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Ductless vs. Central AC: Which is Better?

May 12, 2020 | Blog

When installing an AC system, you have a few options to choose from. One question you’ll need to consider is this: what is the difference between ductless and central AC? Is one better than the other? Here are some differences to help you make the right decision.

Do you have ducts?

A central AC needs an indoor unit, an outdoor unit and ductwork to function. On the other hand, a ductless system only needs an indoor and an outdoor unit to work.
If you already have ducts installed in your attic, central AC is the more common and logical choice for your whole-home comfort.
If you don’t have ducts, installing a ductless system may be a favorable option. There will be less construction and mess to install a ductless system than there would be to try and install a central AC and new ducts. You may find it more affordable, as well. Ductless units are typically the preferred option for additions or enclosed garages, as well.


Having a ductless AC means that you will be looking at it all the time. The indoor portion is usually mounted high on a wall, on floors or on the ceiling. There are ways to hide them, but those options cost money. On the other hand, a central AC is not visible, whatsoever – other than the vents on your ceiling.

Temperature Zones

With a central unit, you can only set one temperature for the whole house, leaving some rooms colder than others if the air is distributed unevenly. With a ductless, or mini-split, AC, you can control the temperature in different rooms rather than sticking to one temperature. Being able to choose different temperatures for various rooms can be a huge money saver and more energy efficient.

Heating and Cooling

Central AC units are made for purely cooling a home and need to be coupled with a furnace in order to keep your house cozy and warm during the wintertime. A ductless system both cools and heats your home, which could save money if you live in a colder area.
If you are in the process of choosing which AC is right for your home, call Big Mountain Air today to speak with a professional to point you in the right direction.

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What Our Customers Have To Say

Good Rebates

This is a review for a complete HVAC system replacement from Big Mountain. I started at the SMUD website looking for the best rebate program and found a list of contractors there. I vetted out companies that had a lower number of completed jobs per the SMUD rebate program data.

Lee S.

Very Professional

Had my A/C go out yesterday, called Big Mountain today and they had a serviceman in my area of Lincoln, he was here within a half hour and fix my unit in a very professional manner, and the cost was reasonable. I was very impressed with the company and the serviceman.

Tom D.


I had a appointment with them between 1-3 and one of their staff members called me and kept me updated when they will arrive which was nice. Steve arrived on time and was really nice for explaining what could the cause be. My ac fan was working but cool air wasn’t coming out.

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