July 28, 2020 • In Heating & Cooling • 7 Min Read

Beat the Heat: Mini Split vs Central Air

Haller Enterprises

By Haller Enterprises

Life feels like a breeze when summer rolls around. But when temperatures start rising, your air conditioner may not feel the same way. Picking the right air conditioning system for your home is crucial to ensure you and your home can beat the heat.

So what type of air conditioner is best for you? Two of the most common systems are ductless mini-splits and central air conditioning units. While both serve the same purpose of cooling, one may be more energy and cost-efficient than the other, depending on the needs of your home. From installation to repairs, our heating and cooling specialists at Haller will ensure you choose the best air conditioning system for your home in Central and Eastern, PA.

For now, let’s look at the distinguishing features between mini-splits and central air conditioners so you have an understanding of which type may work best for you and your home.

Is A Ductless Mini-split Right For Me?

Mini-split air conditioners offer several perks, the major one being that they function without the installation of a complex network of air ducts. Rather, a mini-split system mounts to your wall or ceiling and acts as a cooling conduit between the outside and inside of your home by removing heat from the inside and redistributing it outdoors. Mini-split units can be mounted to multiple areas as long as the refrigerant piping can connect to the outdoor unit.

Aside from knowing how ductless mini-splits work, consider the following to see if a mini-split is the top choice for your home:

  • No ductwork: Since mini-split units are installed on either the walls or ceilings in your home, there’s no need for a costly ductwork installation. If you live in an older and smaller home, it’s likely there’s not enough space for ducts in all the areas you want to cool. Therefore, investing in mini-split units can save you energy, money, and the hassle of installing ductwork in your home.
  • Reduced energy consumption: Mini-split units are great for energy efficiency when you’re looking to cool one or two rooms, while central air may be best for cooling an entire house. If you rely on ductwork to disperse cool air throughout areas of your home, it’s likely some cool air can seep out and waste energy. Mini-splits are known for their direct cooling abilities–taking cool air straight from the unit and into your room.
  • Control of individual rooms: With mini-split units, you have the freedom to choose where to place them depending on which rooms require the most cooling, or where you like to spend most of your time. Whether it’s the family room, master bedroom, or kitchen, you can install single units in any of these locations. Mini-splits can save you money from cooling rooms you hardly use and allow you to control room temperatures individually instead of settling for one temperature throughout your entire home.
  • Reversible features: Some mini-split units feature both heating and cooling options. If you live in an area that experiences milder seasonal climate shifts, the ability to tweak the temperature just slightly gives these mini-splits an advantage. Some units contain valves which simply reverse the process, so cooling floods in while heat goes out, and vice versa.
  • Easy installation: While mini-split installation can be pretty simple, it’s even easier to have Haller do it for you. One of our licensed technicians can come to your home and install the unit catered to your specifications. If you’re unsure about the best location for your unit, we are here to offer any recommendations and advice.
  • Sleek design: While it may seem like a ductless mini-split can obstruct the aesthetic of your home due to their placement on your walls and ceilings, our knowledgeable Comfort Consultants here at Haller will make sure your unit is sleek and practical, complementing your home’s natural look.

Is Central Air The Choice For me?

Central air works like your respiratory system. It draws cool air in from an outdoor unit, processes it in a central air conditioner and sends it through a network of ducts installed throughout your house. Additionally, it filters warm and dirty air to be redistributed back into your home, cool and clean.

While mini-splits are a great choice, central air conditioning units are optimal if you’re looking to cool your entire house. In addition to being more energy-efficient for whole-home air circulation, central air offers other perks and benefits:

  • Air filtration: Although mini-splits offer air filters, central air systems are more thorough in recycling, cleaning, and cooling the warm, dirty air in your home. When central air sends cool air into a room, that air moves about collecting dust particles, lint, and other contaminants. Once the air is filthy, it enters the return vent and gets circulated over again through the filters. After the air is cooled and cleaned, it’s redistributed into your rooms, cool, clean, and safe to breathe.
  • Consistent climate: When it comes to temperature control, central air systems are normally managed by one thermostat that sets a temperature for the areas covered by your home’s ductwork. This is simpler than adjusting temperatures across multiple mini-split units. When the thermostat reaches the set temperature in one major area of your home, your AC unit will shut off even if the other areas haven’t reached the set temperature. However, you can install a zoning system for your central air unit–meaning you can install separate ductwork for each floor or area of your home, each with a separate thermostat. This ensures all the areas of your home are reaching your desired temperature.
  • Energy efficiency: Central air conditioner systems are highly energy-efficient when it comes to cooling your entire home. If you need serious cooling power in every room, then a single, window or wall mounted AC unit won’t cut it. Rather, central air is an energy-smart alternative that consumes less energy than running many separate units simultaneously. Not to mention, window units may let unwanted cold air into your home during winter months.
  • Noise reduction: Most central air units make less noise than mini-splits. All the key equipment – the fan, condenser, and compressor – sits outside your home so you’ll barely notice your central air unit running, especially at night when you’re sleeping.
  • Out of sight, out of mind: All the components of a central air system remain hidden while they work. The air handler or coil resides in an inconspicuous place while the ducts usually travel unseen throughout the skeleton of your home. Although a mini-split doesn’t overtly disrupt your visual space, you may prefer to have the whole system tucked away.
  • Easy adjustments: The highly integrated nature of a central air system allows for fast-acting and precise climate alterations to occur with the control of one main thermostat.

Cost Based Comparison

Now that you’re familiar with the pros and cons of mini-split units and central air systems, let’s consider the cost for each type and what can work best for your budget. When you’re considering price, think about the long-term needs of your home. For example, if you own a large house where you’d like to cool all the rooms at once, a central air system will prove more inexpensive and energy-efficient. Central air systems can also add more value to your property if you have plans to sell your home in the future. On the other hand, if you have a smaller ranch-style home where you spend most of your time in one or two rooms, investing in separate mini-split units may be your best option to keep cool. Once you’ve made your selection, you can count on Haller’s HVAC installation services to have your system up and running in no time.

If you’re not keen on spending money on an air conditioning system, there are ways to keep your home cool without A/C while saving on energy and electric bills.

Haller is Here For You in Central & Eastern PA

At Haller Enterprises, our goal is to ensure our customers’ homes are as comfortable as possible, whether it’s the middle of summer or the dead of winter. We’ll make sure to keep all your air ducts in a row.

Still unsure about what air conditioning system is best for you? Schedule a free in-home consultation with our experienced Design & Sales team members or a virtual appointment with one of our Remote Assist technicians – they can provide more information on specific units, review a selection with you, and help you decide which unit fits your household needs best. Whether you’re leaning toward central air or a mini-split, we’ve got you covered.

Ready To Talk To A Haller Home Services Specialist?

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