Your Guide to Ductless Mini-Split vs Central Air Conditioning System

Your Guide to Ductless Mini-Split vs Central Air Conditioning System

A Guide to Ductless MiniSplit vs Central Air Conditioning System

When it comes to heating and cooling your Phoenix home, there’s never a one size fits all solution. Fortunately, when you choose to work with us at Howard Air, you can rest assured you’ll always find the right unit for your home, no matter the shape and size. For many homes in the area, one of the main decisions you’ll need to make is installing a central air conditioning system or switching things up and going with a ductless mini-split system. Both are great ways to cool a home, but both have their own pros and cons to familiarize yourself with before making your final decision.

About Central Air Conditioners

Central air conditioning units are by far the most common type of HVAC systems found in homes throughout the United States, especially in newer constructions. They consist of an outdoor unit, an indoor unit, and a series of ducts that are responsible for delivering air throughout the home, including the heat pump. This construction offers some unique advantages, including:

  • Cheaper upfront
  • Lower installation costs (in some cases)
  • Equipment is invisible indoors

By and large, installing a central air conditioner is going to cost you far less than a ductless system assuming your home has pre-existing ductwork. This is precisely the reason why most new homes come equipped with a central air conditioning system. Additionally, since the ductwork is held in the walls, ceiling, and floor of your home, you never have to see it, leaving you with nothing but clean, clear walls. However, like any home upgrade, central air units also come with some downsides as well, including:

  • Higher overall operating costs
  • Poor indoor air quality without proper maintenance
  • Lack of personalized temperature control

With this system, ductwork is required to carry air throughout your home. However, ductwork in some homes may be sub-par or constructed in such a way that the system’s blower has a hard time moving air to all corners of your home. This leads to a loss of efficiency as your cool air leaks out of the ductwork, and the system has to work harder and longer to get air where it needs to go. Dirty ducts can also lead to poor air quality, while units with a single thermostat force a “one size fits all” temperature solution throughout the house.

About Ductless Mini-Split Systems

Much like a central air unit, ductless systems consist of an indoor unit and outdoor unit. However, unlike central air units, ductless systems do not involve a series of ducts or an indoor furnace and blower mechanism. Rather, the outdoor unit is only connected to the indoor wall-mounted blower via a series of thin tubes. This setup has its own benefits to enjoy, which include:

  • Less noise than the average central air system
  • Zone cooling is easy and available
  • Easier overall installation

With a ductless system, the noisy compressor is housed outdoors. That means you don’t get any of the rumbling noise inside while your unit is running. Because the indoor units are individually installed in each room, you can also adjust the settings, allowing you to keep each room at a different temperature at any given time. Finally, installing these units typically involves only creating a small hole in the wall for the connecting pipe, a far easier (and cheaper) process than installing ductwork.

Ductless AC systems have much to offer, but they, too, have their own drawbacks to consider. These include:

  • Not suited for larger homes due to size limitations
  • Visible and space-consuming indoor units
  • Higher up-front costs

Because an indoor unit will need to be installed in each room you want to be cooled, a larger home may require several units, making ductless units an impractical option. Furthermore, wall-mounted ductless units are highly visible and may detract from your overall decor scheme, and are generally significantly more expensive to install.

Which One is Better?

The simple answer is that there is no simple answer. Central air conditioning units and ductless mini-split units both have heft pros and cons to consider, and your final decision should come down to what’s best for your individual home, budget, and lifestyle. If you have any doubts about which route to take with your new system, it’s always a good idea to reach out to the professionals with questions about cost, operation, and other details.

Still Trying to Decide? Get in Touch with Howard Air Today!

To learn more about both central air and ductless units, contact us at Howard Air. We’ll not only get you the information you need, but we’ll also help you choose your unit and install it after you’ve made your decision. Our professional technicians are here and ready to make your Phoenix home cool and comfortable as soon as possible.

Featured Image: Shutterstock / C5 Media

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