Summers in Chicago leave residents reminiscing about winter. The temperature climbs and the sweat starts dripping. Homeowners who live in the Chicagoland area understand just how brutal summer can be. Air conditioning is an option most people spring for during the summer. But knowing which type of air conditioning is right for your home may be a struggle for homeowners. There are two general types of air conditioning systems: ductless and central. Below are the key differences between the two, and reasons why either might be the right choice for your home.
As the name suggests, ductless air conditioning systems do not require ducts to cool your home’s air. Ductless systems are generally comprised of one unit per room that connect to a compressor outside. The units are usually affixed to a wall. Ductless A/C has programmable temperature settings which cool either one or multiple parts of your home. Ductless systems are often regarded as more energy-efficient. Outdoor units do not make sound, which is nice if it is outside of a bedroom when people are trying to sleep. Also, because there are no ducts, installation is often much quicker and easier.
Ductless units are big and bulky, and some consider them eyesores. Also, each unit needs to be adjusted as needed—contrary to central air, where the whole home can be adjusted from one central spot.
One central thermostat controls the entire home’s temperature in a central air conditioning system. Air is cooled over a refrigerant and then pushed through air ducts throughout the home via vents. This type of air conditioning system is common in modern households. The benefit to central A/C is convenience. The entire house can be cooled from the flip of one switch. Also, unlike bulk ductless systems, air ducts are hidden from sight.
Central air may be noisy, because of the air being pushed through the ducts, which most people learn to ignore. Central air conditioning units may also be more expensive to install
Making the Right Choice
Choosing between ductless and central air depends on your specific needs and the type of home you live in. Each has benefits and drawbacks. Careful consider which aspects of each are important to you before you decide which type to install. Either way, make sure to maintain your system regularly to prevent breakdowns in that Chicago summer heat!