Central air conditioning is very common in homes here in Stroudsburg, PA. That’s because the majority of homes here have preexisting ductwork, and central AC offers efficient cooling. However, central AC comes with some limitations that can be problematic in certain circumstances.

For example, what if you decide to build an addition to your home? Or what if you finish your unfinished basement to gain some extra leisure space? In those situations, you may need to extend your AC system to cover more rooms than it’s designed for. The trouble is that doing so means you must expand your home’s ductwork, and you may need a new AC. As an alternative, you could install a ductless mini-split. But can mini-splits and central AC coexist? Here’s everything you need to know.

Requirements for Installing a Mini-Split

If you want to install a mini-split to cool a part of your home, there aren’t many prerequisites. All you really need is a dedicated power circuit run to the location of the mini-split’s outdoor unit. From there, the installation of a mini-split is straightforward. They rely on wall-mounted air handlers in the rooms you want to be cooled. To connect the two components, our installer would drill a small hole in your wall near the air handler. That’s all it takes to connect a small bundle of refrigerant and power lines between the indoor and outdoor units.

Running a Mini-Split and Central AC

If you have both a mini-split and central AC installed, you can use both systems as you see fit. They won’t interfere with one another even if your mini-split is in a room that already has central AC vents. In that case, the mini-split would simply reduce the load on your central AC in the spaces it serves. In fact, there are a variety of situations when installing a mini-split to augment your central AC makes sense.

When to Use a Mini-Split With Central AC

You can use a mini-split to add cooling to spaces that lack it or augment your existing cooling solution. Here are a few of the installation scenarios where this makes the most sense.

Adding Cooling Capacity to a Bedroom

One of the biggest downsides to central AC systems is that they don’t always cool evenly. As a result, some parts of your home will be cooler than others by default. This can be a particularly annoying issue if any of your home’s bedrooms don’t receive enough cool air to stay comfortable. In homes with this problem, homeowners often lower their thermostats to compensate so that they can sleep comfortably.

Instead, adding a mini-split to augment your bedroom’s cooling capacity makes more sense. With a mini-split in your bedroom, you can set an exact temperature that suits your comfort. Plus, a mini-split will improve the air quality in your bedroom. That can create the ideal sleeping environment that your central AC alone could never provide.

Cooling Sunrooms or Rooms With Large Windows

Another situation when using a mini-split in concert with central AC makes sense is to cool unusually warm spaces. For example, if your home has a sunroom or any other room with especially large windows. In such spaces, central AC often fails to overcome the additional heat load, and the space gets too hot. Adding a mini-split can help you correct the temperature only where needed without altering your central AC.

Cooling Spaces That Lack Ductwork

A mini-split is also the perfect way to cool spaces in your home that lack ductwork. The design of your central AC’s ductwork system is precise and balanced for your AC’s size. That makes extending your ductwork impractical in almost every case. Even when it’s possible to extend your home’s ductwork, doing so may create airflow imbalances. A mini-split helps you avoid that problem by adding cooling capacity exactly where you want it. Since mini-splits are ductless, they’re also much easier to install compared to altering your home’s ductwork.

Your Local Mini-Split AC Experts

R.J. Groner Inc. has been a top HVAC contractor in Stroudsburg since 1929. We offer complete HVAC services, including installation, repair, and maintenance. That includes installing and maintaining the latest ductless mini-split AC systems. We also offer plumbing, commercial services, indoor air quality, radiant floor heating, and ductwork services. We even offer financing on approved credit if you need help paying for a new mini-split AC. So, if you want to add a mini-split AC to work alongside your central AC in Stroudsburg, call R.J. Groner Inc. today!

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