As an HVAC contractor and owner operator in the HVAC business for 20 years , we are often asked various questions on how we decide the proper heating/ cooling system for homes and cottages. Whether it's a full system , ductless mini split , geothermal , or radiant heating. They all have there purposes and installation reasons. For most of the heating companies it comes down to what people are looking to do and the economics ,
Geothermal units require enough land to do an underground loop or enough water supply to effectively make the system work properly.
Air to air heat pump systems have improved due to advancements in technology, thus increasing efficiency in recent years.. They are now as efficient as some Geothermal units on the market today. When deciding between a new Geothermal or heat pump system today, consider a new air source heat pump. Chose a good heat pump with a good manufacturers warranty on it. They are usually well made and should last a long time with regular maintenance and upkeep.
Ductless min splits also have their place as well. Although efficient and relatively easy to install they are not for everybody nor are they a one unit whole home heating system. It may take multiple units to effectively heat an entire house. The more of these units you install in one home the longer it takes to get a pay back and add to the monthly operating cost , due to more compressors running. Ductless systems are installed in homes with no ducting and where adding ducting would be time consuming and far too costly. With the ductless mini split unit you should only expect the unit to heat or cool about 80 to 90 percent of the home, or most of the area it's installed in. Walls and doorways along with the hard to reach areas need to be taken into consideration . In a home where ducting is already present we would generally recommend a full ducted system. Installed by people who are professional in the field of HVAC they will effectively heat the whole home where mini splits will be limited to the amount of space they can do based on air flow.
My best advice to a homeowner looking in today's market is to choose a company who sells more then one type of Heating product, because they will tend to steer you towards your best solution. Buying from a reputable company in the field will assure you of the best product and warranty they have to offer. Most of the time they will offer service plans and just as importantly, they will service and repair what they sell. Remember this is what we do for a living it's not a side line or a hobby.