Ductless Mini-Splits vs. Central Air



There are many reasons why homeowners from North Oaks to Tonka Bay research their HVAC options. Some are motivated by increased energy efficiency as the cost of electricity continues to increase. Others are looking for a more environmentally-friendly way to heat and cool their home. And still, others are in search of an affordable way to upgrade old and barely functional heating and cooling systems that they inherited when purchasing their home. But the first significant piece of information is understanding what a mini-split is and how it differs from central air.

A mini-split is a heating and cooling system that allows you to heat and cool individual rooms or spaces. By contrast, central air requires a single temperature setting for the entire house or area that the unit is cooling. With that in mind, we can now explore the pros and cons of the mini-split and central air.

What The Mini-Split Does Well

Energy efficiency is one of the huge perks of a mini-split. These units convert electricity to DC voltage, allowing them to operate much more energy-efficiently. They also utilize variable-speed compressors to allow for more economical operation.

Mini-splits are used in smaller living spaces such as a single room, so you heat or cool each area or zone independently. This is more economical than a central air system and allows for more flexibility to heat and cool different spaces to different temperatures. And because the unit is only heating a single room or area, there is no need for ductwork. This is a huge benefit when used to retrofit an older home or to eliminate duct installation on a new build.

Mini-Split Drawbacks

The one feature missing on mini-splits is filtration. They have no air filter to remove dust and other contaminants from the air circulating through your home. A few workarounds, like carbon inserts or air purification devices, can be added to mini-splits. However, they are not very user-friendly and provide minimal benefits.

Because mini-splits use an indoor and outdoor component, there is a need for a line connecting the two devices. Many homeowners find the line to be unsightly, but there are several ways to camouflage the tubing to reduce this concern. Drainage can also be a bit of a concern as it creates another line that is visible on the outside of the home. But again, a bit of creativity can solve the issue.

The Devil You Know?

Central air is a concept that most people are very aware of and have used often. The single unit operates throughout the house and delivers a single temperature setting for the overall space. So there is no flexibility or variation. This lack of customization can create comfort issues and also increases the operating cost of the units. And ductwork is required to provide climate control throughout the home.

There is no perfect solution for all heating and cooling needs. However, for professional guidance and reasonable pricing solutions, the team at Blue Ox Heating And Air is just a call away at 952-208-4570.