In the heating and cooling industry, there are two types of AC systems: the ductless mini-split system and the central AC system. What’s the difference and which one is right for you? Keep reading to learn more.
Ductless Mini-Split Systems
As the name implies, the first advantage of this system is that there’s no complicated system of ducts running through your attic or between floors. If you live in an older home, running ductwork sometimes isn’t feasible. Instead, mini-split systems are comprised of two main components: the compressor and an indoor air handler. Like in a central AC system, the compressor uses refrigerant to cool the air before sending it into your home via conduit lines instead of large ducts. Air-handlers feed air into the room where it’s installed, usually close to the ceiling. It pulls old air out of the room and sends it back to the compressor to be cooled. In the winter, the compressor draws hot air from outside and sends it inside to the handler. Unlike a traditional central AC system that cycles on and off throughout the day as needed, the air-handler is always on, circulating air to maintain a constant temperature. Despite the constant use, a mini-system uses less power than a central system. While a central system will cool the entire home, the mini-system only cools the rooms you’re in. You can choose to turn off the handler in rooms that you don’t frequent and save even more on your monthly power bills. While you will save money in the long-run, the installation costs of a mini-system are usually higher than a central system. It’s also difficult to find qualified professionals who are willing to install or repair these systems because of their complexity. Some homeowners also don’t like the aesthetics of the air-handler as they can clash with the decor in the rest of room. However, for offices, hotels, and vintage homes, the mini-split system is a good option.
Central AC Systems
In the last few decades, the central system has become more mainstream in the heating and cooling industry. Compared to the mini-split system, central air is less expensive to install. A central AC system is usually made of four parts: the compressor, ductworks, vents, and a central air-handler. Your monthly energy bills will depend on the size of the unit, and it’s SEER rating. A unit with a high SEER rating will usually have a higher purchase price, but it will pay for itself in a few years through savings on your utility bills. Instead of installing an air-handler in each room, ductwork pumps air throughout the home to vents usually installed in the ceiling. Vents are less noticeable, and they can be painted to match your interiors. Central AC systems need regular maintenance and tune-ups to run at their best. Ductwork should be cleaned at least once every five years to prevent clogs and poor air quality. If you’re unsure which system is right for your home or business, contact the professionals.