If you're on the hunt for an indoor comfort system, the options that exist can be a little confusing. Add to the confusion are the many contractors running around the LA area with differing opinions and stories. We want to address a specific topic on this page to help you understand more about home comfort. The topic is ductless vs central AC.
How Central Air Conditioning Works
A central air system is commonly referred to as a "split system" due to the nature of its design. With a central air system, the air conditioner (or heat pump) sits outside the home, and the remaining indoor coil, fan motor, filter and heat exchanger are located inside the home. An example of this is pictured on the left above. With this split system design, the indoor air handler (or furnace) is connected to ducting. The fan motor pulls air from the home, and then after it is filtered and conditioned, the same fan motor forces the air back into the home via ducting. So as you can see, when considering ductless vs central AC, ducting plays a huge role in the decision making process. But there's more...
How a Ductless Air Conditioning System Works
Ductless systems are called "mini splits." The reason is because they follow the same layout as the traditional split system described above. Here's the main difference: the indoor coil and fan motor in a mini split system is small and compact. They are most often mounted on the wall, and they're designed to filter and condition the air in a singular living space. See the mini-split example on the right side of the above image.
Ductless vs Central AC -- Which is Right for You?
Based on the above descriptions you've probably already made up your mind. But hold up for one second, because there is a remaining detail you need to be aware of: Ductless mini splits can also be configured to condition multiple rooms. The outside air conditioner or heat pump can be sized to support multiple compact air handlers. This creates a room-by-room comfort control setup that is very efficient and convenient.
Are we suggesting you should ditch your normal central air system if you have ducting? Not at all. Normal split systems are still our primary solution for most Los Angeles area homes. However, in some scenarios, a mini-split option wins out in the ductless vs central AC debate. Some homeowners with large homes have even used multiple ductless AC systems to properly segment living areas that aren't heavily utilized, thus saving on energy costs.
The great news is that at the end of the day, you don't have to make this decision alone. Connor Air is known across the greater Los Angeles area as an HVAC contractor who knows what we're doing, and who helps our customers invest in the right solution for their unique needs. Call us today at (626) 286-3157 for a free in-home estimate to learn more!