At Advanced HVAC, we install both central air conditioners and ductless air conditioners. Most of the time, the infrastructure of your home determines which option you choose – those who can get central air typically do. But for others, the choice may not be so cut and dry. Is there ever a time when a homeowner may choose a ductless air conditioner even if they have the right type of house for a central air conditioner? Here is everything you need to know about each type of AC, and why you might choose one over the other.

Central Air Conditioner

Perhaps the most commonly recognized type of air conditioner, these systems deliver that air into the home via an existing duct structure. The air conditioner unit is placed outside the house, where it cools the air before pumping it into the home through the ducts.

These types of systems can cool an entire home so long as the duct system reaches the entire home. The single air conditioning unit is easier and less expensive to install, and there are some central air systems that are much more efficient – lowering your monthly utility bill and possibly earning you rebates. They also tend to look like built-in components of a house, with an unobtrusive profile that homeowners prefer.

There are downsides to the central air conditioning unit. If you have a multi-story home, or your duct system is older, it may not evenly cool the entire house. Some central air units can be very noisy as well, and they do not control the heating – these units are only for cooling air. Finally, some central air conditioners can be less efficient because air is lost as it travels through the duct work.

Ductless Air Conditioner

Also called a mini-split system, this type of air conditioner involves small units installed inside the house that are connected to an outdoor compressor. The indoor units pump air directly into the house from the outdoor compressor. Ductless systems can be used for heat as well as cooling, and while they will only heat or cool the area directly around the indoor unit, many of the modern systems will keep an efficiently designed home at a comfortable temperature year-round. Another great advantage of the ductless system: if you prefer, you can only heat or cool one area of the home, saving money on your electric bill.

However, ductless systems typically cost more to install, and even in the most efficient homes, they will likely never keep an entire home at an even temperature.

Which Should You Choose?

For the most part, the advantages of a ductless system can’t beat the savings in installation, and the even cooling throughout an entire home, that a central air conditioning unit offers. If your home already has existing duct work, this is the option that most homeowners would choose. However, ductless systems aren’t all bad, and can be preferred in certain situations Our experts call help you understand which would be best for you. Contact us today for more information.