We should note first, that when we talk about “centralized air conditioning” we aren’t just talking about a single type of air conditioner. Yes, the central air conditioner is the most commonly known system–with a single outdoor unit and indoor unit connected via a series of ductwork that brings chilled air into the home.
But this isn’t your only option, if you’re looking to have a new air conditioner installed. More and more folks are going with a type of heat pump system (that is, an HVAC system that can be used for cooling and heating)–the ductless system.
Also called the ductless mini-split, ductless systems have become the system of choice for a number of homeowners throughout the country, including in our little corner of the world. Does that mean you should go with the ductless option though? Read on to learn more about them, and decide for yourself.
Why More and More Folks Are Going Ductless
When homeowners see the benefits of installing a ductless cooling and heating system, they sometimes cannot even resist going with this option. So what are those benefits?
- Fewer Indoor Air Quality Issues: One of the biggest advantages of a ductless system is that, as the name implies, it doesn’t have any ducts! This means that ductwork tears aren’t going to allow conditioned air out, nor are they going to let dirt, dust, and allergens in, thereby eliminating at least some indoor air quality issues you could have with a ducted system.
- Zone Control: We mentioned above how a central AC system has a single outdoor unit connected to a single indoor unit. Well, the ductless system has a single outdoor unit, but it connects to up to 4 indoor air handlers, and each of these air handlers can be controlled independently of one another. This means that if you want to cool room, but not another… or if you want to set two rooms at different temperatures, you can.
- Flexibility and Efficiency: The last, but not the least important, significant benefit of owning a ductless system is its flexibility and efficiency. As we mentioned above, a ductless system operates on heat pump technology. A heat pump works similarly to a central air conditioner, except that the refrigerant process can be reversed to provide your home with heating, too. And as a heater, ductless systems and heat pumps are even more efficient than furnaces, because instead of generating heat, they transfer it.
Are Ductless Systems Better Than Central Air Conditioners?
Not necessarily! Given the benefits we mentioned above, ductless systems are fantastic options for large or multi-story homes that have varying temperatures in different areas during the day. They’re not necessarily needed for a single-story home or a home with only one or two bedrooms.
Plus, today’s central air conditioners are designed to be more efficient than those of even just a few years ago, with newer models like the inverter drive and variable speed central AC systems coming out on the market.
The best way to determine what’s best for your specific home and comfort needs is to contact our professionals. We can look at your whole home and help you make an educated decision.