Ductless mini split air conditioners vs whole house central AC systems

All About Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners

Ductless mini splits vs central air conditioning. How should you cool your space? Learn about pros, cons, cost, and our favorite mini split system brand.

Mini Split
Air Conditioner
Written by
Kate Webb
May 25, 2021

Ductless Mini Split vs Whole House Central Air 

Ductless mini split vs central air—what’s the best way to cool your space? A ductless mini split is a smart, efficient way to add cooling or heating to specific areas of your home. Also known as ductless mini split air conditioners, these units have two parts: a wall-mounted indoor unit connected to an outdoor compressor. They don’t require intrusive installation like central AC, they’re more efficient than window units, and they’re very effective at eliminating hot spots like sunrooms.

Who should get a ductless mini split air conditioner?

Mini split units are ideal if:

1- You want to heat or cool a specific room.
Central AC forces air through the entire house, often cooling rooms that aren’t frequently used. Mini splits can cool a specific area more efficiently than central air or a window unit. They are also a great solution if you have a space that doesn’t have cooling or heating, like an addition or an attic room.
2- You have a hot/cold spot.
Mini splits make sense in rooms that heat up or cool down faster than the rest of your house, like a sunroom, or a bedroom full of skylights. A ductless ac unit gives you more control over the climate in these spaces.
3- You have a small space.
Mini split systems work well as the primary system for a small space, especially if you live in a milder climate. A well placed unit, or units can handle your heating and cooling needs year round. 

Pros of a mini split system

As the name implies, ductless mini splits don’t require costly duct work, so they’re easier, and less expensive to install than a traditional ducted HVAC. They are also more efficient and much quieter than window units—plus, they don’t occupy window space, or take up an electrical outlet. Because they’re usually mounted high on a wall, mini splits push cold air down and cool your room efficiently. Overall, these systems offer you a lot of control over your space.

Cons of a mini split system

One of the downsides of these systems is the cost. The average single-zone ductless ac cost is about $4,500, more if you add additional zones. While this is considerably less than installing central AC, it’s 20 times the price of a typical window or portable unit. Additionally, these units will not cool your entire home, unless you have a small space. They are best suited to cooling and heating specific areas of your home, or as a supplement to an existing HVAC system. 

Our favorite mini split brand

We recommend Mitsubishi Electric to our customers. Mitsubishi is a pioneer in ductless ac and a reliable, established brand. They are among the most common and popular options in North America, which comes with a lot of advantages. Mitsubishi mini splits are easy and inexpensive to service because parts are readily available and there’s a larger pool of technicians to choose from. It also makes it simple to access their wide variety of models and special configurations like ceiling mounts, floor mounts, and recessed mounts. 

Mitsubishi is known for their durability and on the off-chance that something goes wrong, their limited 12-year parts warranty is among the best out there.

Contact Tetra today to discuss our ductless mini split air conditioners or get an instant quote.


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