Window Air Conditioners Vs. Ductless Mini-SplitsWith summer on the way, plenty of homeowners in York, Dover, and other South Central Pennsylvania towns are getting ready to drag those old window air conditioners out of storage, clean them off, and stick them in windows all over the house. 

Sure, they’ll stay cool. But they’ll put in a lot of work to get there. And, they’ll watch their money pretty much fly out the window when they get their electric bill each month. 

Is there a better way? Well, thanks to improvements in heat pump systems over the past 15 years, many people are saying, “Yes!” For many homes, a ductless heating and cooling system is the best way to eliminate window air conditioners. 

These systems, usually called mini-splits, offer the power of central air without requiring ductwork. And, they’re permanently installed. So, there’s no dragging units all over the house.  

But if this all sounds too good to be true, well, you’re right to wonder that. As good as these new systems are, they do have some drawbacks. In our experience, the pros have outweighed the cons for most homeowners. However, you should still have all the information before you make a decision.

Four Big Benefits Of Ductless Mini-Splits

In this article, we’ll go through: 

  • Cost To Purchase And Install

  • Zoned HVAC And Customization

  • Comfort And Cooling

  • Energy Efficiency And Monthly Cost 

  • Extra Features

  • Our Conclusion

  • Air Conditioner Replacement In York, PA

Cost To Purchase And Install

When it comes to upfront cost, window air conditioners win out every time. Your average window unit costs up to $300. The price for a single-zone mini-split, with one air handler and one heat pump, starts around $3,200. 

The cost for ductless goes up with each room you add, but the price does not double because you can hook more air handlers up to the heat pump. A multi-zone system for an entire home goes for around $17,000, but that varies based on square footage, room configuration, and other considerations. 

Now, there are plenty of rebates and incentives to bring down that cost a bit. And, of course, we wouldn’t even bother comparing the two if ductless didn’t offer more benefits. But, if the upfront expense is a consideration, you may want to with window units for a bit longer. 

Read More: What Is The Cost Of A Ductless Mini-Split In York, PA?

Zoned HVAC And Customization

Zoned Comfort Allows More Control And Energy Savings

This one’s a close call: Both ductless and window units let you set the temperatures separately in each room you’re treating. That’s a benefit that central air doesn’t offer. 

When you have one thermostat for the whole-house, the upstairs rooms usually end up warmer because the system works based on the temperature downstairs. By contrast, each ductless and window unit works independently.   

But which one does zoned HVAC better?

Ultimately, ductless does a better job of customizing your cooling. The thermostats on the air handlers, plus the variable-speed motors on the heat pumps, work together to keep the temperature within a single degree of your setting. 

Read More: How Big Is A Ductless Mini-Split In My Home?

Comfort And Cooling

Window air conditioners can undoubtedly keep a room cool. But, when it comes to overall comfort, ductless wins out easily. It’s more precise and provides more even cooling (and heating, which we’ll talk about later) throughout the space. 

The air handlers have special sensors and fans for what they call “3D” heating and cooling. It detects hot spots within a room — say, a corner or area near the window. Then, the fans direct the treated air to that exact spot. 

Suppose you’ve ever noticed the temperature much cooler near the window AC versus the other side of the room. In that case, that’s the difference we’re talking about: A mini-split gives you even temperatures across the entire space. And they work in larger spaces. 

If your first floor is open plan, for instance, you can often use just one or two indoor units for the entire floor. Window units can’t cover that same amount of square footage.

What Is The Cost Of A Ductless Mini-Split In York, PA?

Energy Efficiency And Monthly Cost 

Window air conditioners are easily the cheapest option upfront. But, when you’re looking at your costs over the next few years, ductless becomes the better option. That’s because they use a tiny fraction of the electricity that any window unit, portable AC, or even a central air system requires. 

If you’re replacing window units with ductless, the new system can pay for itself in lower bills over the next few years. 

Read More: Med-Ed And Energy Save PA Rebates For ACs And Mini-Splits

Extra Features

From here, ductless heating and cooling offers a few benefits that window ACs don’t. First, a mini-split can also heat your home. Second, it’s whisper-quiet. 

The heat pump system uses the same heat transfer process that removes heat from the home to bring warmth inside in the winter. That means you can use the same units to keep you warm during the shoulder seasons.

It takes more money off your bills when you don’t have to turn on your furnace as early in the fall. And, you can turn it off earlier in the spring. Or, upgrade to a Hyper Heat unit that keeps a home warm even in sub-zero temperature. 

Read More: Ductless Vs. Baseboard Heating In York, PA

And, they barely make a sound! Even at their loudest, an indoor air handler makes about as much noise as people whispering in a library. And, while they may run almost all the time, they spend the bulk of the day and night in a low-power, low-speed, super-quiet mode. 

Our Conclusion

By now, it should be clear where Air Comfort Technologies stands! By and large, we think ductless heating and cooling is superior to window air conditioners. The only sticking point is the upfront cost. If you’re prepared to invest, then you can quickly and easily upgrade the comfort in your home. 

Air Conditioner Replacement In York, PA

If you’re for an air conditioner replacement or upgrade your York, PA home, call or email us here at Air Comfort Technologies. Starting with a free consultation, we’ll help you find the perfect system for your home.

Aircomfort Man Blog