Should You Choose a Central or Ductless A/C? (2019 Edition)

Should You Choose a Central or Ductless A/C? (2019 Edition)

Are you shopping around for a brand new air conditioner to beat the sweltering summer months? This process can be a little tricky, especially seeing as A/C shopping is not something you do often. No doubt one of the major dilemmas on your mind is whether you should settle on a ductless or central A/C. Don’t fret. In this article, we help you figure that out!

Apart from stocking superior A/C brands, Constant also provides reliable and affordable air conditioner repair services for your Marham home. We can help you access amazing rebates, great prices, and superior models from suppliers like Goodman, KeepRite, Armstrong and more!


The Difference: Ductless vs Central

A ductless A/C resembles a central A/C in quite a number of ways. Both these systems consist of two units; a condenser stationed outside the enclosure and an evaporator (or air handler) that resides within the enclosure.



In a ductless A/C, the coolant travels between these two units and transports the heat from the interiors to the exteriors where it is then released. As the name suggests, no ducts or vents are required, and the system utilizes a thin cable from the condenser to a box on the wall.

A question we get asked often is; Are ductless air conditioners more efficient? Ductless A/Cs do tend to be more efficient seeing as they have fans that alternate their speed depending on the indoor conditions. Thus, they are capable of cooling your home that much faster.

How much does it cost to install a ductless air conditioning system? A ductless costs anywhere between $1,300 to $4,500 to install – this differs based on the brand and type of indoor mounting.

How many square feet can a ductless air conditioner cool? A 12,000 BTU A/C is capable of cooling about 450 to 550 square feet.


The Advantages of a Ductless System:
  • Interior air handlers can be installed in several areas (walls, ceilings, floors) allowing for better freedom of design
  • Ductless systems assist in heating or cooling your living space
  • A multi-split ductless A/C can be programmed for varying temperatures in varying rooms
  • Because no ductwork is required, leaks are eliminated thus tremendously saving on energy
  • Top A/Cs have lower profile interior units that do not take anything away from the decor



In a central system, the coolant travels through the evaporator of the furnace and into the ductwork, where it then moves through the rest of the house. These systems can either be split or packaged. In the former, an exterior metal cabinet holds the compressor and condenser, whereas, in the latter, an interior cabinet houses the evaporator.

Packaged A/Cs, on the other hand, house the condenser, evaporator, and compressor in a single cabinet. This is typically deposited on the roof or on a slab beside the home’s foundation.

What is the average life of a central air conditioning system? If you properly install and maintain your central A/C system, it can perform unhindered for 12 to 15 years. Naturally, new units that have been recently manufactured come with a longer lifespan.

Is central air conditioning expensive to run? Monthly costs vary based on how much you use your A/C. Typically, if your unit was on for 24 hours per day, it would cost about 12.43 per day and 375 per month.


The Advantages of a Central System:
  • This uses filters to enhance air quality, thus eliminating pollen, dust, and lint
  • It is ideal to circulate cool air within your entire house
  • The central system resides outside of your home, meaning that the interiors remain decluttered and clean
  • These A/Cs typically inculcate a single control panel to set time and temperature


What Factors to Consider When Making a Decision

We’ve compiled a list of the top factors to examine when making a final decision.


If your home has existing ductwork, choose a central system. Conversely, if it does not, a ductless A/C will be more cost-effective.


Do you mind looking at your A/C? Central A/C units are invisible when you’re indoors, whereas ductless systems need a thin unit in the walls or a vent in the ceiling.

Home Size

Ductless systems aren’t capable of generating the power to cool larger homes (over 2,500 sq. ft.).


Ductless A/Cs emit fewer sounds than central systems. If noise is a major deterrent for you, go ductless.


A quality ductless single indoor unit costs a couple of thousands. However, a central A/C is more expensive for comparable models.

Energy Efficiency

Good ductless models have a high energy efficiency (up to 27 SEER), whereas good central A/Cs have an energy efficiency of no higher than 21 SEER.

Zoning Control

If you need a distinct temperature in every room, ductless A/Cs can help you achieve this in a more cost-effective manner.


If you require supplemental heating, go ductless. This is because these units can recognize when it gets cold outside and usher in warmer air, all the while ensuring that indoor temperatures don’t drop below -7° C.


Need a Professional Opinion on Your Next A/C?

Constant is happy to help! Our trained HVAC technicians will assess your home’s cooling requirements and suggest the most cost-effective models. If you are a GTA homeowner, you can access amazing rebates when you shop with us!


We stock only the most trusted suppliers – Goodman, KeepRite, GeneralAire, Armstrong.


Contact us to enjoy a stress-free and cool summer season!
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