side by side of central air conditioning vs ductless mini split

Understanding the Options: Central AC vs Ductless Mini-Splits

When it comes to cooling your home, you have some important choices to make. Central air conditioning and ductless mini-split systems are two popular options that both provide high-efficiency cooling performance. Customers often ask us about the key differences between these two options. Let’s take a closer look at central AC vs ductless mini-splits so you can decide which better fits your needs.

Central AC Systems

A traditional central air conditioning system uses ductwork to distribute cooled or heated air throughout your home. The main components include an outdoor condenser unit, an air handler located inside (usually in the basement, attic or garage), and a distribution system of supply and return vents. This system is most commonly used in single-family homes and provides whole-home cooling and heating through a single thermostat.

Some benefits of central AC include conditioning your entire home from one location. This makes the system easy to control and maintain temperature consistency room-to-room. Central AC is also well-suited for open floor plans without many barriers between rooms. Ducts can be adjusted or added as needed during installation to reach all spaces. Service calls are simple since technicians only need access to the outdoor and indoor units.

The downside is ductwork limits unit placement and takes up valuable storage space in the home. Leaks in ducting also reduce efficiency over time. Additional costs may be associated with duct installation depending on a home’s structure. And central AC requires seasonal conversion if using the same system for heat, adding to maintenance expenses.

Ductless Mini-Split Systems

Mini-split systems, also called ductless splits, offer a flexible alternative to central AC. These employ refrigerant lines and individual indoor wall-mounted units rather than a duct network. Each indoor unit has an independent thermostat and can be placed virtually anywhere due to flexible tubing.

A key advantage is mini-splits lose no cooling capacity to duct loss. They are up to 30% more efficient than central AC and heat pumps. Their reduced environmental impact earns them ENERGY STAR qualifications. Installation also tends to be simpler and less invasive than ductwork projects. Zoned comfort is another plus, allowing different temperatures room by room.

Some downsides – additional indoor units are needed for whole-home coverage. Their look may not suit all design aesthetics either. And repair costs can be higher than central HVAC since technicians must access each indoor unit individually.

Making Your Choice

Both central AC and ductless mini-splits offer powerful yet energy-saving ways to keep indoor spaces cool. Consider factors like your home layout, seasonal needs, and budget when deciding. We’d be happy to discuss your specific home and requirements to recommend the best comfort solution. Doing so will ensure years of dependable cooling comfort.

Feel free to contact Evolved Mechanical anytime with additional questions! We’re here to help you make an informed selection that fits your lifestyle. A little knowledge upfront makes all the difference in enjoying a comfortable home all Summer long.