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Ductless vs. Traditional AC: What’s The Difference?

April 4, 2022 | Blog

Mississippi temperatures are on the rise for spring and summer, and you may be considering modifying or upgrading your existing cooling system. Regulating indoor temperature affects your overall health, comfort and productivity, so having the best AC for your home is important.

To decide whether traditional or ductless, mini-split air conditioning will improve your quality of life, you have to understand the differences, benefits and drawbacks of each. Ball Heating & Air Conditioning wants to help you make the best choice based on your home, budget and needs.

The Basics

Both ductless and central cooling systems consist of an outdoor condenser and indoor air handler(s). They also pass a coolant between each unit to transfer heat from the inside to the outdoor unit. But that is where the similarities end.

Mini-Split or Ductless AC?

A ductless cooling system, or mini-split air conditioning, is made up of individual air-handling units installed in each room of a home that needs cooling. The indoor units are either wall-mounted or suspended from the ceiling and controlled by separate remotes, allowing for custom climate control in each room. A refrigerant line connects them to the outdoor compressor, so your home doesn’t need a duct system and register vents for mini-splits to operate.

Central Air

Central AC systems use a compressor, condenser coil, evaporator coil, fans and ductwork to treat air and distribute it. This is done by constantly converting refrigerant between liquid and gas form, allowing the components to absorb heat and remove it. Most homes in the U.S. have central cooling.

A thermostat controls the system and senses every room’s temperature to keep the house at whatever climate you choose. When one is too hot, it signals the unit to begin pushing cool air through the ductwork and into your home. As air circulates through the structure, it warms and then gets sucked in through return registers to go back to the air conditioner and repeat the process.

Choosing The Right Cooling System

Unfortunately, there are many factors to consider when deciding which cooling system is best for your home. Depending on your budget, comfort goals, lifestyle and local climate, the best match for your home should fit your particular needs.

Some advantages of ductless mini-split ac include:

  • Does not require ductwork – convenient for older buildings with thick walls
  • Keeps the room at a constant temperature instead of starting and stopping throughout the day
  • Moves heat indoors during the winter
  • Compact size = flexible temperature zoning
  • Quieter than central AC
  • Easier to install
  • No maintenance required
  • Certain models have the highest efficiency rating of all cooling systems

Although they are cost-efficient long-term, mini-splits are expensive to install and qualified, professional installers can be hard to find. Incorrect placement and sizing will keep your unit from running efficiently. Wall-mounted units also pose aesthetic problems for some homeowners.

Some advantages of central air conditioning include:

  • Can keep an entire home cool
  • Ideal for large spaces
  • Virtually invisible
  • Adds to home value
  • Improves air quality
  • Easy to install, if you have existing ductwork
  • Newer models are energy-efficient

Central air units cost less than ductless but are still expensive, especially when improperly sized. They also need annual maintenance, and ducts should be cleaned every three to five years.

Combining The Two

Some homes will benefit from using both ductless and central air cooling methods. The right combination of systems can get you the ultimate flexibility, comfort, price and efficiency while gaining the benefits of new technology, without replacing the entire setup.

Combining cooling units can allow you to easily accommodate room additions, precisely treat trouble spots and end battles over thermostat settings.

Biloxi Mini-Split AC Installation

If you still aren’t sure which air conditioner best suits your home, we can help. Our experts, at Ball Heating & Air Conditioning, can strategically design the right system, or combination, for your Biloxi home and help you understand all your service and installation options.

We are dedicated to providing technologically-advanced, personalized comfort solutions that satisfy you and your family’s needs. Contact us today with your questions, and we will make sure your home has maximum cooling during our hottest summer days.

Why Choose Ball Heating & Air?

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You will save a minimum of 30% on your heating and cooling costs or we will refund double-the-difference of your savings not realized during the first year.
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If we do not have your new system operating by the date promised, we will pay you $500 for your inconvenience.
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All technicians in your home have an extensive background check performed and are randomly drug tested for your safety.

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