Mini Split

Mini Split vs Central Air

Indoor temperatures significantly impact our comfort, health, and productivity. Choosing the right cooling system can significantly improve your quality of life. Understanding the principles of central air conditioning and ductless mini-split systems is crucial for selecting the best option for your home, needs, and budget. It’s also essential to consider the benefits and drawbacks of each system.

In this blog, we’ll go over all you need to know about central air and ductless mini-split systems and compare them.

What is a Mini-Split System?

A mini-split system pumps cool air into an indoor space that is provided by an outdoor compressor and condenser. This air is then directed to air-handling units, which control the airflow in the room. These units can be small, providing air for a single room, or larger, capable of cooling an entire home.

Mini Split

What is Central Air Conditioning? 

Central air conditioning uses a large outdoor unit with a compressor, condenser coil, and evaporator coil to cool the air. It enters the home via the duct system, pumping the air through the entire house and maintaining a singular temperature controlled by a single thermostat.

Outdoor HVAC Unit

Mini Split vs. Central Air

Ductless mini-split systems and central air conditioning systems are effective ways to control home temperatures. However, they have some differences. Ductless mini splits do not require a duct system like central air does. Mini-splits can be adjusted independently through a remote control, while central air is regulated by a central thermostat. Ductless mini-splits allow for room temperature adjustments, while central air ensures uniform temperature control based on the chosen settings.

Advantages of Mini-Split Systems

  • Independent temperature adjustment: allows for room-specific temperature adjustments, allowing for personalized comfort.
  • Energy efficiency: can handle specific cooling, saving energy and money.
  • Less space: does not require a duct system, saving space that would otherwise go to a central air system. Ideal for homes lacking ductwork, ADUs, or expansions.
  • Room-by-room temperature control: Each unit has its own remote, allowing for individual zone temperature adjustments.
  • Energy conservation: uses minimal energy to regulate temperature and humidity.
  • Simple installation: can be built without significant structural damage.
  • Reduced energy costs: Despite the initial cost, efficiency significantly reduces utility bills, making it a worthwhile long-term investment.

Disadvantages of Mini-Split Systems

  • High initial cost: Limited budgeters must weigh the long-term energy savings against the higher upfront cost.
  • Relocation risk: lower return on investment if you’re planning on moving.
  • Visibility: Mini-split systems are typically prominently placed on the wall, which some find unsightly.

Advantages of Central Air Conditioning

  • Lower upfront cost: Installation is less expensive than mini-split systems, especially if your home already has ductwork.
  • Better filters: catch dust, allergies, and other materials, ensuring clean air.
  • Increased property value: According to real estate experts, central air can increase home value by up to 10%.
  • Convenience: Uses a single thermostat for consistent, stable home temperature management.
  • Compatibility: Works with existing heating systems, so there is no need for new ductwork.

Disadvantages of Central Air Conditioning

  • Difficult installation: If your home doesn’t have ducts, you’ll need to have ductwork installed as well.
  • Increased long-term cost: Monthly running costs are higher than for mini-split systems.
  • Increased maintenance: Regular cleaning and care of ducts are required.

Mini Split or Central Air: Which Is Right For My Home?

Mini Split

There are several benefits and drawbacks to both ductless and central air conditioning systems. However, the ideal system for you will depend on your family, budget, lifestyle, and where you live.


Central air is cheaper than a mini-split system, especially if your home already has ductwork. However, ductless AC systems are more cost-effective due to their revolutionary technology. 


Ductless systems are easier to install than central air conditioning systems, but they may not be suitable for extreme temperatures. 


Ductless heat pumps are suitable for mild climates like the Pacific Northwest, while central air is better for high temperatures in less temperate climates. 


When choosing between ductless and central air conditioners, consider your property’s usage. Tiny split units can cool only one room or zone at a time, making them ideal for infrequently used areas. Centrally controlled AC systems are more suitable for maintaining a steady temperature throughout the day.

Air Conditioning Installation in the Salt Lake City, UT, Area

No matter how hot it gets outside, you should be able to maintain a pleasant temperature in your home thanks to a well-functioning air conditioning system. Any air conditioner you install in your house should be dependable, big enough to fit the room, and maintained properly to keep it operating just as well as it did when you initially invested in it. You can count on the experts at Scott Hale to help you decide which cooling system is right for you, whether it’s central air or a ductless mini-split system. Call us at (801) 406-6797 or visit our website to book an appointment today.