With several weeks of summer still to go, you’ve probably thought about your air conditioning once or twice in the last few months. After all it’s the most important part of staying cool indoors, but is your current system the ideal solution? Or if your existing air conditioner is starting to fail, have you thought about a replacement system? Taking time to figure out what your perfect air conditioner is can offer a lot of benefits.

Two common choices these days are mini-split AC and window AC, also known as a window unit. While they’re both smaller than a traditional central, forced-air system, they also feature a few key differences. Let’s take a look at those differences so you can decide which air conditioner is right for you.

Installation, Repair and Maintenance Costs

One of the most important things to consider when choosing an air conditioner is the total cost across the life span of the system. This should include initial installation costs as well as periodic repair and maintenance costs. The costs of mini-split installation are generally higher than a window unit, but this is because mini-split AC systems are a newer, permanent, more efficient form of cooling technology. However, the lifespan of a window AC is shorter so you may have to purchase several of them during the time period where you only needed one mini-split AC. It is also harder to find companies to service window ACs.

Energy Efficiency

For homeowners who prioritize energy efficiency, a mini-split system can help lower your cooling bills much more than a window unit. One of the primary reasons for this is a mini-split uses a fraction of the power that a window AC would use. That means excellent comfort all summer without those spikes on your electric bill.

Mini-split air conditioning doesn’t use traditional air ducts to deliver cool air throughout your home. Instead, the outdoor unit sends cool air directly to the one or more indoor split units that are installed. This reduces the heating and cooling losses you might deal with from the small cracks or other minor flaws in the ductwork.

Mini-Split AC Offers High SEER Ratings

An easy way to check energy efficiency between different air conditioners is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER rating. This measures how much energy was used to produce a fixed amount of cooling across a typical season. With modern designs, mini-split installers can easily offer models with SEER ratings as high as 24.

Space and Noise Considerations

While a mini-split AC system is technically larger than a window AC (since they have both an indoor and outdoor unit), they also offer more flexible installation. Models can be installed in out-of-the-way spots such as on the wall, along the floor, and even from the ceiling. Window units are normally restricted to the window frame itself, jutting out into the room.

And as for noise, mini-split air conditioners produce less sound overall. This is primarily because the noisiest component, the compressor, is housed in the outdoor unit away from the house. Mini-split systems are also quieter because of their newer designs.

A Local Expert Can Help You Choose the Best Cooling System

If you’re still having trouble figuring out which type of air conditioner is right for you, a local System Design Specialist can be a big help. They have the experience and knowledge to evaluate your comfort needs and existing equipment to suggest the ideal replacements. A-1 United Heating, Air & Electrical would be happy to help you figure out if a mini-split installation is right for you, so give us a call at 402-593-7500 to request a free quote.