mini split vs gas boiler comparison banner

Mini-Split Vs Gas Boiler Comparison Guide

Hi! In full disclosure, we may earn money from companies (like Amazon) mentioned in this post if you make a purchase through our links. Thanks in advance for the support!

Mini-Split vs Gas Boiler

For homeowners who don’t want to rely on ductwork for heating, mini-splits and gas boilers are their next options. Both systems have their own advantages and disadvantages but how do the two heating systems compare?

Mini-Split Heat Pumps

A ductless mini-split makes use of three main components to process hot and cold air. These are the indoor air handlers, outdoor compressor unit, and a line set holding the condensate drain, refrigerant, and power lines.

Within the indoor units are coils, a fan, and an air filter. These connect to the outdoor unit via the line set. Multiple indoor units can be supported by a single outdoor unit to create temperature zones.

Mini-splits utilize a heat pump technology to both cool and heat spaces. This means that instead of producing heat, it takes out heat from the air. They make use of air source heat pumps that can absorb heat even in extremely cold weather.

To cool spaces, the indoor unit takes out heat from the cooling zone and cycles the air through the refrigerant lines and coils. Once the refrigerant reaches the evaporator coils, cold air is blown out via the indoor blower. In heating mode, this whole process is reversed by a reversing valve that changes the directional flow of the refrigerant.

CALL FOR QUOTE: 1.855.920.1857

Gas Boilers

Gas boilers are hydronic heat systems. They use hot water to heat homes. The hot water is generated in a vessel and once it reaches the right temperature, the water is pushed through a small pipe system. These pipes distribute heat to radiators, baseboard heating, or hydronic radiant floor heating to provide warmer temperatures in homes.

Installation Cost Mini Splits Vs Gas Boilers

Installing a new boiler is very expensive. The typical price range is between $3,459 to $11,000 inclusive of labor and material costs. A mini-split system, on the other hand, ranges between $1,500 to $15,000 also inclusive of labor and material costs.

The BTU needs, brand, model, and the number of units can affect these prices. But overall, both heating systems command hefty price tags.

Older homes typically have existing boilers installed but it is more advisable to update them for better efficiency and performance. Replacing a standard boiler could cost around $4,000. Higher efficiency models can cost up to $7,500. This includes labor and material expenses as well.

CALL FOR QUOTE: 1.855.920.1857

Energy Efficiency Of Both

Gas boilers are efficient at heating because it uses water to distribute the heat produced. A modern gas boiler can reach AFUE ratings of up to 90% and modern condensing boilers have AFUE ratings between 95 to 98% since they provide both hot water and heating for homes.

Mini-splits are highly energy-efficient as well. Because it is a sealed system, properly installed mini-split systems rarely experience leaks. Most systems also have Energy Star rated units.

The difference in energy savings between the two systems depends on the outside temperature. Mini-splits transfer heat from the outside into the heating zone. In extremely cold temperatures, this becomes more difficult for the system so it uses up energy less efficiently. Meanwhile, gas boilers retain the same energy efficiency even in extreme weather.

Energy Source Compared

Unlike gas boilers, heat pumps do not rely on fossil fuels for energy. They can also be hooked up to solar energy since they use little amounts of electricity to operate. In this sense, heat pumps are a more sustainable system to provide heating in homes.

Installation Process Compared

Installing a mini-split system is much cheaper and easier compared to installing a gas boiler.

With a ductless mini-split system, a contractor only has to mount the indoor units to the wall, drill a 3-inch conduit for the line set, and place the compressor unit in a safe and secured location outside.

Gas boilers are more complicated to install especially if they are connected to your baseboard and floors. They require more materials and labor as well.

It is important to note that gas boilers and mini-splits need to be installed by HVAC professionals. Installation of both systems requires the handling of toxic and fragile materials. This is for the safety of you, your home, and your system.

CALL FOR QUOTE: 1.855.920.1857

Longevity Of Both Systems

Gas boilers and mini-splits are built to last between 10 to 15 years. However, mini-split heat pumps often have a shorter life span since they can be used for both heating and cooling. Since the system works all year round, they work more and break down sooner.

Although gas boilers last longer in general, it can cause terrible damage to your home once the system leaks. You are dealing with water and once a leak happens, it can be dangerous and difficult to address depending on severity.

You also need to watch out for gas leaks. Properly installed gas boilers are very safe but it pays to be cautious. You need to have your system well maintained to prevent dangerous accidents.

Replacement Parts Of Mini Splits Vs Gas Boilers

Once a mini-split reaches its life span, it’s typically the end of it. Most models make use of components that are proprietary to their manufacturers. Once these components are phased out, it makes it almost impossible to repair the mini-split units.

On one hand, gas boilers can usually be updated and modified since most of its components can be sourced out independently regardless of brand and model.

Home Comfort Provided

When it comes to heating, gas boilers are more effective than mini-splits because it provides radiant heat. Because the heat comes from surrounding objects instead of the air, the heat is better sustained.

Also, because hot air rises and cold air sinks, mini-splits are usually installed higher. During cold weather, this makes the indoor air handlers work harder at maintaining heat.

However, if you are in an area where the different seasons have contrasting weathers, mini-splits are a more versatile system since they also provide cooling.

If you have a gas boiler for heating, you still need a supplementary system to provide cooling during the warmer season. Because of this, some homeowners even partner mini-splits with gas boilers to providing air-conditioning and additional heating.

Pairing up a mini-split heat pump with a gas boiler actually helps the heat pump work more efficiently.

Mini-Split Heat Pump Pros and Cons


  • Low Energy Bills
  • Easy Installation
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Sustainable Energy Sources


  • Shorter Lifespan
  • Less Efficient in Extreme Cold

Gas Boiler Pros and Cons


  • Low Energy Bills
  • Replaceable Parts
  • Energy Efficient Even in Extreme Cold
  • Long Lifespan
  • Consistent Heat
  • Condensing Boilers Provide Hot Water


  • Complicated Installation
  • Uses Fossil Fuels
  • Heating Only
  • Leaks Can Cause Flooding and Water Damage

CALL FOR QUOTE: 1.855.920.1857

Final Words

Gas boilers and mini-splits are both expensive investments but they both provide energy-efficient air solutions. What sets them apart is the rise and fall in temperatures of your home’s location.

During extremely cold temperatures, gas boilers are more energy-efficient, consistently heats, and condensing boilers can provide hot water too. Gas boilers are surely more effective at heating but are not able to provide the versatility of mini-split systems.

Mini-split systems provide both cooling and heating. They are also easier to install. If you also care about becoming more sustainable when it comes to your energy sources, you can plug your mini-split system to off-the-grid electricity.

Heating is important especially in locations with very cold conditions. However, each homeowner has a different preference when it comes to comfort, sustainability, and convenience.