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What Is the Difference Between Central & Ductless AC?

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Is Central AC Right for Your Home?

When looking into a new AC unit, many homeowners wonder whether central AC or a ductless AC system is right for them. Each system works best for a specific circumstance, so getting to know them can help homeowners make the best decision. Luckily, HVAC techs are here to share their expertise.

What Is Central Air Conditioning?

Central AC is an air conditioning system where the cool air is produced in a central location and then distributed through the home via a duct system. Central HVAC System

The way it works is by actually removing the heat and humidity from the air inside the home by circulating it through the system. The cool air then returns into the home, while the heat and humidity stay outside. 

Three main central AC unit components are essential to this process - an evaporator coil, a condenser coil, and the compressor. It also needs refrigerant for the process to flow smoothly. 

Central AC units are great to install in new buildings or in buildings that already have ductwork installed. They are also good for larger homes (more than 2,000 square feet), or if the homeowner would prefer to have their AC unit hidden instead of on the wall.

What Are Ductless Air Conditioners?

A ductless AC unit, also known as a mini-split, is an air conditioner without ducts. Generally, these units are made up of an outdoor unit (the condenser) and an indoor unit (the evaporator or air handler). Ductless Mini Split

However, some systems come with multiple indoor units to create different cooling zones. They work the same as a central AC unit, minus the ducts. Instead, they circulate the cool air using copper refrigerant tubing. There are also no vents needed, as the air flows through the indoor units. 

Ductless systems tend to be quieter than central AC units, overall, which may be a factor for some people when deciding. These AC units are generally best for new systems in existing homes that don’t already have ductwork or smaller homes (less than 2,000 square feet). They are also great for homes the homeowner wants to create temperature “zones” in.

What AC Services Are Recommended?

Whether the home has central AC or a ductless AC system, it will need regular maintenance services to keep it running. Some of this Man giving thumbs up maintenance can be performed by the homeowner (like cleaning vents and checking air filters), but most should be performed by a licensed HVAC technician.

The filters in both a central AC and ductless AC system need to be checked and replaced at least once every few months (more frequently when used or when there are pets and/or smokers in the house). They should both also be serviced by an HVAC technician at least once annually, to check and make sure all the parts are in good working order. 

Both ductless AC and central AC have advantages and disadvantages. For more information about what system may be the best for any specific situation, contact a local HVAC company.

About Sunset Heating & Cooling

Sunset Heating & Cooling has been a trusted heating and AC company in Portland, Oregon for around 100 years. They offer honest, flat-rate pricing and A+ rated service. Contact them today to learn more about their heating and cooling service options.

What Our Clients Say

Sunset went out of their way to help with my project and David was amazing. Great job and look forward to future projects.

-Todd T.

Roman did an awesome job. I had the trifecta, new AC unit ,furnace and hot water heater. Courteous, and competent service. I highly recommend Sunset Heating & Cooling.

-Charles E.

Eduardo provided excellent service when he repaired our AC. I felt his effort was over and above expected. Polite and professional at all times. Good job!

-William G.

Caring, professional and helpful. Thanks for making things happen quickly and getting my Dear friend's heating back up and running in such a quick manner. You went above and beyond for a family in need and that is very much appreciated. Thanks from the whole group!

-Kristina K.

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