warranties or guarantees on their repairs. Choosing an appropriate repair service will ensure your heat pump continues to function efficiently and maximizes its lifespan.

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