Pros and Cons of Ductless Air Conditioning


Ductless Air Conditioning

If you're considering installing a new air conditioning system, you have probably read or heard about ductless mini-split air conditioning systems. We previously went over the different types of central air conditioning systems and the benefits of each, but a ductless system may be better for your home. These systems are often recommended if your home has no duct work installed.

There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of heating and air conditioning system, and a ductless mini-split system is no different. Ductless systems offer flexibility with your cooling system, allowing you to put them almost anywhere and cool each room to the desired temperature. Additionally, installation is less intrusive and they can be much more energy efficient. On the other hand, some homeowners have genuine concerns about cost, aesthetics, and effectiveness.

If you're interested in a new installation or replacement, let the air conditioning experts at Van Natta Mechanical provide you with an estimate. Our technicians are experienced in both types of installation and will recommend the system that is right for your home. You should know about both types of systems before deciding on either one, so read on for the pros and cons of each.


Pros of Ductless Air Conditioning

One of the most common reasons for choosing a ductless air conditioning system over a standard central air conditioning system is the lack of air ducts. If ducts are not already in place, adding ducts can add significant time and cost onto a central air installation. In this case, ductless mini-splits can be a more cost-effective method.

If a lower upfront cost is not a deciding factor, perhaps a lower long-term operational cost will be. Ductless air conditioning systems are more energy efficient than central air, and will save you money and help the environment in the long run. The air in a central cooling system must travel through a series of ducts to go from the air conditioning unit into the room being cooled. The cool air may travel through ducts that are not in air conditioned areas, thereby slightly increasing the temperature of the air on its way to cool the rest of the house. Additionally, poorly installed ducts may have small leaks that could result in losing some cool air during travel.

Another reason you may want to choose a ductless system is the flexibility it provides. Homeowners can choose where they want to install each mini-split system and are not tied to the locations of ducts. Additionally, each system has its own thermostat which can be changed via remote control. This can be very useful in rooms that have vastly different temperatures than the rest of the home. For example, you may have a room with large windows on the sunny side of the house that you may want to set cooler than the rest of your home. Additionally, a basement may need a different temperature setting than a bedroom. The options are endless when you're able to control each unit independently.


Cons of Ductless Air Conditioning

We have outlined the benefits of installing a ductless system over a central air system, but what are the drawbacks? Some of the most common issues with installing ductless systems are cost, aesthetics, and effectiveness.

While we have established that a ductless mini-split system will save you money over installing entirely new ductwork, it can be more expensive than a central air system if your home already has ducts in place. The initial cost can be about 30% more than a central air conditioning system if ducts from a forced air heating system are already installed.

One of the most common complaints with ductless systems is the appearance of the mini-splits in each room. While many homeowners find that they are inconspicuous, some do not like having a visible unit on the wall. These systems are smaller and less of an eyesore than a window unit, but they are certainly more noticeable than a central air conditioning vent. Some homeowners may find that the unit doesn't match a room's aesthetic and would rather opt for less obvious air conditioning vents.

Another concern with ductless systems is that they may not cool as effectively as a central air conditioning system. Ductless systems are not designed to cool an entire house and keep it at a uniform temperature. If you have a very open home, it may be more difficult to keep the entire home at the desired temperature than with a central air conditioning system.


While there are advantages and disadvantages to going with ductless air conditioning over central air conditioning, it is always best to make this decision with the help of a certified air conditioning technician who will know what's best for your needs. The air conditioning experts at Van Natta can give you an estimate and make a recommendation for which system would be best for you. Contact us today by filling out our web form, or give us a call at 201-391-3700.



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