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Central AC vs Ductless Systems

For decades, you could have residential air conditioning in two ways: window air conditioning units or a central air conditioning system. Today, a third choice exists: the ductless system. More homeowners are looking into installing ductless systems in Rochester, NY than ever before. This doesn’t mean that people no longer want central AC in Rochester, NY, however. Far from it! These systems both have benefits, and which one works best for a home depends on several factors. 

We’ll provide you with a brief rundown on the benefits of central ACs and ductless systems to give you an idea of what you might need for your next HVAC installation. 

Benefits of Central AC

You’re familiar with central air conditioning as they’re the most common type. A central AC has an outdoor condenser that attaches via a line set to an indoor unit with a blower and evaporator coil. The blower sends the cooled air into the ductwork. The benefits of this system:

  • The best option for homes that already have ducts. It’s easy for installers to put in a new air conditioner without having to make significant modifications.
  • Convenient, moving cooled air to all the rooms in the house connected to the ducts (generally all living spaces). 
  • Far more powerful than using window air conditioners, and less expensive than buying multiple window units for the whole house.
  • Unobtrusive, the AC system remains almost entirely out of sight. This also means less noise getting into the living spaces. 
  • Compatible with a central furnace for homes that already have one. The central AC can use the same blower as the furnace.

Benefits of a Ductless System

A ductless system also has indoor and outdoor components. The outdoor component is similar to the central air conditioner’s condenser. However, a ductless system has multiple indoor units: small wall-mounted blowers in different rooms around the house which connect to the outdoor unit through the back of the wall. The benefits of this system:

  • A great option for older homes without ducts, far superior to using window air conditioners.
  • Excellent for new home construction, since it removes the need to put in ductwork at all.
  • Works at high energy efficiency because of the smaller motors and the lack of heat loss or heat gain through duct walls.
  • Comes with built-in zone control: each room unit can be operated independently of the others.
  • Improves air quality because there are no ducts collecting dust. 
  • Most are heat pumps, so they provide both cooling and heating.

Which System Is Right for Me?

It depends! If you already have ductwork for your home, you’ll likely want to go with a standard central AC. If you have to use window units for cooling because your house lacks ducts, then ductless is a terrific alternative. Ductless systems can also work in conjunction with a central AC to help condition areas of the house that are hard to cool. The best way to get a solid answer is to talk to our professionals. We’ll find out the ideal installation for you. 

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