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Central Air Conditioning vs. Ductless Air Conditioning

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Central Air Conditioning vs. Ductless Air Conditioning

Many homeowners are considering whether central air conditioning or ductless air conditioning is the right choice for their home. Either type of system is a major investment so choosing the right type of cooling system is an important decision that requires extensive research. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of systems and choosing the right type for your home is dependent on many different factors. The many factors to weigh when considering a choice between ductless air conditioning and central air conditioning include price, energy efficiency, ease of installation, and flexibility.

Ductless air conditioning, also called a ductless mini-split system, is an air conditioning system that has two main components – a compressor on the outside of the house linked to an air handling unit on the inside of the house by a conduit. Manufacturers of ductless mini splits include Mitsubishi and Daikin, among others.

Central air conditioning is the traditional and still most popular method of cooling a home. A central air conditioning system can either be a split system or a packaged system. In a split-system central air conditioner, the evaporator coil is located inside the house while the condenser coil and compressor are located in a separate metal case outside the house. In a packaged central air conditioning system, the evaporator, condenser, and compressor are all located in a single unit located outside of the home.

Advantages of Ductless Air Conditioning

Ductless air conditioning systems hold their advantage over central air in the areas of energy efficiency and flexibility. The ductless mini split system does not require ductwork so it is perfect for older buildings and homes that may use radiators for heat.

Because duct systems are not always perfect, there will always be some amount of air lost when using a central air conditioning system. Since the air does not have to travel through the house to reach its destination with a ductless system, the result is a more energy efficient system. Duct losses can account for as much as 30% of energy consumption, and can be even more if ducts are poorly designed or in a hot space such as

Additionally, ductless mini splits allow each room’s air conditioning to be controlled independently. If a room is not often used, it can be closed off and left without air conditioning, saving you money on energy costs and saving the environment.

Advantages of Central Air Conditioning

While ductless air conditioners offer many advantages over central air conditioners, there are many areas in which the latter holds a distinct advantage. The biggest advantage of central air conditioning over ductless air conditioning is price.

It is usually much cheaper to install central air especially if your home already has ductwork installed. If your home already has a heating system that uses ductwork, the ductwork can be shared and used for both heating and cooling. If your home utilizes radiators for steam heat and does not have existing ductwork, it may be more cost-effective for you to install a ductless mini split system rather than paying for the construction that new ductwork entails.

Another advantage that central air holds over ductless is the noise factor. A central air conditioning system can be installed completely outside or out of the way and will not be as loud as the ductless mini split units that are attached to the walls of your home. Similarly, ductless systems must occupy precious wall space in every room that needs air conditioning. While their designs have become much more streamlined in recent years, some still may not like their appearance.

If you are in need of a new air conditioning installation or a replacement for an older unit, it is important to consider all the positive and negative aspects of each type of system. Considerations include price, energy-efficiency, noise level, appearance, and ductwork. A Carey and Walsh air conditioning specialist can help you decide which system is right for your home. Give us a call at 914-762-9600 or contact us online today to find out how Carey and Walsh can provide you with the ideal cooling system for your home!

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