Floor standing units, central air, and ductless: Which is the best fit for your home?

There are so many different types of air conditioners out there on the market today. In this article, we review three of them: floor standing units, central air conditioning, and ductless HVAC systems. While all three can provide the rooms of your home with cooling or heating, there are significant differences between them and advantages to each. Finding the right new air conditioner for your home is about more than just the cost. It’s also about fit and making sure your home’s comfort needs are met.

At Ace Air Conditioning, our team specializes in air conditioning installation. For a free in-home estimate on a new Carrier air conditioner (or heat pump) from our team, call us today.

What are floor standing units?

Also known as “portable air conditioners,” floor standing units are—in effect—air conditioners on wheels. These units are a complete air conditioner, including the blower, condenser, and all other components in one package. Floor standing units first became popular in industrial and commercial settings, where the need for on-the-go, portable air conditioning was apparent. However, many homeowners have begun to bring these systems into their homes, as well—especially in homes where there is no existing ductwork to accommodate a centralized cooling and heating system.

Compared to central air conditioning, floor standing units do provide homeowners with some flexibility and “zoning” for their cooling and heating. However, as we’ll discuss below, they do have their downsides, and many industry experts now consider them a poor alternative to ductless HVAC systems.

What is a central air conditioning and heating system?

Both central air conditioners and ductless systems feature an outdoor compressor, in contrast to some floor standing units.

Both central air conditioners and ductless systems feature an outdoor compressor, in contrast to some floor standing units.

This is the traditional air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace found in many U.S. homes. Here’s what all three of these systems have in common: ducts. Centralized systems push cooled and heated air through a system of ducts to the living spaces of the home. This happens simultaneously, which means the entire home cools or heats as a single entity—there’s no “zoning” available with a central air system.

For homes with existing ductwork, a central air system remains a great option. If your home does not have ducts, our team recommends you talk to our HVAC installation professionals about our ductless systems.

Instead of a floor standing system, consider going ductless

If you’re looking for the versatility and efficiency of a floor standing unit or do not have existing ductwork in your home for a central air conditioner, a ductless HVAC system might be just what you’re looking for.

After all, it’s right there in the name: ductless cooling and heating systems do not need ductwork to operate. Instead, these systems provide air conditioning and heating right in the room through a wall-mounted blower.

Here are just some of the advantages a ductless system has over a floor standing unit:

  • Space: Obviously, a floor standing system takes up a physical footprint in your home. It takes away from your furniture and decor. In contrast, a ductless HVAC system is mounted on the wall near the ceiling, which frees up your floor space.
  • Noise: With many floor standing units, the compressor and blower are housed in the same package. Not only does this take up a great deal of space, but it also means the noise of the compressor is present inside of your home. Ductless systems only have the quiet blower inside, with a refrigerant line connecting it to an outdoor compressor.
  • Scale: Multiple ductless indoor blowers can be connected to a single outdoor compressor. This popular configuration is known as a “mini-split.” In many cases, floor standing units are a package deal, but you’ll need to buy each individually for each room or space of your home.

Compared to a standard central heating and air system, ductless is actually more energy-efficient. As discussed, a great deal of energy waste occurs in the ducts as cooled or heated air is transported from the blower to the living spaces of your home. Ductless systems cut out this wasteful “middleman,” helping you save money year-round.

Have our team help you find the perfect air conditioner for your home

At Ace Air, we’re your go-to team for new air conditioners here in Lake Charles, Sulphur, and Moss Bluff. We’re proud to install new cooling (and heating!) systems from Carrier, and that includes Carrier’s efficient, reliable lineup of standard air conditioners and ductless systems.

If you need a new air conditioner this spring, call us for a free in-home estimate so that one of our friendly, knowledgeable technicians can review your cooling options.