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Heat Pump Zones; When is less more and more less?

There’s no shortage of questions to ask and variables to consider when you look at installing a mini-split heat pump in your home. One of the biggest questions of all is whether you should install a single zone or a multi-zone heat pump. You will find a lot of discussion on this topic and we would be remiss if we didn’t put in our two cents.

The first thing to do is ask yourself a couple questions;

  • What areas of the home do I spend the most time in?
  • What areas do I want to be kept cool in the summer and warm in the winter?

These simple questions take you quite far in determining what you will require from a heat pump. From your answers we can begin to see;

  • The size of heat pump required
  • The number of indoor heads required
  • The optimal installation location of the outdoor unit

If you have one main area of your home that you use the most, then a single zone heat pump is an easy solution to heat and cool said area.

Should you decide that you want more than one area of your home to be heated and cooled then you come to the question of the day. Should you use two or more separate single zone units or one multi-zone unit?

What Is A Zone?

When we refer to a zone in your home, this is an area which has its temperature controlled by a single thermostat. If your home is heated by oil hot water heaters or electric baseboards, it is likely that your home has multiple zones, each with its own thermostat.

When you install a  heat pump you are usually offsetting the heating costs in one or more zones of the home.

When To Install A Multi-Zone Heat Pump

When you want two or more zones to benefit from the climate control of a heat pump, the best thing to do is install a single outdoor until that feeds multiple indoor heads. This setup will provide you with some key benefits over installing multiple single units.

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    Less space required on the electrical panel, and less electricity consumption
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    Less physical space required on the exterior of your home
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    Lower cost of equipment and installation

Under most circumstances when heating and cooling multiple zones, a multi-zone heat pump it unsurprisingly the best choice. Though there are certain instances where more that one single zone heat pump is potentially the better choice.

When To Install More Than One Single Zone Heat Pump  

If you want to heat and cool two or more areas that are separated by quite a distance, such as two rooms on the opposite sides of the house, then you may want to consider two or more single zone heat pumps.

This will take less time to install, and will likely save you money on installation. In addition, you will cut down on the amount of slim ducting that will be attached to the exterior of the house.  

The other time that you may need two or more single zone units is if the rooms you are heating and cooling are very large and the multi-zone unit would not be powerful enough, and as such would require a dedicated single zone unit. 

Next Steps

As always the best way to determine what heat pump is right for your home is to have a professional assessment done of the layout and electrical service. Your local heat pump contractor will also discuss your heating and cooling desires to figure out what sort of setup will work best for your specific situation.

If you would like to have your complimentary in-home assessment, you can book online or give us a call to arrange a time that works for you.

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