Unveiling the Best Heat Pump: Split vs. All-in-One Showdown.

Heat Pump Showdown

As you embark on the journey of selecting a hot water heat pump, you’ll encounter a fork in the road: the choice between “split” systems and “all-in-one” systems.

At first glance, the distinctions between these two might seem negligible, delving deeper reveals nuances that could sway your decision. In this guide, we’ll explore the intricacies of split heat pumps versus all-in-ones, arming you with the knowledge to make a well-informed choice.

The Heart of the Matter: The Compressor’s Role at the core of the distinction lies the compressor, which is the heartbeat of your heat pump. It operates by drawing heat from the surrounding air, amplifying its pressure and temperature through compression, and then transferring this enhanced heat into your water tank.

In an all-in-one (integrated) system, the compressor and the tank are combined, typically with the compressor perched atop the tank.

Why Does This Matter? While this might seem like a minor detail, the positioning and integration of the compressor can significantly impact various aspects of the system.

Firstly, the installation process for a split system is more complex due to the need to connect the separate compressor and water tank. However, this complexity is a trade-off for increased flexibility in placement. Finding a suitable spot for both the compressor and the tank can be challenging. A split system allows for the separation of these components, with the compressor potentially situated outdoors and the tank indoors, providing more placement options.

Contrary to popular belief, an all-in-one system’s compactness doesn’t necessarily equate to space efficiency. These integrated systems require ample clearance from the wall, whereas a split system’s tank can be positioned closer to the wall, minimizing the system’s overall footprint.

For instance, placing a heat pump near a bedroom window might lead to disruptive noise levels, especially if the compressor is elevated. Some high-end heat pumps, like the Reclaim CO2 or the Sanden Eco Plus, boast quiet noise profiles and can be installed lower to the ground, mitigating this issue. However, these premium models are typically split systems, a choice driven by the advantages we’ll explore in the following section.

Reclaim Heat Pump

Split Systems: Your Key to Enhanced Efficiency

Split systems often lead in heat pump efficiency. All-in-one systems’ need for a compact compressor can compromise their efficiency. In contrast, split systems can house a larger, more efficient compressor. This reduces electricity use and saving costs while ensuring faster tank refills and more reliable hot water access.

For households with high hot water needs, a split system is the better choice. All-in-one systems’ compressors might not meet the demands of larger families. A top split system can heat a 315L tank in just three hours, much quicker than an integrated system. Also, if you install an all-in-one unit near a bedroom, expect prolonged noise.

Integrated units’ smaller compressors often struggle to reach the high temperatures needed to kill bacteria like legionella. While not unsafe, as electric boosters cover the gap, relying on a less efficient booster increases costs over time. This adds to all-in-one systems’ overall lower efficiency.

Note that split systems’ higher efficiency comes with a higher initial cost. A premium split system could cost around $5,000, while all-in-one models start at $2,000. However, long-term savings will make up for this.

When choosing a system, pick a compressor size that fits your needs, even if it’s pricier. If you often run out of hot water, a bigger compressor for faster refills is worth it. Also, remember that the Victorian government’s Solar Homes rebate is a one-time offer, so choose wisely.

In summary, all-in-one systems are cheaper and easier to install but lack the adaptability and efficiency of split systems. For larger households needing steady hot water, a split system is better.

Ultimately, choosing between an integrated and split system involves trade-offs. Consider the WERN factors – Warranty, Efficiency, Recovery Rate, and Noise – where split systems usually do better. But don’t forget to look into other factors when upgrading to a heat pump. Give us a call, we’re happy to help.