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Pros and Cons of Installing a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner

Whether you’re considering installing air conditioning in your home for the first time or your current AC system needs an upgrade, a ductless mini-split is an option you might want to consider. Ductless mini-split air conditioners serve as an alternative to central air and provide great flexibility for controlling the temperature within a particular space or room of your home. However, like any other major appliance, they come with their own set of pros and cons. In this article, we will highlight some of the most significant advantages and disadvantages of installing a ductless mini-split air conditioner in your home.

What is a Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner?

heating and cooling system that does not require ductwork. It consists of an outdoor unit and one or more indoor units, which are connected by refrigerant lines. The outdoor unit is responsible for cooling or heating the air, and the indoor units distribute the conditioned air directly into the room. The indoor units are typically mounted high on the wall or on the ceiling. Each indoor unit cools the room in which it's installed, and you can set different temperatures for different rooms, providing increased comfort and energy savings.

This type of system is commonly used for heating and cooling individual rooms or small spaces, and it offers greater flexibility and energy efficiency compared to traditional HVAC systems.

Benefits of Installing a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner

The following are some of the reasons why you may want to consider installing one or more ductless mini split air conditioners:

Energy Efficiency

Ductless mini-split air conditioners are incredibly energy efficient. Traditional HVAC systems often lose energy due to duct leakage, which can account for up to 30 percent of a home's energy consumption. Mini-splits eliminate this energy loss, as they deliver conditioned air directly to each room, leading to significant reductions in your energy bill.


Instead of forcing conditioned air through ducts, ductless systems deliver air directly into different zones. There's no need to install lengthy ductwork; a small 3-inch hole in the wall for the conduit is all that is needed. Moreover, the indoor units can be installed anywhere in the room — on the wall, on the floor or even in the ceiling, providing flexibility in interior design options.

Improved Air Quality

Ductless systems are known to offer healthier air quality as they have multi-stage filtration systems that drastically reduce dust, bacteria, pollen, allergens, and other particulates in the air. With regular cleaning and maintenance of these filters, your home environment can be healthier and cleaner.

Easy Installation

Compared to traditional systems, ductless air conditioning units are much easier to install. They only require a small hole in the wall for the conduit, which reduces the likelihood of air leakage and security issues that can occur with larger holes.

Quiet Operation

Mini split air conditioners are known for their quiet operation. The noisy part, the compressor, is located outside the home. The indoor units operate at a much lower decibel level than traditional air conditioners, so they will not disrupt your quiet home environment.

Potential Drawbacks of Installing a Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner

Despite the numerous benefits, the decision to install a mini-split air conditioner should be based on the specific cooling and heating needs of your home as well as your budget. Some potential drawbacks to consider include:

Initial Cost

If your home doesn’t already have ductwork in place, installing a mini-split unit can save you money over installing a new central air conditioning system. However, depending on the size of your home, you’ll likely need multiple units. So, depending on the number and type of units you choose, using ductless mini splits to heat and cool your entire home can be more expensive with regard to installation cost.  


Maintenance for a ductless mini split system can be more demanding than for a traditional central AC unit. The filters need to be removed and cleaned regularly to maintain proper functioning and efficiency. If homeowners neglect this necessary maintenance, the system’s ability to condition air will decrease and energy costs could increase.


A ductless mini split air conditioner is visible within the room it’s installed, irrespective of whether it's wall-mounted or standing on the floor. These units may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, and could potentially disrupt the overall decor of your home. The cords and hoses may also need to be disguised for a better appearance which can prove challenging.

Limited Heating

In extremely cold conditions, the heating capability of a mini-split system may not be sufficient to provide optimum comfort. In such cases, an additional heat source may be needed to maintain ideal living conditions in a home.

In conclusion, when contemplating whether or not installing a ductless mini-split air conditioner is a good fit for your home, it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons while considering specific needs and personal preferences. They might be the perfect solution for someone who values energy efficiency and flexibility in their HVAC system, but perhaps not ideal for someone who prioritizes aesthetics and has a large home located in a very cold climate. 
For more information on ductless mini split air conditioners or to schedule professional installation in your home, contact WM Buffington. We service homes all across North Central Pennsylvania including Harrisburg, Highspire, Middletown, Wormleysburg, and New Cumberland.

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