Mini Split Vs. Central Air Conditioner

Mini-split vs Central Air condition

Heating and air conditioning are essential for enhanced welfare and convenience in all Denver area homes. Air conditioners are installed in nearly three-quarters of American homes today. While there are several types of heating or air conditioning systems to select, each has different benefits and drawbacks. It’s up to you to pick which one will best suit your preference.

Room air conditioners and central air conditioners, which use ductwork to cool an entire home, are the two most common air conditioner types. Ductless HVAC mini-split systems, on the other hand, are a hybrid of the two, providing a more lasting room air conditioner without the need for ductwork.

This article compares ductless mini-split systems to more conventional centralized air systems, including an air conditioning unit, heat pump and furnace.

Ductless Mini-Split

Mini-split systems have two major components – the exterior compressor and condenser and the indoor air-handling unit. The power cord, refrigerant hose, and condensate drain connect the outdoor and indoor components. They’re excellent for room add-ons and houses with no ducted HVAC systems.

Pros of Mini-Split Air Conditioners:

  1. Ease of Installation: Mini-split installation is simple because it only involves mounting a wall unit with no lengthy and complex ducts. Depending on the number of units installed, they can be up and working within the day.
  2. More Energy Efficient: Mini-splits have high cooling/heating accuracy because they guide air directly from the unit to the targeted area, improving efficiency and lowering electricity costs.
  3. Controlled Temperature of Each Room: Installing a mini-split in each room of your home allows you to control the temperature of each room independently. Multi-split units enable you to cool/heat multiple rooms with a single outdoor unit. You can easily set a different temperature for each room simply by using a mini stat or AC remote control.
  4. Fewer Cost Overtime: A mini-split AC has a higher initial cost than a central AC of the same capacity. But don’t let that discourage you from purchasing them as it is more energy-saving and will save you on bills.
  5. Minimal Noise: Ductless mini-split air conditioners make less noise than conventional ducted air conditioners. Modern mini-split system fans operate at low speeds, producing little noise.
  6. Great for Small Separate Rooms: A mini-split system may solve the problem if you already have central air conditioning. It can be installed in a garage, a shed, or anywhere where the ducts have no access.
  7. Available in Many Designs: Mini-splits come in various styles that you can match to your aesthetic needs. It is available in many looks, including ceiling cassette, floor mounted, and the standard wall-mounted model.

Cons Mini-Split Air Conditioners:

  1. The Overall Cost is High: When compared to central air conditioners, the average cost is higher. Moreover, if you have a large house and want to install individual units in each room, the expenses will skyrocket.
  2. Not Suitable for Large Rooms: They have limited cooling capacity and are best suited for cooling smaller areas like a kitchen or bathroom.
  3. Poor Ventilation: Mini-splits do not bring in fresh air from outside; instead, they condition the air already in your room which can cause many airborne particles, dust, and bacteria freely float in the air.
  4. Can Look Unappealing: A huge wall-mounted ductless in your room may appear distracting and may look unpleasing with the styling of your space. The condensate pipe near the exhaust system can also be unappealing.

Central Air Systems

Central HVAC systems distribute warm and cool air throughout the home via ductworks. Vent covers are installed in walls, floors, and ceilings to conceal ducts. Split systems and packaged systems are the two primary kinds of central systems.

Split systems include both outdoor and indoor components. It is the best option for those who require an air conditioning unit but already have a furnace. In contrast, packaged systems type incorporates the evaporator, furnace, or heat pump into a single outdoor unit.

Pros of Central Air Conditioning System:

  1. Ideal for Larger Homes: Central air conditioners are to meet the needs of larger homes as opposed to mini-split systems. They are excellent for keeping large areas cool and comfortable, even in the warmest months.
  2. Clean Air Circulates Your Home: A central ducted air conditioning unit circulates air through vents. The return vents draw unfiltered air from your home. Air is then filtered to remove allergens. This improves air quality, which results in fewer pollutants in your home.
  3. They Don’t Disrupt Your Home’s Aesthetics: The indoor unit of a central air conditioner is usually hidden in the garage or basement. Each room has vents that disperse hot/cold air, but they are hard to spot and do not disturb your interior. The outdoor unit may be unsightly in your yard, but you can always cover it up creatively.
  4. Lower Initial Costs: The initial cost of central air conditioning is less than that of mini-split systems minus ductwork installation. It is a reasonably priced heating/cooling option if you already have a ductwork system.

Cons of Central Air Conditioning System:

  1. Extensive Ductwork Needed: Installing a central air conditioner should be simple if your home already has ductwork. However, if you are installing the ductwork system for the first time, it will be a sizable renovation project. Furthermore, refitting a home to cater to the ductwork can be costly.
  2. High Maintenance for the Ductwork: The long and complex ductwork requires regular inspections and maintenance, which can be inconvenient. It involves sealing leaks, cleaning ductwork, and adding insulation which can cost money. Disregarding routine tune-ups can also result in expensive future repairs.
  3. Operating Cost is High: Ductwork energy loss accounts for high power usage, which elevates electricity bills. Before reaching your home, air travels through complex ductwork and the loss increases if ducts are not sufficiently insulated, ventilated, or sealed.
  4. A central air conditioner evenly heats/cools down your entire home, but it can be a disadvantage if you are not using all the rooms. You can consider HVAC zoning to make the most out of this situation and keep your bills low.

Mini-Split Versus Central


  • Mini-split: Installing a mini-split is simple since you’ll not need ductwork.
  • Central A/C: Requires extensive ductwork, and installing it for the first time requires extensive renovation and is costly.


  • Mini-split: It’s considered energy-efficient since they have no ducts contributing to energy loss.
  • Central A/C: Extensive ductwork of central ACs contributes to energy loss, decreasing efficiency.

Initial Cost

  • Mini-split: The initial purchase of a mini-split is costly. It gets even higher if you want a separate unit in every room.
  • Central A/C: The upfront cost is relatively low. It provides an affordable heat/cooling option if you already have ductwork in your home.


  • Mini-split: A large, mounted mini-split is considered an eyesore and may affect the aesthetics of your room.
  • Central A/C: A central air indoor unit is usually placed in the basement or garage, out of your sight and does not disrupt the aesthetics of your home.


  • Mini-split: Regular maintenance is easy and includes cleaning coils and air filters that you can even do yourself.
  • Central A/C: The ductwork requires frequent maintenance. You have to pay an additional amount for sealing leaks, cleaning ductwork, and adding insulation.

Your Complete HVAC Services Provider – Consulting, Installation, and Repair

Are you concerned about selecting the best air conditioning system for your home and family? DALCO Heating and Air Conditioning will assist you in making a quality decision about the type of air conditioning system best for your home. Our certified consultants can assist you in understanding your options and selecting the appropriate one to meet your home cooling requirements. Homeowners in Denver and nearby areas trust us for their HVAC needs.

For quality HVAC services, call us at (303) 979-7541 or schedule an appointment with us online. DALCO Heating and Air Conditioning are conveniently located at 4610 S Ulster St #150, Denver, CO 80237, United States. We strive to deliver a high standard of work to guarantee customer satisfaction!

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