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How to Choose Between a Wall-Mounted or Central Heat Pump

How to Choose Between a Wall-Mounted or Central Heat Pump

Interior renovationsHow to Choose Between a Wall-Mounted or Central Heat Pump

In Quebec, each year we live through a very hot summer and an extremely cold winter. These two realities mean that in this beautiful province, heating and air conditioning aren’t to be taken lightly. And for good reason: Your survival kind of depends on it!

There is no shortage of heating and air-conditioning equipment out there and neither is there a lack of solutions for both heating during the winter and air conditioning during the summer. However, choosing the best solution isn’t easy, because surely you’ll want a product that meets your needs while still being within your budget.

Note that there’s a device that you can use for heating and air conditioning: a heat pump. Not only is it practical and eco-friendly, but a heat pump pays for itself long term.

What’s a heat pump?

wall-mounted or central heat pump

Source: Canva

Although a heat pump represents a pretty significant investment compared to installing a heating or air conditioning system, it’s nevertheless a very cost-effective product.

Energy Transition defines a heat pump as an electrical device that transfers heat from one area to another. A heat pump can be used for both heating and air conditioning. Certain heat pumps can also supply hot water for consumption.

Note that in Quebec, a heat pump alone can’t meet heating requirements during the winter, as cold weather significantly reduces its efficiency. Therefore, the heat pump must be connected to another heating system for it to take over should the temperature dip below a certain degree.

A heat pump is made up of a humidifier, air filter, coil evaporation system, UV germicidal lamp, and coil fan. Should you choose this sensible option, note that there are two types of heat pumps: wall-mounted or central heat pumps. 

Wall-Mounted Heat Pump

wall-mounted or central heat pump

Source: Canva

A wall-mounted heat pump is the ideal home heating and air conditioning solution. Since it has the same properties as a central unit, this system transfers the heat found inside the home to the outside (cooling function). 

Unlike a central heat pump, a wall-mounted unit doesn’t require any kind of ventilation ducts to be operational. The unit is air-cooled, which makes it much simpler to install; if you choose a wall-mounted heat pump, you won’t have any ventilation ducts to install.

This option is simple and practical allowing you to improve your overall comfort during both the winter and summer months. Moreover, the wall-mounted heat pump allows you to avoid expensive installation costs as well as reduce your heating bill. This energy-efficient solution is affordable and cost-effective. This system is discreet, and quiet, and allows for quick and precise temperature control.

Central Heat Pump

wall-mounted or central heat pump

Source: Canva

The central heat pump functions in the same way: it drives heat from one place to another. However, the system differs from the wall-mounted heat pump in that its main purpose is to control the temperature of a house as a whole. The central heat pump system is divided into several independent components allowing for temperature control in the various parts of the house. 

Typically, central heat pumps are installed in homes with existing air ducts, as the system is designed to transfer heat from one room to another. As with the wall-mounted heat pump, a central heat pump is a widely efficient and cost-effective heating and cooling system. Being an environmentally friendly option, heat pumps reduce your ecological footprint in the short and long run. Ultimately, it allows you to enjoy optimal comfort all year long.

What’s the cost of a heat pump?

The cost of a heat pump varies according to:

  • The type of unit chosen;

  • The unit’s power;

  • And the installation requirements.

Wall-mounted heat pumps are typically more affordable, while central heat pumps are more costly. One must plan for about $2,300 to purchase and install a heat pump. As for central heat pumps, the price point is situated around $5,500, even for various models. However, a home visit (typically free of charge) is needed in terms of getting a service quote. 

To learn more about the cost of a heat pump compared to other heating systems, check out our heating system pricing guide

What’s the average service life of a heat pump?

A heat pump’s service life will most often depend on the type of heat pump purchased. Wall-mounted heat pumps have an average service life of 8 to 12 years, while central heat pumps can last 15 or more years. The service life of a heat pump will also vary according to the quality and maintenance of the unit. 

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Heat Pump

When considering the purchase of either a wall-mounted or central heat pump, several factors should be considered in order to optimize your purchase according to your needs.

The higher the energy efficiency ratio (EER or SEER), the lower your air conditioning expenses will be. Likewise, during the colder season, the higher the heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), the more energy you’ll save. However, consider the noise level of the heat pump you’re purchasing, as a relatively noisy heat pump can affect your overall comfort.

Understanding Heat Pump Installation Guidelines

wall-mounted or central heat pump

Source: Canva

The Régie du bâtiment du Québec cautions that a faulty heat pump installation can cause serious harm to both consumers and the environment. In fact, a poor installation can result in a fire or permanent damage to the heating and air conditioning unit, in addition to causing contamination problems.

The RBQ states that some wall-mounted heat pumps necessitate installation by a building contractor holding a valid subclass 15.10 licence—refrigeration contractor. However, the RBQ also specifies that a licenced contractor with a subclass 15.9 licence—a small refrigeration systems contractor, can also be appropriate for this type of installation, provided that the cooling capacity doesn’t exceed 20 Kilowatts.

In the event that the installation requires electrical work, said installation must be carried out by an electrical contractor holding a valid licence under subclass 16.0— electrical contractor. The Régie du bâtiment du Québec has made available a repertory of licence holders to ensure that said contractor is in accordance with the law.

Main Image Source: Canva

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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