Ductless vs Central AC: Which Is Better for My New Jersey Home? | Air Experts

Trying to decide between ductless and central AC for your New Jersey home?

Although both types of AC systems work well, the answer depends on your situation. For most New Jersey homeowners, the better of the two options ultimately comes down to budget.

Before you make a decision, you should also consider these other factors:

  • Whether your house already has ductwork installed
  • Whether you’re trying to cool your entire house or just one room
  • Your maintenance budget

We’ll expand on each of these things to help you choose the option that’s best for your home and your budget.

Factor #1: Whether your house already has ductwork installed

This is the primary decision-maker for most homeowners. Here’s our general advice:

  • If you already have ductwork, the least expensive option upfront would probably be to go with a central AC system because it’s more cost-effective. Central AC units typically cost 30% less than ductless AC units and the average cost to install a central AC system in New Jersey is $5,475.
  • If your home doesn’t have ductwork, it will cost less to install a ductless AC system. Although the average cost of a ductless mini-split installation in New Jersey is $8,200, which is more than installing central AC, adding ductwork throughout a home can range anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000+ on top of the cost of the AC installation. That said, you can save a lot of money and time by skipping the ductwork installation altogether and installing ductless units.

Factor #2: Whether you’re trying to cool your entire house or just one room

If you want to cool your entire home and you already have ductwork, central AC is the most efficient way to do it.

That’s because, at its most basic level, a ductless AC system consists of 1 outdoor unit and 1 indoor unit. The system is designed to cool each room individually, so you can maintain different temperatures in each living area. If you want to cool multiple rooms, you’ll need to purchase additional indoor units for each room, which can cost $7,500 to $12,000+.

However, if you only need to cool one room or an add-on room (like a garage), going with a ductless system would be less expensive than adding the ductwork. 

Factor #3: Your maintenance budget

Generally, ductless AC systems cost less to operate long-term and are potentially more energy-efficient.

That’s because, about 20 to 30% of the conditioned air that moves through a home’s duct system is lost due to holes, leaks and poorly connected ducts, according to Energystar.gov. 

Ductless air conditioners also typically require less maintenance and repairs than central AC systems. However, the cost of repairs can easily become more expensive if regular maintenance like filter changes and cleaning is neglected.

Additionally, ductless AC systems typically last about 20 years while the lifespan of central AC systems is about 12 to 15 years.

Want a recommendation from a New Jersey pro? Contact Air Experts

Still confused about whether ductless AC installation or central AC installation is right for you?

Our techs can inspect your home and give you honest and accurate recommendations to make sure you get the right AC. With friendly techs and flat-rate, upfront pricing, it’s easy to see why we have thousands of customers that trust us to continually service their homes.

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