Central Air Conditioner vs. Ductless AC (aka Mini Split AC)


For large homes with multi-room climate control needs, there are two AC systems that are ideal; the ductless air conditioner and the central air conditioner. Which is the right one for your home?

Central air conditioning relies on a relatively large system of an outdoor unit with a condenser and a compressor, an indoor unit with a blower and a network of ducts running throughout the house.

A ductless AC (aka mini-split) system, on the other hand, lacks the signature duct network used in central air conditioning. Instead, it has two units; an outdoor and an indoor one. A refrigerant is cycled between the two to help keep the indoors cool. The indoor unit is connected to the outdoor one through a small hole drilled into the wall. The hole allows refrigerant lines and electrical wiring to be connected between the two units. Several indoor and outdoor units may be required depending on the number of rooms that need to be cooled.

Pros For Ductless

  • easy installation
  • high efficiency
  • low noise level

Cons For Ductless

  • low efficient for humid control and air circulation
  • aesthetic concerns
  • higher Cost

When to Choose Ductless?

While we don’t recommend a ductless AC or heat pump for most homeowners as the majority of homes in the U.S. are built with air ducts by in advance. Here are the situations when you should think about ductless air conditioner:

  • adding additional cooling for single room or garage
  • the house without built-in duct
  • small homes less than 1000 sqft
  • when replacing window A/C

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