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Heat Pump vs Central AC—What is the Best Choice for Your Home?

Upgrade your home HVAC.

Kearney installs heat pumps and central AC!


If your North Shore, Massachusetts, or Seacoast, New Hampshire home is due for an air conditioning upgrade, it can be tough to make a decision about what technology will be the best fit for you and your family.

At Kearney HVAC, our clients often ask whether heat pumps (including Mitsubishi Electric ductless systems, also known as ductless mini splits) or central air conditioning are better for their New England houses. The truth is, these systems offer different benefits for different needs. Both are highly appropriate for our climate, so the decision really comes down to your needs and preferences.

In this blog, Kearney breaks down the benefits of heat pump installation versus central AC installation to help you decide which system is the best choice for your home.

Key Considerations for Central AC and Heat Pumps


Heat pumps have three main components: an indoor air handler, an outdoor unit, and an airtight line of refrigerant that connects the two parts. Your air handler connects directly to your existing ductwork, making it easy to distribute your warm or cool conditioned air throughout your home with the help of your thermostat. Central AC installation is very similar, but without being able to heat your home in the wintertime the way a heat pump can.

Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Air Conditioning systems can also be used in addition to your home’s central HVAC if you have a room without duct registers, or a room that can be challenging to heat and cool. Common examples of these include garages, 3-season sunrooms, finished attics, and more.


Ducted heat pumps and central air conditioners have a very similar installation process since both will simply be hooked up to your home’s existing ductwork.

On the other hand, mini split heat pumps like Mitsubishi Electric ductless systems, don’t require any ductwork at all. These units can be installed on any exterior wall to heat or cool a specific zone of your home. One of the biggest advantages of ductless heat pumps is that each interior unit can still be set to a different temperature, meaning no more fighting over the thermometer to achieve your preferred temperature in your own bedroom.


All heat pumps offer both heating and cooling, so they can cost a bit more because of their versatility. Still, the impressive efficiency of these systems means that they often have low operating costs year-round.

Ultimately, the best solution for you depends on many personal and logistical factors. Fortunately, there are several models of heat pumps and central AC systems to suit every home and budget. Kearney HVAC is here to help you find the best fit for your Seacoast, New Hampshire or North Shore, Massachusetts home’s needs. Visit our showroom to learn more about available options!

Get Up to $10,000 Back with the Mass Save® Heat Pump Rebate!

Are heat pumps energy efficient? Yes! In fact, Mass Save® offers impressive rebates for Massachusetts homeowners looking to make efficiency upgrades specifically because heat pumps are so efficient.

Whether you’re considering ducted heat pump options, zoned Mitsubishi Electric heating and air conditioning, or simply adding a mini split or two to supplement your existing HVAC, you could get up to $10,000 back on your purchase with Kearney—one of the many advantages of heat pumps.

Deciding between heat pumps and central AC? Call today to schedule your FREE in-home consultation! 978-388-0845or contact us online.