Which Is More Efficient, Ductless Mini-Split or Central Air Conditioning?

August 17, 2022
Ductless Mini Split in Deptford Township, NJ

Summers in Deptford Township can be sweltering. A functioning air conditioning unit is key to the comfort and well-being of your family. If you are looking to replace or install a new air conditioning unit, you may wonder if a ductless mini-split or a traditional central AC is the best solution. The following are some points to consider.

What Is a Ductless Mini-Split?

Ductless mini-splits are relatively new technology. They allow for a customized cooling experience. They have an outdoor condenser unit and an indoor fan unit. The indoor unit is mounted on a wall or ceiling and is connected to the condenser by a conduit.

You can purchase a single zone unit to cool an individual room or a multi-zone unit that lets multiple indoor fans connect to a single condenser. A mini-split gives you the advantage of being able to cool only the areas you need to. This feature is what makes them so energy efficient and offers you the ability to save a significant amount of money on your energy bills.

Mini-Splits Versus Central Air Conditioners

Most homes have central AC because that’s what people are most familiar with. It made sense to install central AC units in the past because that is what was available. However, when you compare a central air conditioner and a ductless mini-split, you start to see some clear advantages of choosing a mini-split.

With a central air conditioner, you need to install ductwork. They are less energy efficient, offer one-size-fits-all cooling, and have expensive maintenance requirements. Conversely, a mini-split has less noise, does not require ductwork, and is easy to install. Although, if your home is already equipped with ductwork, the costs of switching to ductless to cool an entire home can be fairly costly.

From an installation standpoint, a mini-split air conditioner only requires that a relatively small hole be made in the wall to run in the refrigerant line. You can place the compressor on one side of the house and then run lines through the other side. Of course, you will want to have the professional technicians at JAMCO Heating & Air Conditioning do the installation work for you because, even though it is easier than installing a central AC unit, several technical aspects must be addressed.

A Cost Comparison

When people compare installing mini-splits in their home and installing a central air conditioner, they will focus on the upfront cost. Indeed, installing a mini-split with several evaporator units throughout the house may be more expensive upfront. However, ductless systems are drastically more efficient than central air conditioners. So over time, you will spend less money keeping your home comfortable. You also won’t have to worry about ductwork developing leaks and contributing to poor air quality and increased energy bills.

Reduce Energy Usage

Saving energy is great because it reduces the cost of running the AC unit. However, mini-splits are beneficial in another way and positively impact the environment.

Since 2015, federal requirements have mandated that mini-splits have a minimum SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of 14 to be used in the United States. The SEER evaluates the cooling output during the warmer months. Therefore, the higher the SEER number, the more efficient the unit is.

Another measurement that is used is the EER. This evaluates the amount of energy used per square foot of cooling. It tells you how different AC units will perform in the same space. Mini-split units outperform central AC units in this metric as well.

Is It Difficult to Find a Mini-Split Unit for Your Home?

Opponents of central AC units argue that finding a mini-split to fit the design of most homes is problematic. But nothing could be farther from the truth. You need the square footage of the areas you’re looking to cool and the BTUs produced by the product you want to purchase. If you’re looking for a multi-zone system, look for a mini-split with a BTU rating for each indoor unit. For example, if you’re looking at cooling between 150 and 200 square feet, you want a unit with 6,000 BTUs. If you’re looking to cool between 1,400 and 1,500 square feet, you need a unit with 24,000 BTUs.

Professional Heating and Cooling Services in Deptford Township

At JAMCO Heating & Air Conditioning, we have been providing heating and cooling services in and around Deptford Township for decades. Our team is fully equipped to manage commercial and residential HVAC services. Our technicians are NATE-certified, and we have an ACCA membership. Our services include residential and commercial HVAC, indoor quality evaluations, humidifier installation and repair, custom sheet-metal work, ductwork, smart Wi-Fi thermostats, and installing ductless mini-splits. Contact JAMCO Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn more about our work and high maintenance, safety, and performance standards.

company icon