Central vs. Split System AC Installation: What’s Best for Your Home?


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When it comes to AC installation in Pittsburgh, there are two main types of systems to choose from: central AC and split system AC. Both offer efficient cooling solutions for your home, but they differ in terms of design and functionality. In this article, explore the differences between central and split system AC installation to help you determine which one is best for your home.

Central AC Installation

Central air conditioning systems are the most common type of cooling system in homes. These units consist of an outdoor condenser unit and an indoor evaporator unit, which are connected through a series of ducts. The central AC system works by drawing warm air from inside your home into the evaporator unit, where it is cooled and then circulated back throughout the home through the ducts.

Pros of Central AC Installation

  • Efficient cooling: Central AC systems are designed to cool your entire home evenly and efficiently.
  • Quiet operation: The outdoor unit of a central AC system keeps most of the noise outside, making it a quiet option for residential use.
  • Improved indoor air quality: With proper filtration, central AC systems can help remove dust, allergens, and other pollutants from your indoor air.

Cons of Central AC Installation

  • Higher initial cost: Central AC systems require a larger upfront investment due to the complexity of installation and components involved.
  • Ductwork maintenance: The ducts in a central AC system must be regularly maintained to ensure optimal performance and prevent potential issues such as leaks or clogs.
  • Inefficient for smaller spaces: If you have a small home or only need to cool certain rooms, a central AC system may be overkill and not the most cost-effective option.

Split System AC Installation

Split system AC units consist of two main components: an outdoor compressor unit and an indoor air handling unit. Unlike central AC systems, split systems do not require ductwork and are often used for individual room or zone cooling. The outdoor unit is connected to the indoor unit through a small conduit, which houses the refrigerant lines, power cable, and condensate drain pipe.

Pros of Split System AC Installation

  • Flexibility: Split systems allow for independent temperature control in different areas of your home, making it a great option for homes with multiple rooms and varying cooling needs.
  • Lower overall cost: Since split systems do not require ductwork, they can be a more affordable option in terms of installation and maintenance costs.
  • Energy efficient: Split system AC units use less energy compared to central AC systems because they are only cooling specific areas rather than the entire home.

Cons of Split System AC Installation

  • Limited cooling range: Split system AC units are not suitable for cooling large homes or multiple rooms at once.
  • Potential for hot and cold spots: If the unit is not properly sized or the placement is not ideal, there can be temperature inconsistencies in different areas of the home.
  • More visible indoor unit: The indoor air handling unit of a split system is typically mounted on the wall, which may not be aesthetically pleasing for some homeowners.

Which is Best for Your Home?

Deciding between central and split system AC installation ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you have a larger home or need to cool multiple rooms at once, central AC may be the better choice. However, if you prefer more control over individual temperature settings or have a smaller space to cool, a split system may be the way to go. It’s important to consult with an HVAC professional to determine which option is best suited for your home and budget. So, call the pros today!


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