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Standard Ductless Unit: Condenser and Head (L-R)

Recently, someone asked us via our Google business page what the difference between Ductless and Central Air Conditioning systems is.  It’s an important question and it turns out that our answer was maybe a little too long for Google, so we posted it here instead.  This isn’t everyting there is to know about it, but hopefully it helps everyone understand the diffwerence between the two options at least a little bit better.

When choosing between Ductless (often called ‘Splits’) and Central Air Conditioning (CAC), it’s important to understand that each system has its own specific advantages beyond the primary objective of heating (for heat-pump enabled units) or cooling.

For example, Ductless Systems allow for individual temperature control for each space in which an interior air exchange wall-unit (often referred to as a ‘head’) is installed. This gives you the ability to keep areas not being used at an energy-saving temperature, and ‘condition’ only the specific space in which each head is installed. In addition, the outdoor (‘Condenser’) units used by ductless systems are substantially quieter than traditional CAC Condensers, and have a much smaller footprint, which enables them to be more easily hidden from view.

Central Air systems cool via ductwork (as opposed to the wall-mounted ‘heads’ used by ductless systems) and regulate the temperature conditions of the entire area each system is ducted to (often the entire home)  via either a Vent Cover or Register. A Vent Cover simply covers the end of the duct, while a Register can adjust the air flow by either opening or closing a damper or flaps. Either approach, however, results in limited temperature control compared to Ductless; for typical CAC systems, the set temperature affects the entire home whether the rooms are being used or not. While it may seem that Ductless systems are the way to go, Central Air Conditioning systems have their own set of distinct advantages.

For example, Central Air Systems are more modular and customizable by nature; additional functionality can easily be added either during the initial install, or at a later date. These add-ons for central systems bring the ability to humidify, dehumidify, air purification, air exchange with outside air, provide great air filtration and have a large variety of thermostat controls with and without WIFI capabilities. In addition, and especially now, we often install secondary modules that directly affect and mitigate dangerous viruses, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and Bacterial Pathogens.

At the end of the day however, the decision really is specific to your specific needs, circumstances and budget, and there is far more to either approach than can be covered here.  Should you have additional questions, please just contact directly – we’re always happy to help!


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