At Advanced HVAC, we install both central air conditioners and ductless air conditioners.

Most of the time, the existing infrastructure of your home determines which option you choose – those who can get central air typically do. But for others, the choice may not be so cut and dry.

Is there ever a time when a homeowner may choose a ductless air conditioner in Ottawa, even if they have the right type of house for a central air conditioner?

Here is everything you need to know about each type of air conditioning system, and why you might choose one over the other for your Ottawa air conditioning needs.

Central Air Conditioner: The “Standard” in Home Air Conditioning

air conditioner unit outside housePerhaps the most commonly recognized type of air conditioning in Ottawa, Central A/C systems deliver that air into the home via an existing duct structure (which your furnace already uses).

The air conditioner unit is placed outside the house, where it cools the air before pumping it into the home through the ducts (using the existing blower on your furnace).

Central air conditioning systems can cool an entire home so long as the duct system reaches the entire home.

The single air conditioning unit is easier and less expensive to install, and there are some central air systems that are much more efficientlowering your monthly utility bill and possibly earning you rebates.

Central air conditioning systems also tend to look like built-in components of a house, with an unobtrusive profile that Ottawa homeowners prefer.

Are there any downsides to a central air conditioning system?

hvac technician installing central air conditioning While central air is the preference for most homeowners, there are some potential downsides to consider.

If you have a multi-story home, or your duct system is older, it may not evenly cool the entire house.

Some central air units can be very noisy as well.

Note that air conditioners do not control the heating – these units are only for cooling air.

Finally, some central air conditioners can be less efficient because air is lost as it travels through the duct work.

Ductless Air Conditioner

animation of ductless air conditionerAlso called a mini-split system, this type of air conditioner involves small units installed inside the house that are connected to an outdoor compressor. You may have seen these “room units” on other homes, or perhaps in restaurants or stores around Ottawa or elsewhere.

The indoor units pump air directly into the house from the outdoor compressor.

Ductless systems can be used for heat as well as cooling, and while they will only heat or cool the area directly around the indoor unit, many of the modern systems will keep an efficiently designed home at a comfortable temperature year-round.

Another great advantage of the ductless system: If you prefer, you can only heat or cool one area of the home, saving money on your electric bill.

However, ductless systems typically cost more to install, and even in the most efficient homes, they will likely never keep an entire home at an even temperature.

Which is the Right Choice for Your Ottawa Air Conditioning Needs?

For the most part, the advantages of a ductless system can’t beat the savings in installation, and the even cooling throughout an entire home, that a central air conditioning unit offers.

If your home already has existing duct work, this is the option that most homeowners would choose.

However, ductless systems aren’t all bad, and can be preferred in certain situations.

At Advanced HVAC, Ottawa’s air conditioning experts, we’d be happy to speak with you to help decide which air conditioning system would be best for you. Contact us today for more information.