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Ductless vs. Central Air

Central AC has been a preferred home cooling option for generations, but in recent decades, the HVAC industry has produced some new and exciting systems to challenge the central air conditioner's dominance. Ductless air conditioners have been around for quite a while, but they've only recently captured much public attention. Nevertheless, they offer several advantages over central air conditioners in terms of comfort and energy efficiency.

What Does Ductless Mean?

At its heart, a ductless AC unit is still an air conditioner. The cooling cycle for ductless systems is the same cooling cycle used by standard central air conditioners. At the indoor unit, liquid refrigerant absorbs heat from inside the home and becomes gaseous. The system then sends the refrigerant vapor to the outdoor unit, where the compressor forces it to become liquid again. In the process, the refrigerant releases its stored heat outside the home.

How Much Does Ductless Air Conditioning Cost?

As a rule, ductless systems do tend to be more expensive to install than central air conditioners. As you'll see, however, the many advantages of ductless HVAC tend to be well worth that up-front cost.

Ductless Air Conditioner vs. Central Air Conditioner

  • Compressor Speeds: Most central air conditioners have compressors that run at one or two speeds. This means the system has to cycle on and off periodically, leading to temperature fluctuations and wasted energy. Ductless air conditioners use special variable-speed compressors to match the home's cooling needs in real time, improving both comfort and energy efficiency.
  • Delivery Method: Central air conditioners depend on ducts to distribute cool air throughout the home, and that means some cooling power is lost to leaks in the duct system. Ductless air conditioners neatly sidestep this issue by delivering their cooling power directly to the room.
  • Size and Noise: Ordinary central air conditioners are fairly bulky pieces of equipment that make a significant amount of noise when they're running. Ductless systems are very compact and run almost silently.

Advantages of Upgrading

Because of their compact design, ductless air conditioners are perfect for apartments, condominiums and smaller homes where there's little space to go around. Since there's no duct system required, ductless systems are also great for older homes with aging ducts or no ducts at all, and they're often a more cost-effective option than extending existing ducts into a new addition. Finally, the improved energy efficiency is great for any budget-conscious or environmentally friendly homeowner.

If you're wondering where to buy ductless air conditioners, look no further. Our Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating contractors will help you find the right system for your home and install it up to the manufacturer's specifications.

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