As a homeowner, finding the right air conditioning system can be a challenge. You want something that’s affordable, energy efficient, and that cools your home effectively. Two popular options are ductless mini splits and central air conditioners, but which one is cheaper? In this post, we’ll explore the differences between mini splits and central air systems and discuss their costs to install and operate.
How Are Mini Splits and Central Air Conditioners Different?
Let’s start with the basics. Mini splits are also known as ductless air conditioning systems, while central air uses a duct system to distribute cool air throughout your home. Mini splits, as the name suggests, are smaller and designed for individual rooms or zones, while central air units are designed for cooling entire homes.
One of the main advantages of mini split air conditioners is their flexibility. You can install multiple units in different rooms, each controlled independently. This means you can cool the rooms you’re using and turn off the ones that you’re not. In contrast, central air is designed to cool your entire home, which can lead to wasted energy and higher costs if you’re not using every room.
How Much Do Mini Splits and Central Air Conditioners Cost to Install?
In terms of costs, mini splits are often cheaper to install than central air. Since they don’t require ductwork, installation is straightforward and minimally invasive. You can expect to pay anywhere from $4,000 to $7,500 to install a mini split in a single room, depending on the size and complexity of the installation. Installing mini splits throughout your entire home can cost $12,000 or more, depending on how many units are installed and your home’s installation needs.
A central air system, on the other hand, requires ductwork throughout your home, which can be costly to install. Expect to pay anywhere from $12,000 to $30,000 to install central air and ductwork in an average-sized home. Installing a new central air conditioner without any ductwork installation or replacement averages between $4,000 to $10,000, depending on the unit selected.
Operating Costs for Central Air and Mini Splits
When it comes to operating costs, a mini split ductless system is generally more energy efficient than central air. Since mini splits are designed to cool individual rooms, you can adjust the temperature to your liking and conserve energy. Central air, on the other hand, cools your entire home, which can lead to wasted energy and higher bills.
Mini split ACs may require a higher upfront investment, but their efficiency saves money over time through lower operating costs due to the precision cooling of areas you choose. Whichever option you decide on, make sure to compare installation costs and savings when assessing the best AC system for your needs.
Professional Installation for Mini Splits
Whether mini splits are cheaper than central air depends on your specific needs and preferences. Mini splits are more flexible, cheaper to install, and more efficient, making them an ideal option for homeowners who want to cool individual rooms. However, a central air conditioning system may be the best option if you need to cool your entire home. At Mission Mechanical, we offer a range of air conditioning installation services to help you find the right solution for your home, including ductless mini split system installation. Contact us today for an estimate.