When it’s time to invest in a new cooling system for your Texas-based home, you have a couple of options. These include traditional central air conditioning and the new ductless mini-split system. Deciding which one is the right choice for your home, all starts with understanding the benefits of each AC system.

What Is Central Air?

Central air conditioning relies heavily on ductwork that is run throughout the walls and floors of your home. With its indoor air handler unit, a central air conditioning system will circulate air into the unit to have its heat removed and then forced back out into the various rooms of your home. The heat removed from your home is transported to the outdoor condenser unit, where it’s dispersed into the outdoor air.

What Is a Ductless Mini-Split System?

A ductless mini-split system works very similarly to a traditional central air conditioning system where heat from inside is transported to the outdoor condenser unit to be dispersed. However, the main difference between these two cooling systems is that, as its name implies, there’s no ducting. Instead of forcing air into ductwork to one indoor air handler unit, multiple mini-split units will be positioned throughout a home. They all do the same job as the indoor air handler.


One of the first factors that you’ll need to evaluate when determining which system is right for you comes down to the installation. With central air, you’ll need to have ducting. This is a good option for homes that already have pre-existing ducting for a heating system, such as a boiler or furnace. However, older homes that don’t have ducting can be quite costly to rip apart to have ductwork installed.

In these specific cases, a ductless mini-split system can be ideal. Furthermore, when dealing with cooling a home addition, you must be careful about hooking into your existing ducting. You may cause pressure differences that could reduce both your heating and cooling system’s efficiency. In many cases, opting for a ductless mini-split system for home additions is ideal.

Energy Efficiency

Another important factor to consider is the energy efficiency of each cooling unit. With central air, your ductwork can wreak havoc on your system’s cooling efficiency. It’s been estimated by the Department of Energy (DOE) that you can lose up to 40% of your cooled air through gaps in your ductwork. This translates to your central air conditioning system working harder to produce more cooled air to adequately cool down your home. With a ductless mini-split system, there’s absolutely no loss of cooled air. This helps to increase its overall efficiency.

Upfront Cost

One of the most significant factors that you’ll likely consider in your decision of which cooling system to buy is its upfront cost. In general, central air conditioning units are about 30% cheaper than ductless mini-split systems. With this being said, it’s also important to note that a ductless mini-split unit is capable of cooling and heating your home. You would be purchasing a unit that can control your household temperature all year round. This isn’t the case with a central air conditioning system.

Ease of Use

Unless you upgrade your central air conditioning system to have zone controls, it’s likely that you’re going to have one central thermostat that operates the whole system. This can be relatively easy to control. With a ductless mini-split system, each mini-split unit will have its own remote control. This means that you can change the settings on one mini-split unit without affecting the settings on all the rest.


As with any new investment for your home, you’ll want to take into account how it affects your home’s overall aesthetics. With a central air conditioning system, the only parts you’ll physically see are the vents in each room and a single thermostat on the wall. With a ductless mini-split system, there are a couple of options. You can have mini-split units installed in a highly visible location, like your wall or floor. Or, you can spend more money investing in mini-split units mounted on the ceiling that are more discreet.

Expert Cooling Service

SoBellas Home Services offers expert cooling services in the El Paso, TX community. Our helpful HVAC technicians can also assist with all of your heating, ductless mini-split, ductwork, swamp cooler, and appliance repair needs. Simply give our friendly staff a call today to schedule your next service consultation.

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