Hand adjusting temperature on air conditioner with remote control, Working air conditioner for comfort temperature in home at hot summer

Are Mini Splits Cheaper Than Central Air?


If you’re considering investing in a new HVAC system for your home, you’ve probably already started doing some research. There are tons of great options that can provide your home with convenient, energy-efficient comfort, including ductless mini-split systems, which are growing in popularity. If you’re new to the ductless mini split and aren’t sure if it’s worth the switch from the traditional central air system, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, Robinson will cover the basics of both central air and mini splits, and compare their cost, energy efficiency, and comfort/control.

What are Ductless Mini Splits?

A ductless mini-split system is a great option for certain homes, especially those that don’t have existing ductwork or contain additions or detached structures. As the name implies, these systems don’t use ductwork to distribute cool or warm air throughout your space. Instead, they use individual air handlers installed throughout your home. Each air handler can be individually adjusted to provide the right temperature and air quality for that specific area.

What is Central Air?

Central air conditioning systems are the more traditional type of air conditioning system on the market. A central air conditioner normally uses a blower motor or fan to push cool air through ductwork to distribute it throughout your living space. Central air conditioners are usually cheaper to install but can be less energy-efficient than mini splits.

Mini Split vs Central Air

Now that you have a brief overview of each system, let’s take a deeper look at the pros and cons of ductless mini-split systems vs central air units.

Cost of Installation – Winner: Draw

Depending on whether your home has air ducts, mini-split air conditioners can either be more expensive to install upfront or cheaper. If your home doesn’t have ductwork, a central air conditioning system will be more costly to install since you also need to install ductwork. However, a traditional central system will be cheaper to install than a ductless mini-split system if your home has existing ductwork.

Energy Efficiency – Winner: Ductless Mini Split Systems

Mini-splits are often more energy-efficient than central air systems. Since each room has its own indoor unit, they only need to cool or heat the area in which they are located. This means that the energy used is much more focused and efficient. Additionally, a central air system can waste energy through leaks and cracks that naturally manifest in the ductwork over time. You don’t have to worry about that with a ductless system.

Temperature Control – Winner: Ductless Mini Split Systems

Ductless systems provide greater comfort and control than central air conditioning units. Since the indoor units are located throughout your home, you can adjust the temperature for each individual area. This allows for greater customization and comfort. Additionally, a ductless system offers both warm air and cold air, while central AC can only be used as a cooling system.

Indoor Air Quality – Winner: Central Air System

Central AC systems circulate air from the entire home through an air filter to provide better control of your home’s indoor air quality. With the help of a trained specialist, you can also easily add whole-home humidifiers and air purifiers to a central air system as indoor air enhancements.

Benefits of Ductless Mini-Split Systems

Now that you’ve seen the side-by-side comparisons, here are some final thoughts on why a ductless mini-split system would be cheaper in the long term than a central air conditioning system.

Lower Energy Costs

As mentioned above, mini splits are often more energy-efficient than central air systems. Focus temperature control on one space, and turn off mini-split units in unoccupied rooms to save money on heating and cooling. Over time, this will help you lower your energy costs.

Targeted Temperature Control

The individual air handlers in mini-split systems allow for greater customization. No more fighting over the thermostat and causing your HVAC system potential harm by overworking it. You can adjust the temperature in each area of your home, providing a more comfortable environment for the entire family.

Minimally Invasive Installation

Ductless Mini-Split installation does not require costly major construction work. Only a small hole is needed to run refrigerant piping and wiring between the indoor and outdoor units.

Two Systems in One

Mini split systems are heat pumps that are capable of producing cool air in the Summer and warm air in the Winter, and with proper maintenance, these systems can last up to 20 years!

Go Ductless With Help From Robinson Heating & Air Conditioning

Even though ductless mini-split systems are usually more expensive to install than central air systems, they can be more cost-effective in the long term. They give you more focused temperature control, keeping everyone in the house happy. Ductless systems can also lower your monthly energy costs and provide you with efficient comfort all year long. If you’re considering mini-splits for your Middletown, OH home, give Robinson Heating and Air Conditioning a call.