A central HVAC system is the most common system in the climate industry today. It consists of an outdoor unit, an indoor air handler, and a network of ducts and vents.
The outdoor unit is made up of a motor fan, a condenser, and a compressor. Removing heat from the air before sending it back into the house is the primary job of the outdoor unit. The air handler–usually located in the garage, basement, or a dedicated AC closet–forces air into the ducts. It is also responsible for pulling air out of the home through the return vent where it’s then sent to the outdoor unit again. Heating and cooling coils are located inside the air handler unless you have a dedicated furnace. Newer central HVAC units can be adapted to include a dehumidifier that removes excess moisture from the air while reducing strain on the rest of the system.
A ductless mini-split system is a smaller version of the central HVAC; however, as the name implies, this system doesn’t require ducts running through the walls or crawl spaces. Depending on the size of your home, several units may be required. The outdoor unit is usually mounted on the wall outside the house while the indoor units are installed on the top of the wall in the room you where you want climate control. Heating and cooling elements are both located inside the indoor unit while the outdoor unit expels heat as it cycles through the system, just like a central system. By installing several units throughout the home, you can create climate zones or micro-environments, and each zone has its own thermostat.
Selecting the Right System for Your Home
There are several factors to consider when deciding between a Central or Mini-Split system. If you have an older or historical home, installing ductwork might not be an option for you because of the limited crawlspace. Therefore a ductless system would be best for your situation. Installing a mini-split system might have a higher initial cost depending on how many units you need. Over time, however, this system can help you save money in the long run. With greater control over various climate zones, you can save energy by only controlling the zones you frequent. A central unit tries to cool or heat the entire house to the same temperature, including empty rooms, which is a waste of energy. When it comes to repair and maintenance, both systems have their pros and cons. A central system has fewer parts compared to a multi-unit split system. However, holes in the ducts can increase the possibility of climate loss and higher energy bills. With a ductless system, you don’t have to worry about leaks, which helps keep energy loss to a minimum.
Before you make your final selection or if you’re still unsure about residential HVAC systems in Decatur, GA, call the professionals at Cool Air Mechanical to schedule an inspection of your home. We can help you determine which system will work best for your climate needs as well as your budget.