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The Ultimate Summer Match: Central Air Versus Mini Splits


These Two Titans of Cooling Battle To See Which One the Homeowner Will Choose

While the developed world has long been dependent on the invention of air conditioning, there are many ways to cool and dehumidify a home or office. It was once standard to have a block of ice and a fan to blow over it, and now we have technology that is less about cooling and more about removing the heat energy from the air. Amazingly, this almost 100-year-old invention is still improving and still changing lives and environments for the better. The two most advanced systems for the home are HVAC or central AC and the ductless mini-split cooling system. As with many things, there is no better choice for an individual family or home. 

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Why a Homeowner Should Choose HVAC

Traditional central air conditioning systems are still the largest part of the air conditioning industry. There is no getting around the fact that they are still the pack leader. More technicians have experience with these and are willing to install them. 
Central air normally consists of one large AC unit connected to all parts of a house via a system of ducts. Outside air is filtered through the machine, passed over cooling coils, and blown into the home via fans. The newest is not always the optimum choice for a particular home. Benefits of a traditional HVAC system include: 

  • Consistency: No system is better at cooling a large home with consistent temperatures than traditional ducted HVAC. The size of the AC unit can vary greatly, but the right one is easy to find for a home's number of rooms and square footage.
  • Air Filtration: While ductless systems contain air filters, traditional ducted systems have much more robust filtration options, and the filters last a while. Also, there are various options for keeping particulate matter and microbes out of the ducts, which are not as readily available for alternate cooling methods.
  • Availability: Because HVAC systems are still the industry standard, finding a system that would fit the budget is much easier. A traditional central AC system could prove a cheaper option in the short run.
  • Less Maintenance: While all appliances need maintenance, an HVAC system needs less frequent attention than a ductless system. Often filter and drainage maintenance can be a DIY project.

Why a Homeowner Should Choose Ductless Mini Splitsac

This latest improvement in the air conditioning industry is the ductless mini-split system. These use one central condenser to power several heads or mini-splits that cool specific rooms. This system typically sucks in warm air from the room and uses the cycle of heat energy, changing the coolant from gas to liquid and back to gas to remove heat from the air.

  • Easy to install: If a home is older or has no previous ductwork, mini-splits are an excellent choice because they do not involve extensive renovation. The coolant tubes that connect to the heads from the main condenser are typically put on the side of the house. 
  • Cooling Zones: The great advantage of mini splits is that one can set the thermostat differently for each head. They can all work independently, which means if a room isn't used as often, energy can be conserved by turning up the thermostat without losing the cool in more high traffic areas.
  • Flexible: This fits with the easier installation. Mini-splits can be placed just about anywhere, while central air depends on the ability to find a place for ductwork.
  • Efficient: Because the temperature can be set differently for each room as needed and because energy is not lost through the extensive ductwork required for a traditional HVAC, the ductless mini-split system is more efficient and, therefore, costs less to operate. 

The Alternatives

Of course, if both of these choices seem overwhelming, or the homeowner is simply looking to supplement the cooling system already in place, there are simple alternatives. A window unit of fewer than 1000 BTUs usually does a perfect job cooling a bedroom. Likewise, a portable air conditioner can be highly useful in a garage or upstairs space where the central air won't cool. Then, of course, there is the good old-fashioned original mover of air, the fan. This tool is perhaps the most versatile and has the widest variety of options.

About Lasko Services

Lasko Services has been solving problems in the Muskegon, MI area for more than twenty years. Their highly-trained technicians are available when they are most needed, and same-day appointments are the standard, not the exception. Call now for AC services!

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COVID-19 Amid global concern about COVID-19, we will continue to be here for our customers. As people and companies all across the country take additional preparations to protect against the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we acknowledge that your Plumbing, Heating, and AC problems will likely not be taking a break. At this time, we will remain open full-time and will continue to service our customers with the same fast response times you’ve come to expect from us. Due to the increasing number of reported cases in the U.S., we are continuously monitoring the situation. We will also continue to actively assess the necessary actions we need to take in order to ensure the health and safety of our customers, employees, and their families. We hope that you will join us in taking some basic but important measures, such as frequent hand washing, to keep communal risk low.