If you’re shopping for an AC replacement in New Orleans or any of the surrounding areas, you’ll find the two most popular options are central air and ductless AC units, also known as mini-split ACs. The two systems are virtually identical in the way that they cool down your home. The only difference is that one (central air) requires air ducts and vents, whereas the other (ductless AC) does not. How is that possible?

Let’s begin by running through the cooling cycle. Many homeowners are shocked when they discover that air conditioners don’t actually produce cold air. Instead, they absorb the heat and moisture found indoors and discard it outdoors. This process, known as heat transfer, is what makes the room feel cool and comfortable. It’s also the reason why turning your thermostat down to the lowest setting doesn’t cool the house down faster. 

Whereas central air systems perform this cycle to provide whole housing cooling via ductwork, ductless AC systems operate on a standalone basis. One indoor unit is installed in each room and it is directly connected to the outside compressor. Since each room has its own air conditioner and thermostat, there is no need for ducts. The air simply flows from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit and back. 

Using ductless AC systems for your whole home is better known as temperature zoning. Each room in your house is a “zone,” with its own indoor AC unit and thermostat. This allows homeowners to have better control over their indoor climate and eliminates hot/cold spots. 

The Pros and Cons of Ductless Air Conditioning

Installing ductless air conditioning may be the perfect solution for some homeowners, but not for others. It all depends on your cooling preferences and your budget. Take a look at some of the pros and cons. 

PROS:

  • Your family doesn’t have to fight over control of the thermostat anymore. Everyone can adjust their room’s temperature as needed.
  • Provide heating or cooling only where necessary. You don’t have to waste money creating a comfortable environment in the guest room that nobody uses.
  • By eliminating ductwork, you also eliminate duct leaks, which wastes 20 to 30 percent of treated air, according to Energy Star. 
  • You can get the feel of central air without the expense of installing ductwork — a project that costs tens of thousands of dollars. 
  • Ductless AC systems are incredibly quiet when in use.

CONS:

  • For whole-home ductless cooling, you’ll need to install an indoor unit in every room of your home. This increases the upfront cost of the installation. 
  • Each unit will require regular maintenance, like filter replacement, and professional tune-ups.
  • The indoor AC units are out and about for everyone to see.
  • You may need to consider additional heating options. 

Whether you have any more questions about ductless AC systems or you’d like to schedule an air conditioning service, our team would be happy to tend to your cooling needs! With offices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge and service to the surrounding areas, we are here when you need us! Contact us today.