HVAC Service 101: What is a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner?

Most Americans can no longer imagine living without air conditioning. Traditionally, that has meant either installing window air conditioners or a central air conditioning system.

However, there is a relatively new option on the market these days: ductless mini-split air conditioners.

Mini-splits are growing in popularity across the country right now and becoming a solid choice for most homes given the flexibility and cost savings. Compared with central air and traditional window units, they end up surpassing performance on several dimensions.

But just what exactly are mini-splits? And how do they differ from both central air and an air conditioning system installed in a window?


What are ductless mini-split air conditioners?

Ductless mini-splits are a type of heating and cooling system that can control individual room temperatures. They are relatively simple machines, with only two components: an outdoor condenser and an indoor evaporator. They hang in a room towards the ceiling, connected to the outdoor unit by a three-inch hole, and allow you to individually control the temperature of each room in the house. 


Mini-splits vs. Window Air Conditioners

Unlike window air conditioners, mini-splits are incredibly easy to install through an HVAC service. They do not have to be removed or covered up each season and they are able to prevent much more energy loss than window air conditioning units. On top of that, they do not require cumbersome installation and are far more energy efficient. They are also a lot quieter and installation and repairs have proven to be much easier.


Mini-splits vs. Central Air Conditioning

With central air cooling systems, cold air is forced through a complicated series of ducts, making it prone to energy losses along the way. Mini-splits have no ducts, and thus much less energy gets lost. This also means their installation is usually less expensive than traditional HVAC systems, and they usually require less maintenance from HVAC services. Mini-splits also have the added bonus of being able to be controlled through timers and remote controls, which makes them ideal for smart home systems.


Return on Investment

The installation of mini-splits can mean a lot if you plan to sell your house one day. Home improvement experts know that even a small kitchen remodeling project has an average 82.7% return on investment. With modern, minimally-intrusive, cost-effective mini-splits, your return on investment could be even higher.



In the long run, ductless mini-split AC units installed by an HVAC service have a number of benefits. You don’t have to lug the heavy and clumsy window unit out of storage or deal with the complexity and expense of running ducts to every part of your house with central air conditioning. For all these reasons, it’s easy to see why mini-splits are becoming so popular.