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Ductless vs. Central AC: Which is Right for You?

Updated: Aug 14, 2018

For the most part, central air conditioning units are the most popular forms of air conditioning, and generally seen as the most effective. However, ductless systems are becoming more and more common in households around the country, even in Texas. Why is that, and which one is best for your home? There are several factors to consider, so let’s break those down for each type of air conditioning.


This is usually the foremost concern for any homeowner. Unfortunately, cost doesn’t necessarily provide a clear win. On the surface, central air conditioning costs less than ductless units. However, that’s only for existing homes that already have appropriate ductwork in place. If you have to have ducts installed, central air can cost significantly more than ductless air conditioning. So if the house doesn’t have ductwork in place, or if the house has inefficient ductwork in place, it’s more cost effective to choose a ductless system. On the other hand, if the ducts are in place and seem trustworthy, the budget favors central air.

Installation Time

In this, it’s close, but ductless systems work out. Central air conditioning takes half a day to install, and about two days if you need to have ductwork installed. It’s also important to keep in mind that ductwork installations can be invasive, as parts of the wall and ceiling have to be removed in order to install the ducts. However, a skilled installation crew will ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible throughout the installation. Ductless systems, on the other hand, are much simpler and only take 4-5 hours to install. That means you’ll live with the installation for less time and save on the costs of labor.

Home Design

On the other hand, this category belongs squarely to central AC. Central AC units are placed outside, and don’t impact the indoor appearance of your home at all. Vents are installed high on the wall typically and painted so as to blend in. On the other hand, ductless systems can be bulky and get in the way of your desired aesthetic. This may seem to be a small factor compared to the others, but it is something that homeowners will often consider when searching for air conditioning systems. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that ductless systems tend to be quieter than central air, and that can impact the impression of your home as much as visual choices. However, the noise level often depends on the quality of the system.


If you’re interested in saving energy and lowering the cost of your energy bills, usually ductless systems are the way to go. The best ductless systems on the market can have up to 30.5 SEER rating, whereas the best central air units typically run 19-21 SEER. If the ducts aren’t installed properly, causing leaks, or the right level of refrigerant isn’t used, even high quality central air units can have lower energy efficiency. However, if you choose ductless systems for their efficiency, you should go with the best, like something from the Evolution® Series.

Whether your choice is ductless or central, Air Solutions in Bryan-College Station has the most efficient systems available for you, along with 50 years of combined experience to ensure a skillful installation. Contact us today for more information.

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