A ceiling with multiple ceiling-mounted mini-split air handler units installed

Mini-splits come in various forms that provide suitable options for most homes. This includes floor-, wall-, and ceiling-mounted air handlers.

Wall-mounted units are by far the most popular, but ceiling units can offer a cleaner look, similar to venting from a central HVAC system.

Can Mini-Split Heat Pumps Be Installed In a Ceiling?

The quick answer is yes!

Let’s look a little more closely at the ceiling installed air handler (head unit).

Ceiling-Mounted (Ceiling Cassette)

A ceiling-mounted air handler, also called a ceiling cassette, is a sleek, discreet design that fits between standard joists in the ceiling of your room.

What Are the Ceiling Mounted Options?

The ceiling air handler (head unit) comes in two primary forms:  a ceiling suspended unit and a recessed ceiling unit. Both of these are referred to as cassettes.

Most suspended ceiling cassettes are used in very large rooms and commercial settings, such as showrooms, classrooms, etc.

The recessed ceiling cassettes are more commonly used in residential homes.

What Are the Benefits of Ceiling Mounted Head Units?

  • They are an excellent option if you have a lot of furniture up against the walls of your room.
  • Unobtrusive design that blends seamlessly into the ceiling. Only the grille is visible following installation.
  • Maximizes indoor living space by not taking up any wall or floor space.
  • Capable of sending warm and cool air out in four different directions, adding to the comfort of the room, reducing hot and cold spots.

What Should I Consider Before Buying?

  • Ceiling mounted head units tend to be more expensive than other types (like floor and wall-mounted)
  • They are more difficult and intrusive to install because of the need to run lines above the ceiling and form a hole for the unit itself.
    The indoor unit measures 22.5” x 22.5” minimum. Depending on the rafter spacing in your home, installation could be a challenge.
  • They are more difficult to service and maintain because they are located in the ceiling. Cleaning filters regularly can be challenging for homeowners.

In Summary:

If you are looking for a less intrusive design, a ceiling unit could be perfect for you. The main benefit of ceiling units is that they don’t take up space on the wall or the floor of your home.

If you don’t mind the look of a wall-mounted air handler, it will be cheaper to install and easier to service for regular filter cleanings and maintenance. Despite the space they take up on the wall, they are extremely quiet when they run. 

The biggest difference is space. If you don’t want to see the air handler, a ceiling unit is the one for you.

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