Ductless Air Conditioning Vs Central Air
If you are considering a new air conditioning system you might be wondering if it is better to get central AC or one of the new ductless systems you have heard about.
Of course, the answer is going to depend on your personal circumstances. However, don’t worry, our air conditioning company has listed the primary factors to think about below, and as you have read them you ought to have the ability to pretty easily figure it out.
What’s a Ductless System?
In case you did not know, a mini-split or ductless AC system is similar to a central AC system. They’ll both comprise of two units: the condenser which sits outside the house, and the air handler/evaporator which sits inside the house.
Coolant will pass between the units and carry the heat from inside to the outside unit in which it’s released.
However, with the central air system, the cold air is sent through an air handler on the furnace into your ductwork, in which it’s carried into the remainder of the home. A ductless system utilizes slim cable between the condenser, as well as a box on the wall, and no ductwork is involved, and no vents are needed on the ground.
How to Determine Which One is the Right One for You
Below, we list some of the questions we’ll ask our clients to assist them in deciding which kind is the best fit for their needs and their home.
1. Do You Have Any Existing Ductwork?
For most people, it’s the primary decision-maker. If there is ductwork in your house already, it’ll be more cost effective to remain with a central system.
If there is no ductwork, it’ll cost a lot less to install a ductless unit “from scratch”. There also will be a lot less construction chaos: all that is needed is a 3” hole in the wall that runs the cable. Ductless systems also are fantastic for house that have new additions which are not connected to the ductwork which runs through the remainder of the home.
2. Are you Going to Mind Looking at the AC?
As you are indoors, a central air conditioning is invisible. However, a ductless system will require a vent inside the ceiling or slim unit upon the wall. As the manufacturers go to a lot of trouble to make these boxes as stylish as they can, there still is something to see.
If you are particular about the décor, a central AC system might be a better option for you. However, some homeowners can find some inventive ways to disguise them.
3. What’s the Size of Your House?
The majority of ductless systems do not have sufficient power to cool a big house. If your house is bigger (2,500+ square feet) invest in central. From 2,000 to 2,500 square feet, the higher power of a central AC system is going to pay off, and you probably will receive better efficiency out of a central AC system.
Consider ductless if your house is less than 2,000 square feet.
4. Are You Sensitive to Sounds?
As a general rule of thumb, ductless systems are much quieter.
If sound levels matter to you, make certain that you ask the technician for the sound level for any systems you are considering. A few ductless systems are a lot louder and some central AC systems are very quiet.
5. What’s Your Cooling Budget?
An excellent ductless AC system will begin at about a couple of thousand dollars for one installed indoor unit; however, can go much higher if you have to have several indoor units or want to purchase the highest energy efficiency unit there is. Generally, central AC systems are pricier for comparable units, even though some top-of-the-line ductless AC systems are going to be a lot pricier than a low-efficiency central air conditioner.
Unfortunately, we cannot print precise prices in this post because there is such a big range, it’d be meaningless. In addition, occasionally some companies hold a special or offer a rebate which will decrease the cost.
Here’s the good news: there are some great financing options in order for you to get the system you require for around $40 a month (sometimes less) no matter what you are receiving.
6. How Critical is Energy Efficiency to You?
That’s a loaded question, because with central AC the ductwork quality and installation project play a big part in helping a central AC system attain its efficiency potential.
For instance, if the ductwork was not well-designed or if it is not properly sealed and there is an air leak, the efficiency of the system drops. As far as installation quality is concerned, the technician must do things like make sure of the right refrigerant level, make sure there is a level surface for your unit outdoors, and ensure that the unit fits the air handler, etc.
With all that being said, the ideal ductless systems will have a greater possible energy efficiency than the ideal central systems.
7. Do You Have to Have Individual Zoning Control?
If you have some spaces of your house which get a lot warmer than others, or various members of the family who prefer various temperatures, a zoning system is your best bet.
It’s possible to get zone control in ductless or central; however, it is less expensive with ductless. That’s because to get zoning control using a central AC system, you require upgraded ductwork that has internal dampers.
8. Do You Also Require Supplemental Heating?
A few ductless systems are not just an AC, they’re what is referred to as a ‘heat pump’. This means as it grows colder outdoors it may reverse direction and bring hot air in (so long as it does not dip below about -7 degrees C).
It may be useful if you want to utilize the furnace less, as heat pumps are amazingly efficient.
How Much will a Ductless AC Cost?
The initial expenses of having a ductless system put in is usually higher than the price of having central AC installed. Though, just focusing on upfront expenses is misleading. Because after all, ductless systems are a lot more efficient than central AC systems, so you’ll spend much less to keep your house comfortable over a period of time and ought to easily recoup your investment.