When you choose a new air conditioning system, you'll find that you have two primary choices for your home. A standard central air conditioning unit relies on ducts, while a multi-zone ductless system is duct-free. While both types of air conditioning systems can keep your home cool, they have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Take a closer look at the pros and cons of each type of system.
Central Systems Cool the Entire Home
This traditional type of cooling system uses a network of ducts connected to a cooling unit in order to distribute the cool air throughout the home. Most central air units are designed to cool the whole home, which can be comfortable but inefficient. Homeowners who want to have greater control over cooling certain rooms or zones more than others can consider investing in zoning systems. These systems incorporate dampers in the ductwork and a series of zoned thermostats throughout the house. Since each thermostat is assigned to a specific group of rooms, this system offers much greater potential for temperature customization.
Ductless Systems Cool by the Zone
Ductless systems have the same goal as central air systems, but their design is significantly different. Ductless systems rely on multiple indoor units or blowers placed in each rooms to provide cooling power. Homeowners can install multiple ductless systems to cover the entire home. Whether they opt for one or more ductless units, these systems make controlling the temperature in each room or one much easier.
Ductless Systems Are Easy to Install
Another positive feature of ductless systems is their ease of installation. Rather than a bulky outdoor compressor and extensive ductwork that can require numerous entry points throughout the home, a ductless system only requires a small hole in the exterior wall. Conduits that run through the opening then join the exterior and interior components. This means that installation is much quicker and easier than the process required for a central air conditioning system.
Ductless Systems Save Energy
A central air conditioning system that relies on ducts can experience significant energy loss through inevitable leaks, cracks, and imperfections in the ductwork. In fact, statistics from the U.S. Department of Energy indicate that central air conditioning systems consistently lose up to 30 percent of the energy produced from heating and cooling. If you do choose a central air system, it's important to have the ductwork inspected in order to save this energy. To ensure that you don't experience this level of energy loss, consider a ductless system, which is a much more energy efficient system due to its lack of ductwork.
If you're considering installing a new cooling system in your home, be sure to contact a knowledgeable HVAC company. A professional technician will inspect your current system, provide calculations for your home's needs, and advise about which type of system will work best in your home. Experienced HVAC technicians can also advise about thermostat settings to ensure that you save as much energy as possible and make the best HVAC choice for your home.