Experience with heat pump for heating & cooling

We are considering replacing our central gas furnace with a ducted mini-split heat pump and wanted to hear how others' experience with ducted heat pumps has gone.  Does it provide enough cooling on the occasional hot summer days?  Is it noticeably noisier than a gas furnace?  

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We had a mini-split system in Brooklyn and it was excellent. Much quieter as the only fan that's on is the one that's in the room that needs the cooling. Our condenser unit was on the roof and we never heard it. Definitely provides enough cooling - though you need to have it sized for your building. I'd say it's far quieter than a gas furnace as you don't hear it click on, or the whurring of the wind through the ducts themselves.

Which one were you considering specifically? Did you mean Ductless instead of Ducted?


We installed a ducted Fujitsu heat pump system in our house (1400 sq ft) last year and are very happy with it!  It is not noisier than a gas furnace: I believe the fan/blower system is just a standard fan system, no different from the one that would circulate air heated by a gas furnace fire.  The compressor outside is as loud as an air conditioner (because a heat pump space conditioning system is basically an air conditioner with a reversible valve, allowing it to both heat and cool).  The compressor is outside our kitchen window and I don't notice the noise unless I'm listening for it (it's only running sporadically anyway, just like an A/C).  It keeps our house very comfortable, and also feels good to know that no longer burning gas is the right decision for the climate and air quality in general.  We like being able to pre-cool/pre-heat our house at times of day when there's excess solar on the grid.  It's a great decision, especially if you were considering installing/replacing air conditioning anyway.  BayREN may be able to connect you with rebates depending on where you live.  Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have further specific questions!

I have a similar question!  I have a bid for a Mitsubishi pump with ducts for heating and cooling for our downstairs and minisplits for our upstairs bedrooms but it is quite expensive.  The system also requires an electrical upgrade.  Does anyone have experience with this sort of heating and cooling system? Thanks!       

We installed a ducted mini-split heat pump in our house a few years ago.  We don't use the AC that often - probably a few days a year - but it is nice to be able to cool the house on those occasional days that are hot enough to warrant it.  (If it's only moderately warm we just use fans to save energy.)  We have not had any issues with cooling capacity.  It's worth noting, though, that the airflow from a heat pump is less powerful than from a furnace, so a cold room will heat less quickly than it would with furnace.  I assume the same would be true for cooling, but we've never had traditional AC to compare to.  Using a thermostat set point or scheduling it to come on in advance solves that problem.  We actually find that, with a gentler air flow, the heat pump is significantly quieter than a furnace.  We don't notice that it's on other than the house being a comfortable temperature.  The outdoor unit makes some noise, but it's not noticeable inside our house.  Overall, we've been happy with our heat pump.

I can’t explain the mechanics of heat pumps but I can tell you my experience with ours. The noise is very similar to a furnace or air conditioner. It takes much longer to heat or cool your home so you want to want to turn it on before it gets too hot or cold. I have been told they are efficient. 

We have a heat pump and love it.  We have one Fujitsu mini split wall unit and one ducted for our 1000 sq ft home and the ducted unit works better and is silent (quieter than a gas furnace for sure).  It also cools really well.   We've had it for about 6 years and super happy. We used Kevin Armstrong https://www.yelp.com/biz/specialized-heating-and-air-conditioning-castro... who did a great job and was far cheaper than the other 2 companies we got bids from.  In 6 years, we've had just one minor issue and Kevin came out on the same day (a Saturday!!!) to fix it. 

We've have a ducted system  for 2 years and much prefer it to our old gas furnace for heating. It blows more gently and more moderately heated air so you don't get the temperature swings like with a furnace where it blows HOT, then stops and the house cools off (probably more quickly than it should with our old single pane windows), then HOT again. The fan noise is very quiet  (much quieter than the furnace) and so is the compressor--ours is pretty big and we never hear it (I think we set it up on some optional vibration absorbing pads). We have not used it much for A/C yet but now that we have MERV 13 filters, I think it will be helpful on hot, smoky days when you can't have windows open (new normal, sigh).

One thing I don't like is the thermostat. It's even "dumber" than a basic furnace thermostat in that you can only set it in 30 min increments (instead of 15), it doesn't show current temperature, and it's hard to program. I think there is one other that I'm not remembering right now since I haven't used it since the Spring. It's more of an annoyance than anything else, but I'm curious, have other posters on this thread upgraded their thermostat to a Nest or anything else? I actually don't need a smart one, I just want an easy one. I feel like heat pumps can't use regular furnace thermostats but I could be totally wrong.