Mini Split vs Central Air/Heat: A Guide
Mini split systems and central HVAC systems often get mixed up, but there are a few big differences between the two. Understanding these differences will give you a better idea of which type of system to add to your home. And should you choose to go with a mini split system, you’ll want to study up on our free Multi Zone Mini Splits Buying Guide to find the perfect system for your needs.
What is a Ductless Mini Split System?
A ductless mini split system consists of an outdoor compressor or condenser unit that connects to an indoor unit (or multiple indoor units) to distribute heat or AC throughout a home. Mini split systems can include up to 8 indoor units to heat and cool individual rooms with or without the use of ducts. Each room’s temperature has the ability to be controlled individually, which makes mini splits an attractive option for those who want flexible control and all-around comfort.
To help you decide between a mini split system or central air/heat system, we go into detail about what these are and the pros and cons of each.
What is a Central Air/Heat System?
Central AC systems also rely on an outdoor compressor/condenser to function. The difference is that this unit connects to a single indoor unit (often your furnace) and then pushes air through a series of ducts, which gets exhausted through vents throughout your home to keep it cool. Temperature is controlled by a single thermostat.
The heating component of a central system is the furnace, which typically resides in a basement or garage. Central heating systems often share ducts and vents with air conditioning systems to make temperature control as seamless as possible.
Now that you know the differences between mini splits and central HVAC systems, let’s evaluate the pros and cons of each to help you determine which is right for your home.
Pros and Cons of a Mini Split
Pros and Cons of Central Heating/Air Systems
Mini Split vs Central HVAC System: Which is Right for You?
By now, you’re familiar with the many differences between central and mini split systems. When deciding which type of system to install in your home, here are a couple of questions to ask yourself:
Do I have the budget to cover the cost?
Mini splits are more expensive to install than central HVAC systems, but they can offer significant savings in the long run.
Will installing a Mini Split or Central AC system be easy for me?
Central AC systems are tough to install if you don’t have existing ductwork. However, if you already have ducts in your home, it will be cheaper and easier than installing a mini split system. Conversely, mini splits are much easier to install if you don’t have existing ductwork. And even if you already have central heat and air, a mini split system is a great option for rooms that don’t have heat or air, such as additions and sunrooms.
Will the design of a mini split indoor unit bother me?
If so, you’ll want to take that into consideration (or opt for a more stylish mini split, like the Art Cool line from LG).
How Total Home Supply Can Help
If you’re having a difficult time choosing which ductless mini split systems to use, here are some of our recommendations at Total Home Supply:
Budget friendly option for one room: GE AS12CRA 12000 BTU Caliber Series 18 SEER Single Zone Mini Split – Heat and Cool – 115V
Supplementing whole home: GE ASH436NCDWA 34,000 BTU Configurable 4 Zone Mini-Split Air Conditioner with Heat Pump – Energy Star
Efficient and decorative: LG LA120HSV5 12000 BTU Art Cool Mirror Heat and Cool Single Zone Mini Split System with Built-In WiFi
If you’re interested in purchasing a mini split system, be sure to check out our Multi Zone Mini Splits Buying Guide. It contains all the information you need to make an informed decision about how to shop for a mini split system, including how to determine your system’s size, how to shop for your indoor unit and more.