As their name indicates, the main difference between mini-splits and heat pumps is that mini-split systems are ductless and therefore eliminate the need for ductwork. The indoor unit is an air handler that mounts directly to the wall or ceiling in the space you want to heat and cool. Electrical wiring, copper tubes, and a condensate drain line connect to an outdoor condensing unit through a small in-wall conduit. This exterior outdoor unit looks similar to a heat pump condenser or an air conditioner.
Multiple indoor units can be connected to one outdoor condenser, enabling you to heat and cool your full house with a single ductless system if desired. Indoor temperature zoning becomes practical and cost-effective, allowing you to choose when, where, and how much to heat and cool individual rooms.