With the broad array of cooling systems available on the market today, it can be tough for St. Louis residents to keep up. Two of the most popular systems available are standard window air conditioners and ductless mini split units. While both systems will provide the cooling you need to make it through a hot summer, there are several important differences that can have short-term and long-term effects on your comfort and cooling costs.
Both window units and ductless systems run on the basic cooling cycle that was developed more than a century ago. At the evaporator coil, refrigerant chemicals collect heat from inside your home, becoming gaseous in the process. Those chemicals then travel to the outdoor coil, where a special pump called a compressor forces them to resume liquid form. In the process, the refrigerant releases that stored heat outside the house. By repeating this cycle over and over again, an air conditioner gradually removes heat from the house, keeping residents cool.
Window air conditioners are popular primarily because of their low up-front cost and ease of installation. Although they're somewhat bulky, these units are also truly portable air conditioners, as they can be removed and brought to a new home fairly easily. That's an important advantage for people who anticipate moving in the near future, such as renters.
While ductless systems tend to cost a little more up front, they more than make up the difference with long-term energy efficiency. Mini split air conditioners use special variable-speed compressors to run continuously, matching the home's cooling needs in real time. That means there's no need to cycle on and off, which wastes power and leads to uncomfortable temperature changes.
In terms of size and obtrusiveness, ductless systems come out well ahead of window units. The indoor components of a mini split air conditioner are quite small and sit high on an interior wall, nearly out of sight. Conversely, window units occupy the entire window and extend several inches into the living space itself, taking up valuable room. Ductless systems also run nearly silently, while window units can be quite noisy.
Security is another important advantage of ductless systems, particularly on the first floor of a home. It's not all that hard for an intruder to remove a window unit and gain access to your home, but the small holes used by mini splits don’t pose a security risk.
If you're wondering where to buy mini split air conditioners, look no further. Our Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating contractors are the St. Louis area's leading experts on these efficient systems. Just use our convenient search tool at the top of the page to find a contractor near you today.