We Asked the Pros: Are Ductless A/C Systems the Way of the Future?

By HomeAdvisor

Updated July 25, 2018

Ductless Air Conditioner

Several decades ago, air conditioning systems were a luxury that most people didn’t experience outside of commercial settings; for modern Americans, however, the comfort of cool indoor air throughout the summer is something that is quite common (or even expected) in many homes around the country. Most American air conditioning is done either with window units in small settings, or with an outdoor condenser unit attached to a serious system of ductwork. For some folks, however, newer, ductless A/C systems might seem like a more enticing option. To get a better view of how the air conditioning tide is turning (or staying the same), we talked to a few professionals in two of the hottest states in the Union.

Ductless Systems in Texas

Since everything’s bigger in Texas (including the heat waves), we figured it would be a great place to begin asking a few questions. Though ductless systems have been around for a few years, our contact Bill McKenna at Cooling TX Co. told us, “To be honest with you, I haven’t seen too many of them around here.” This doesn’t seem too surprising when you consider that many homes in Texas have had air conditioning for much longer than ductless systems have been readily available. When asked how ductless compared to conventional systems, Bill explained that, much like any other air conditioning system, if a ductless system is properly installed, purchased with the right amount of power, and put in an appropriately sized setting it will do a good job. Are they the way of the future? Though they are presently rather scarce in his area, Bill told us that he wouldn’t be surprised to see more ductless systems in years to come.

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Ductless A/C in Orlando, Florida

Our contact in Florida, another place where air conditioning is uncommonly common, had a similar, though less optimistic view on ductless systems. Raymond Pherai of Cooling Systems Inc. in Orlando let us know that ductless systems work just fine when properly installed in the appropriate setting, but the wave of the future is more likely to be higher efficiency conventional units. “Ductless systems are usually installed for convenience,” Raymond said, “they are a good option for places where a regular system won’t easily fit or would look bad.” He was quick to note that some settings like additions are good candidates for ductless A/C, but as far as ‘way of the future,’ Raymond was pretty confident that whole house cooling will lean much more in the direction of more efficient traditional systems.

Are Conventional Systems Better?

Neither Bill in Texas or Raymond in Florida was ready to condemn one type of A/C and shout the virtues of another from the rooftops, and since they’re the pros, we’ll stick with their opinions. Both contractors were ready to admit that in some situations one system might be more appropriate than another, but as with so many facets of the home improvement world, saying that a ductless system is definitively better than a conventional system in every scenario (or vice-versa) is simply impossible.

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