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Ductless AC VS. A Traditional HVAC System

June 30, 2022 | Blog

There are plenty of choices on the market when it comes to heating and cooling. It can be confusing when choosing between central air and a ductless mini-split. But KCA Services is here to give homeowners the information they need to decide what’s best for them.

The biggest differences are the price, appearance and maintenance requirements for each unit. Central AC systems are less expensive and barely seen, but they require annual tune-ups. Meanwhile, mini-splits are more expensive and bulky, but they don’t require as much maintenance.

Central Air Conditioning System

Central AC units have two main parts: The central unit tempers the air, then the supply ductwork carries that air from the unit and through the home. As the air warms up again, it flows through the return ducts and back to the main unit.

Benefits Of A Traditional HVAC Unit

If you want to cool your entire home, a traditional HVAC unit will be a better option. This is especially true if you own a larger home. Because of the spanning ductwork, it can efficiently cool every room of your home. With central air, no room will be too humid or warm for your comfort.

This system is also hard to spot. Thanks to the air vents, you don’t have to deal with bulky units indoors. You can also install a programmable thermostat to work with your system, which can improve energy efficiency. All in all, central air can appreciate the value of your home.

Cons Of A Traditional HVAC Unit

If your home does not already have ductwork, this will be an extra cost to you. You will also run into issues if your ducts are not properly sized for your system. These issues include higher energy bills and a noisy AC unit.

Central air systems also require annual maintenance to keep your unit running well. Additionally, your air ducts should be cleaned every three-to-five years.

Ductless Mini-Split System

The ductless mini-split also has two key components: a compressor unit outdoors and an air-handling unit indoors. These two units are linked through a conduit.

Benefits Of A Ductless AC Unit

Because ductless systems do not rely on ductwork, they are great for older and smaller homes. They can be very energy efficient, meaning that your energy bills may be lower. This system will keep your room at a consistent temperature all day, because it won’t turn on and off like central air. Mini-splits are usually quieter than central AC, plus their installation is easier.

The small size of the unit gives homeowners flexibility with temperature zoning. Zones are the area each unit is intended to cool, so you can keep certain zones cooler than others. You can also have up to five indoor units connected to one outdoor compressor. Another benefit is that you can use a ductless system to supplement your existing central air system.

Cons Of A Ductless AC Unit

The upfront cost of a mini-split will generally be higher up front, even if it pays off in the long run. Additionally, ductless systems do not have the power to cool large homes efficiently. If your home is over 2,000 square feet, this system may disappoint you.

This air conditioning system is also pretty bulky, so you really can’t hide the indoor units. This can disturb the look of your home, which may lower its value.

Ductless systems also do not have the same level of filtration as central air. Although, they have filters that will need to be cleaned every few weeks. While you can purchase a carbon insert or air purifier, it still may not filter as well as HEPA filters for central air systems. This can be an issue for people with asthma or allergies, so it is important to consider.

Comparison Of Air Conditioning Systems

So, which system is right for you? It’s hard to narrow things down with so much information out there. As a summary, here are the main pros and cons of each AC system:

Central AC Pros

  • Lower upfront cost
  • Efficiently cools entire homes
  • Best for larger houses
  • No visible indoor units
  • Better air filter options

Central AC Cons

  • Requires Annual Maintenance
  • Ducts need to be cleaned every 3-5 years
  • Can be less energy efficient depending on the model
  • Requires ductwork that needs to be properly sized and installed
  • Can be noisier

Ductless AC Pros

  • No ductwork
  • Great for old and small homes
  • Usually very energy efficient
  • Extremely quiet
  • Very easy installation

Ductless AC Cons

  • Bulky indoor units
  • Usually lower quality air filtration
  • Requires frequent cleaning of filters
  • Higher upfront cost
  • Not the best for larger homes

Boerne AC Installation And Services

Still confused about which AC system will be best for your home? Don’t worry, KCA Services has the answers! Our team of professionals can provide you with the best air conditioning options for your home, and we’ll even install it for you.

KCA Services has been recognized as Boerne’s “Best of the Best” for 22 consecutive years for a reason! We’ve been offering the best customer service and professional air services since 1973, and we haven’t slowed down. You can always trust our careful and skilled technicians when your home needs help.

Call today to speak to our friendly staff!

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What Our Customers Say

Amazing Team!

Both Joseph and Josh were amazing in getting my heating system working again. It took some time with pieces and parts but they were persistent and it finally worked! A great team both in the field and in the office. Appreciate the warranty support. You couldn’t ask for more

Rives T.

Prompt and Professional

KCA did a great job for us. They were prompt and professional when they came to bid. Started and ended the project on time with excellent craftsmanship. Highly recommend KCA!!

Rob R.

Very Impressed!

Very impressed with this company. Courteous, professional, and maintained a clean work area while cleaning our ducts. The two gentlemen that came out to do the work represented their company very well!. I would highly recommend this company.

Tim B.