What to Consider When Choosing Between Central Air and a Mini Split System
Controlling your indoor temperature is crucial for comfort, and there are many different HVAC options available to help you achieve that goal. But how can you tell which one is right for your home? If you're in the market for a new HVAC system, you might have questions about which type of system is best or will save you the most money in the long run. We're here to answer those questions for you!
From cost to maintenance requirements, here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether central air or a ductless mini split is right for you.
1. Price of Installation & Cost of Use
Central air is sometimes cheaper to install if homeowners already have air ducts to utilize. While it is true that ductless mini splits tend to be more expensive initially, they do save more money in the long run due to being far more energy-efficient. The question becomes whether you want to have a cheaper upfront cost with central air but pay more in your energy bills, or have an initially higher price with a ductless mini split, but average down your cost by saving more on your bills.
Depending on your home, if you have air ducts, central air will be pretty easy to install by a professional. However, if your home lacks proper ducts, you can still install central air, but it can become quite a hassle that will require extra steps that will eat away at your budget and time.
The benefit of ductless mini splits is that they can be installed in homes with or without air ducts. A ductless mini split only needs to have an outside space to house the compressor, and refrigerant lines connected to the compressor will run to the wall units across your home. Installing a ductless mini split can be pretty quick with one of our professionals, and you can receive an estimate if you are ever curious about installing one.
3. Aesthetic Value
What looks suitable for your home is entirely subjective, and how an HVAC system takes up space can make or break the choice for some homeowners. With central air installation, you are only using the ducts that already exist in your home. Central air systems will be out of sight for the most part, except, of course, for the vents across your home.
Ductless Mini Split Aesthetics
With a ductless mini split, you will need space outside your home to house the compressor and the various mounted units across your home. There is no getting around these units being visible.
You can choose for mini splits to be installed to:
Some mini split unit designs are far more compact than others, but the visual appeal is entirely dependent on the homeowner. For some, the ductless mini split aesthetics are a worthwhile tradeoff to the benefits that mini splits provide. To others, visuals are simply not worth their investment.
4. Temperature Control
Thanks to the air ducts, central air can reach large portions of your home and make heating or cooling your home simple. However, central air does not offer much flexibility in terms of temperature control. Your only options with central air are either on or off; there is no option to heat some rooms while cooling down others.
With a ductless mini split, you have far more control and flexibility in choosing how to control the temperature in your home. With numerous mounted units across your home, you can choose to cool down one room and heat another without worrying about uneven temperatures.
There is no way around it; you will need to invest time and money into your HVAC system upkeep, whether you choose central air or a ductless mini split. For central air, you need to regularly clean your ducts and occasionally check if you need repairs. With a ductless mini split, you do need to clean your condenser coils and replace or clean your air filters. Regular maintenance is vital to get the most out of your HVAC systems, and the best way to know what to fix is to have regular inspections from a professional.
To learn more about which HVAC solution is best for you, Integrity Comfort Systems is more than happy to help! You can schedule an appointment with our Thousand Oaks HVAC professionals or receive an estimate by calling (805) 301-9580.