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Window vs. Mini-Split Air Conditioners for a Garage, Sunroom or Addition

Have an addition, sunroom or garage you want to add air conditioning to? Wondering what your options are?

Have an addition, sunroom or garage you want to add air conditioning to? Wondering what your options are?

You could renovate your existing air conditioning ductwork and add a new zone to accommodate the new room.

But you also have a couple other options—like installing a window air conditioner or a mini-split ductless system.

Many homeowners ask which one is better. So we decided to break down the differences between the two so you can make an informed decision yourself.

Window air conditioner units

Window air conditioners get their name because they sit in a window. They pull in air from outside, cool it and blow it into your home. They’re very popular for additions and sunrooms. But there are some downsides, as well.

Pros:

  • Cheap – Compared to the cost of a central air conditioner (or altering to your existing home ductwork), window A/Cs are much less expensive.
  • Easy to install – You can usually get away without a professional installation, further decreasing the cost.

Cons:

  • Blocks light from windows – Since it sits inside your window, a window air conditioner reduces the amount of natural light entering your home.
  • Bulky/ugly to look at – Most window air conditioners are not lookers.
  • Could be a security risk – Since your window is open, someone could remove the air conditioner from outside and gain access to your home.
  • Noisy – Since windows are near the center of activity in a room. So a window A/C can add a lot of noise to your home.
  • Only cools one room/area – Window air conditioners only cool one room and don’t usually work well with larger rooms.

Ductless mini-split systems

Ductless mini-split air conditioners are new to most homeowners in the Sarasota area. But they’ve been around for some time (and are pretty popular in Europe). They’re more expensive, but also more versatile and energy efficient. It’s called a “mini-split” because it’s like a mini central air conditioner, which is split into an inside and outside unit.

Pros:

  • Can cool one room or many – Ductless systems can cool a single room or multiple rooms depending on how many inside evaporator units you get.
  • Small, unobtrusive – Mini-splits are small and take up window space. If space permits, ductless systems can also be installed behind walls and on ceilings.
  • Quiet – Mini-splits are very quiet. You might not even notice they’re running.
  • Can heat and cool – Even though we don’t need heating much in Florida, there are mini-split heat pumps that can heat and cool your home.
  • Long lifespan – Ductless mini-split systems last longer than your typical window air conditioner and come with great warranties.

Cons:

  • More expensive – Mini-split systems are more expensive than window air conditioners.
  • Requires professional installation – They also require a professional installation (you need to run refrigerant lines between the outside and inside units).

Which should you buy?

It really comes down to what’s right for you. If you have the money, a mini-split system will make you more comfortable and usually last longer. But if you need a quick fix and have a limited budget, a window air conditioner can work in a pinch.

Want more help deciding? Contact Cool Today for a free estimate on a ductless mini-split system for your home.