What Does A Heat Pump Look Like? (How To Find Your Heat Pump) | Aquarius Home Services

What Does a Heat Pump Look Like? (How to Find Your Heat Pump)

There are a lot of components that make up a heating, air conditioner, and cooling system. Heat pumps are rising in popularity because they’re efficient and can provide both heating and cooling capabilities. They’re the perfect combination of an air conditioning system and different heating systems.

Whether you’re installing air source heat pumps or another type, they can all switch between heating mode and cooling mode easily.

You’ve heard of a heat pump or air source heat pump, but have you ever wondered what a heat pump looks like? Keep reading to learn more about what heat pumps look like and the different kinds of heat pump systems.

What Does a Heat Pump Look Like? That Depends!

A heat pump is one of the best ways to keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round. What your heat pump looks like depends on the type of heat pump you have!

There are two types of heat pumps you can choose from. There’s a traditional split system heat pump and a mini-split heat pump. The appearance of your heat pump will vary depending on where you’re placing them and if you’re using an air-source heat pump or another type.

Traditional split system heat pumps are also known as air source heat pumps. An air source heat pump resembles square cages that are black or gray. Contractors place them on the floor outside your home. Another recognizable feature of these heat pumps is the fan on top.

On the inside of your home, with an air source heat pump, there will be a gas furnace or air handler. The split system heat pump HVAC system provides the heating while the outside unit deals with cooling your home. Traditional split systems are the most common setup throughout homes in the United States.

A mini-split heat pump looks pretty different from traditional ones. They’re far smaller because manufacturers design them to be compact. They have become very popular because their smaller size provides more flexibility.

close up of ductless mini split heat pump

These heat pumps look like small rectangular boxes with nets on the front. The round nets are usually beige or white, and you can mount this heat pump on the ceiling or walls to avoid taking up much space.

These heat pumps are usually quieter than an air source heat pump and are easier to install and maintain than others that use cold outdoor air or warm air.

How Does a Ductless Heat Pump Work?

Ductless heat pumps, also known as mini-split systems, work by transferring heat from one part of the house to another. It does this through refrigerant lines that run between an outdoor condenser and an indoor air handler unit.

The outdoor condenser unit on ductless heat pumps takes in warm outdoor air, transforms it into liquid heat energy, then pushes it through the refrigerant lines.

Inside the home, the centralized air handler evaporates the fluid into hot air or cold air before releasing it into the air conditioner’s house to heat or cool it.

What Are the Different Kinds of Heat Pumps?

There are several types of heat pumps. An air-source system works by drawing in air from outside through a compressor to heat or cool before sending it through the ductwork. An air-source system is the most cost-effective HVAC system option.

Another type is a ground-source heating system. This system comprises underground pipes that will fill with water to absorb heat during the winter and then release it into the ground when temperatures are at freezing. It will heat water to help warm your home. They’re efficient and don’t rely on temperature fluctuations.

Then there’s a ductless mini-split system. It’s made up of indoor units that you mount on the side of the room and then connect through ducts throughout the walls, ceilings, and floor to hook up with an outdoor unit on the side of your house.

Are There Alternatives to Wall-Mounted Heat Pumps?

There are a few alternatives if a wall-mounted heat pump isn’t what you want. All the other heat pump options offer similar efficiency and comfort that a wall-mounted heat pump can but are far more flexible when contractors install them.

There are three main heat pump alternatives, a ducted heat pump, a window unit, and a ceiling-mounted unit. They all look a little bit different and vary in where contractors will install them in your home.

They all have the benefits you’re looking for in a heat pump, but one might be better than another for you.

Ducted Heat Pumps

Contractors will install a ducted heat pump directly into your home’s floor or ceiling, making them less visible than a wall-mounted unit. They’re great for evenly distributing air throughout your home.

Window Units

If you’re looking for affordability, then a window unit heat pump is an excellent alternative to wall-mounted heat pumps. These heat pumps are compact and designed to fit most standard windows.

a look at window unit heat pumps on building

They do make them work in windows that aren’t a standard size, but they can be harder to find and potentially more expensive. This heat pump draws air from outside your home and brings it directly inside with a vent hose.

Unlike other air conditioning options, there’s no need for external air conditioning or ventilation.

Ceiling-Mounted Units

Ceiling-mounted units are a great solution when you don’t want a bulky heat pump taking up space on your floor. It works in a similar way to a ducted heat pump in that it distributes air through vents in the ceiling, but it doesn’t require any additional ductwork.

Without additional ductwork, it’s easier and faster to install. These heat pumps are easier and faster to install, but they won’t distract from what your home actually looks like.


A heat pump is great for heating and cooling your home. No matter what heat pump system you use, knowing what they look like is essential. The different kinds of heat pumps all look different.

Some will be large wall units, and some will be less visible, like a ductless heat pump. Depending on what you want your indoor space to look like, you might need a different HVAC system. Whether you want an indoor unit or an outdoor unit, these work to distribute heat and air conditioning throughout the year.

Now that you know what heat pumps, including air source heat pumps, look like, you can better decide which heat pump system will suit your home the best.

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