Which Is Better: Ductless AC or Central AC?
When it comes to cooling your home, two popular options to consider are ductless air conditioning and central air conditioning systems. Each type of system comes with its own set of benefits and considerations.
But determining which type of system is right for your Montgomery, AL area home can be a difficult decision. In our most recent blog, our technicians at Hans Heating & Air discuss the various pros and cons of ductless AC and central AC systems to help you make an informed decision for your home comfort. For all of your cooling needs, reach out to Hans Heating and Air today.
Pros and Cons of Ductless Air Conditioners
Ductless air conditioners, also known as mini-split systems, are a popular and convenient type of HVAC system. Ductless ACs are commonly used to cool rooms that are difficult to keep comfortable such as bonus rooms above garages, sunrooms, or areas that you’re converting into livable or workable spaces such as garages, basements, and attics. Multiple ductless mini-split systems can also be installed across your home to create temperature zones.
- Easy Installation: Ductless air conditioners are relatively easy to install compared to central AC systems. They consist of an outdoor unit and one or more indoor units, connected by a small conduit. This flexibility allows for easy and quick installation, especially in homes without existing ductwork.
- Energy Efficiency: Ductless systems are incredibly energy efficient. Since each indoor air handler has its own thermostat, you can control the temperature in each area separately, allowing you to conserve energy in rarely used rooms. A lack of ductwork also makes these systems highly efficient, as ductwork can often lose 20% or more of conditioned air through leaks.
- Personalized Temperature Control: Since each indoor unit in a ductless mini-split system operates independently, each family member can set the temperature in their room to their precise comfort level, limiting arguments at the thermostat!
- Improved Indoor Air Quality: Ductwork in central AC systems can accumulate dust, allergens, and other pollutants over time. Since mini-split systems don’t require ductwork, they eliminate the risk of airborne contaminants, resulting in improved indoor air quality.
- Upfront Cost: Ductless air conditioners typically have higher upfront costs compared to traditional central AC systems. The cost increases as you add more indoor units to accommodate multiple zones.
- Aesthetics: While the indoor units of ductless systems are sleek and compact, they still require wall or ceiling mounting. Although they are less obtrusive compared to window units, some homeowners may find the indoor units less aesthetically pleasing.
- Maintenance: Each indoor unit requires cleaning of filters and coils, and the outdoor unit should be kept clear of debris. Failure to perform routine maintenance can result in reduced efficiency and potential system issues.
- Limited Cooling Range: A ductless system is typically suitable for smaller to medium-sized spaces. If you have a large home or need to cool multiple rooms simultaneously, a central air conditioning system may be the choice.
Pros and Cons of Central Air Conditioners
Central air conditioners have been a tried and tested option for cooling homes across the country for nearly 100 years. Choosing a central air conditioner comes with its own set of pros and cons.
- Whole-House Cooling: A central air conditioner is designed to cool an entire home efficiently and effectively. Central air conditioners use a series of ducts to distribute cool air to every room, ensuring comfort throughout the entire house.
- Temperature Control: Traditional central air systems provide centralized temperature control. With a thermostat, you can easily set and maintain your desired temperature, making it convenient for regulating comfort levels across different areas of your home.
- Aesthetics: A central air system is visually unobtrusive since the majority of the equipment is located outside the home. For some homeowners, this provides an improved aesthetic compared to indoor air handling units that are installed on walls and ceilings.
- Longevity: With proper installation and regular maintenance, central air conditioners are built to last. Investing in a high-quality system and scheduling routine upkeep can help ensure your system lasts for 15-20 years.
- Ductwork Considerations: Central AC systems rely on a network of ducts to distribute cooled air. Existing homes without ductwork may require additional installation, which can be time-consuming, costly, and disruptive.
- Energy Loss: Ductwork can be a source of energy loss in central AC systems. Leaks or improper insulation can result in wasted energy and reduced system efficiency. Regular inspection and maintenance of ducts are necessary to address any issues and optimize energy efficiency.
- Limited Zoning: Central AC systems typically cool the entire house simultaneously, which can be inefficient if specific rooms or zones don’t require cooling. While some zoning options are available, they may require additional investment and modification of the ductwork.
- Noise: Central air conditioners can generate noise during operation, primarily from the indoor unit and air vents. While newer models often come with noise-reducing features, it’s important to consider the noise levels and potential impact on your home environment.
Contact Hans for all of Your Home’s Cooling Needs
If you’re still unsure about what type of cooling system might be right for your Montgomery, AL area home, contact the NATE-certified heating and cooling technicians at Hans Heating and Air. One of our experts will talk with you about our current setup and home comfort needs and help you decide on which type of system is best for you. For all of your AC needs, contact Hans today.