Ductless vs Window Air Conditioners: The Pros & Cons

Jul 28, 2020

Has the summer heat got you beat? For many homeowners, central air is too steep of an investment. As a result, many people search for less costly options; two of the most popular are mini split air conditioners and window units. 

First, let’s go over how each system operates. A ductless AC uses two components: an outdoor condenser, which pushes heat outside, and an indoor unit, which cools the interior space. They’re connected with pipes and wires that run through an exterior wall – as the name implies, no ductwork is required. Window units, on the other hand, are installed in (you guessed it) a window. This self-contained box blows hot air out one end, and brings cool air in the other. But what are the advantages and disadvantages that these systems have to offer?  

Ductless ACs cool multiple rooms. Due to their zoning technology, a mini split system can cool up to four rooms at once. It allows for independent temperatures in each room, which will keep all members of your household happy. They are whisper-quiet, too. 

Window units are less expensive. For those with a limited budget, a window unit is less expensive to purchase and install. Buyers be warned – the price reflects its reduced capabilities. It can only cool one room at a time, and it can be quite noisy as well. Since window units are less energy-efficient than mini split systems, you will end up paying more on power bills over time.

Ductless ACs require professional installation. You’ll need a contractor to install your mini split system. Placement is flexible; they can be mounted to ceilings or walls. The advantage is that ductless units come with warranties, which guarantees longevity; if a window unit breaks, you’ll be out of luck. The filters that are installed with ductless air conditioners reduce pollutants in your home and increase air quality – window units lack this critical feature.

Window units pose a security risk. A thief can take advantage of a window unit’s precarious position to break into your home. They know that window units are easy to push in and may target your home once you have one installed. Window units are difficult to seal and can allow space for pests to enter, like bugs or mice. 

Mini split systems offer heating options. If you install a heat pump with your ductless unit, it can reverse the flow of air to provide warmth during the wintertime. This flexibility gives it an advantage over window units, which become obsolete once the summer is done. Since window units are exposed to the elements, they can be damaged by snow or rain. 

Window units block natural light. These systems hog precious space in windows. There may be gaps surrounding the unit after installation, so you’ll need to seal it with wood or curtains. It will also be impossible to open windows with these units installed.

You get what you pay for; the saying applies to methods of cooling your home, too. While window units are less expensive, these savings come at the cost of reduced efficiency, blocked windows, and limited capabilities – not to mention a security risk as well. Have you decided that a ductless AC unit is right for you? Provincial Heating and Cooling offer Winnipeg air conditioning services. Our HVAC contractors can help you install this product in your home and bring down the heat.


"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.