We get it. That old clunker of an air conditioner unit just isn’t cutting it anymore. You’ll need a reliable HVAC system if you’re going to make it through the sweltering summers here in Texas. When considering your new AC system, you may be torn between whether it’s a better idea to get central air conditioning or a new ductless mini-split system. 

Oh! You haven’t heard of a mini-split unit, and you don’t know which type of AC system is best? That’s okay. The answer will depend entirely on your personal preferences and situation. 

Below, we’ll explain the two options to help you determine which choice will be best for you. 

Central Air Conditioning 

A central air conditioning system treats the air in your home from a specific location where it distributes it from room to room. The cool air is dispersed by one or more fans and a series of air ducts in your home. The ductwork and registers carry cold air from the central AC to your rooms, and once the air becomes warm, it will flow back to the air conditioner through the same ducts and registers. 

Advantages of Central Air Conditioners 

  • Cool Temperatures: Air conditioners provide efficient and comfortable temperatures throughout your home. Newer models do an excellent job of keeping the entire house cool and removing almost all humidity. 
  • Lower Installation Costs: Central air conditioning systems can vary in cost as every home is different. However, installing an air conditioning unit is a less expensive option than adding a mini-split to your home.
  • Less Equipment: All you will have for evidence of an air conditioner are the registers in your home that deliver the cool air and an outdoor unit. Ductless mini-split systems need to be mounted on a wall or the ceiling in each room. 

Disadvantages of Central Air Conditioners

  • Existing Ductwork Required: Your home will need to have ductwork if you want this type of HVAC system. Some older homes don’t have any ducts; installing central HVAC systems in homes without proper ducting can be a costly job. 
  • Maintenance: You need to keep your air conditioner and air ducts clean. Neglecting to keep your ducts clean can promote poor air quality in your home. The ducts can get clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris. They can also trap mold/mildew and even provide a home for rodents or vermin. 
  • Higher Operating Cost: Your ducts are responsible for allowing the cool air to travel throughout your home. The cooled air can escape if cracks or holes develop in the ductwork over time. Your air conditioning system will have to work extra hard to cool all the rooms properly. This can lead to a higher operating cost and energy waste. 
  • “One Size Fits All” Temperature Control: If your home has a lot of spare rooms that aren’t used very often, your central AC unit will be cooling them whether you like it or not. You’ll essentially be paying more money to cool rooms you don’t use. 

Ductless Mini-Split

Just as the name suggests, a ductless system doesn’t require air ducts to keep your house cool. Ductless mini-split systems have two main components, much like central air conditioning systems. They have an outdoor compressor and an indoor air handler that sits within your home. Coolant will pass between these two units, carrying heat from inside the home to outside, where it’s released.  

Advantages of Mini-Splits

  • No Ductwork Needed: You won’t have to worry about whether your home has ducts nor be concerned about any cracks or holes in ductwork affecting the performance of your central air system. Mini-splits are energy efficient and a solid choice for those that don’t want to deal with routine ductwork maintenance. 
  • Cooling Control: Unlike regular air conditioners, you’ll have control over what rooms you want to cool and the ones you don’t. You’ll also have the same perks if you have a ductless mini-split system with built-in heat. 
  • Less Noise: You won’t experience as much noise with a mini-split as the compressor is often located outside. The only noise that you’ll hear is from the fan. 

Disadvantages of Mini-Splits

  • Costly Investment: Ductless mini-splits are 30% more expensive when compared to a central air conditioner. Depending on your budget, this might not be a viable option for you. 
  • Home Size Limitations:  Many ductless systems have limited cooling/heating capabilities depending on the size of the home. If you have a larger living space, a ductless mini-split system may not be a suitable choice. 
  • Visible Units: Unlike an air conditioner, you’ll see the mini-split systems mounted inside your home. Whether it’s on the wall or ceiling, your mini-split may not work or look good, depending on the aesthetics of your home.

It can be difficult to decide between ductless systems and central air systems. Why not get help from the pros? Our team can answer questions about your future cooling system and provide installation services or AC repair in San Marcos. We can ensure your new unit is up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible. Call us today!