How Split HVAC Systems Differ from Central HVAC Systems?

How Split HVAC Systems Differ from Central HVAC Systems?

Every homeowner wants comfort in their home during every season, and a reliable HVAC system is key to achieving that. If you're a new homeowner looking for the ideal solution to regulate your home's temperature, an HVAC unit might be the answer.

With plenty of options available online, you might wonder, "Which HVAC system is right for me?" Here’s a breakdown of each HVAC system, from their features and installation processes to their efficiency, maintenance requirements, and the pros and cons of Split and Central HVAC systems. By the end, you'll have all you need to choose the perfect HVAC system for your home's needs.

What are Split HVAC Systems?

Split HVAC systems, also known as ductless systems, consist of two main components: an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit is typically mounted on a wall or ceiling, responsible for delivering conditioned air directly into the room. While the outdoor unit houses the condenser and compressor connected to the indoor unit through refrigerant lines. What makes split HVAC systems stand out is the fact that they don't require ductwork.

What are Central HVAC Systems?

A tried and true system that has been used for years, Central HVAC systems are the traditional heating and cooling setups that you'll often see in many homes. They rely on a network of ducts to spread that perfectly conditioned air throughout the entire house. The main components of a central HVAC system consist of a central heating unit, a cooling unit typically found outdoors, and a smart system of ducts that work to deliver air to various rooms in your home. 

Split HVAC Systems vs. Central HVAC Systems: Installation Process

When it comes to installing split HVAC systems and central HVAC systems, there's quite a difference in the process. With split HVAC systems, the installation is less invasive since there's no need for ductwork. You can easily mount the indoor unit, and all it takes is a small hole to connect it with the outdoor unit. This makes split systems a fantastic choice for older homes or buildings that don't already have ductwork in place.

Now, on the other hand, central HVAC systems require ducts, which can be a bit more complicated and pricey to install, especially if your house doesn't already have them. The process involves setting up the ductwork throughout the house, and that can add to the time and cost of the installation.

Split HVAC Systems vs. Central HVAC Systems: Which Is More Energy Efficient? 

When it comes to picking the right HVAC system, efficiency should be your first priority. And this is where split HVAC systems excel! Split systems are at a great advantage when it comes to saving energy because they don't depend on ducts. This nifty feature makes them super energy-efficient, and that could mean some cost savings down the road.

However, central HVAC systems are undoubtedly great at heating and cooling the entire house too. But they do have one small drawback. If not properly maintained, there may be some energy loss might happen through the ducts. So, while they get the job done, it's worth considering the potential energy efficiency difference between the two types of systems.

Split HVAC Systems vs. Central HVAC Systems: Maintenance Requirements

For any type of HVAC system, keeping up with maintenance is the only way to make sure the entire system continues to run smoothly. When it comes to this, split HVAC systems have a little edge because they have fewer components, making them a bit easier to service. But hey, both types of systems need regular attention to stay in tip-top shape!

That means staying on top of tasks like filter replacements, coil cleaning, and checking the refrigerant levels. These routine maintenance steps are essential to keep both systems working efficiently and to extend their lifespan. So, regardless of which system you have, a little TLC can go a long way in keeping your home comfortable and your HVAC system happy!

Pros and Cons of Split vs. Central HVAC Systems

When it comes to Split HVAC systems and central HVAC systems, they each have their strengths and weaknesses. It's crucial to understand these differences so you can make the right decision that fits your needs perfectly. So, let's take a closer look at how each HVAC system excels and where it might have some limitations, helping you determine which one is the best fit for you!

Split HVAC Systems


  • Energy Efficiency: These systems are more energy-efficient than central ones. With individualized temperature control in different zones, you can save energy by only heating or cooling the areas in use.
  • Easy Installation: Split systems are relatively easy to install as they consist of just two components – the indoor unit and the outdoor condenser. This makes them perfect for retrofitting into existing structures where extensive ductwork might not be feasible.
  • Flexible Zoning: You can create different zones within your property, each with its thermostat, providing personalized comfort and cost savings by avoiding heating or cooling unused spaces.
  • Quiet Operation: The separation of indoor and outdoor units reduces noise levels, creating a peaceful and comfortable environment inside.


  • Higher Initial Cost: Split HVAC systems can be more expensive initially, especially if you need multiple indoor units for zoning purposes. However, the long-term energy savings can offset this initial expense.
  • Aesthetics: Some people may not like the appearance of indoor units mounted on walls or ceilings, as it might interfere with the interior design.
  • Limited Capacity: Split systems are better suited for smaller or medium-sized properties. For larger buildings, multiple units may be required, increasing installation complexity and cost.

Central HVAC Systems


  • Lower Initial Cost: Central HVAC systems generally have a lower upfront cost, especially for larger properties, as they rely on a single unit and ductwork to distribute conditioned air throughout the building.
  • Uniform Climate Control: These systems ensure consistent heating or cooling across all connected areas, maintaining a uniform indoor climate.
  • Aesthetically Concealed: Since the main components are hidden, central HVAC systems have no impact on the interior aesthetics of the building.
  • Suitable for Large Properties: They efficiently manage the temperature of multiple rooms or floors in large buildings.


  • Energy Loss through Ducts: Ductwork can cause energy loss through leaks and poor insulation, reducing overall system efficiency. Regular maintenance and inspection of ducts are necessary to mitigate this issue.
  • Limited Zoning Capability: Unlike split systems, central HVAC systems lack zoning flexibility, meaning you cannot independently control temperatures in different areas, potentially leading to energy wastage.
  • Potential Noisy Operation: Older central systems can be noisy due to the operation of the centralized blower and compressor.

Discover Your Perfect HVAC System at Go Direct Appliance!

When you're searching for the perfect HVAC system, whether it's a split system or a central system, you don't need to look any further than Go Direct Appliance! With us, you can easily find the ideal HVAC system that guarantees ultimate comfort, efficiency, and excellent indoor air quality for your home.

We've got a fantastic range of options to meet your specific needs. Whether you're interested in a gas split system, a heat pump electric split system, or a central system, we've got everything you need. Dive into our wide selection featuring top-notch brands like Goodman and Mr.Cool, and you'll discover the unit that seamlessly fits your home and lifestyle.

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