Ductless wall mount unit in modern living room

As summer approaches, many homeowners are considering options to keep their homes cool and comfortable. Two popular choices for people looking to move up from window or portable air conditioners are mini-split air conditioning and traditional central air conditioning for their homes in Massachusetts. In this article, we will compare the benefits of each system and help you decide which one is best for your Mass residence.

Energy Efficiency Differences:

One of the most significant differences between mini-split air conditioning and traditional central air conditioning is energy efficiency. A closed loop mini-split systems are typically considerably more energy-efficient than central air conditioning systems. Depending on the type of split system you have installed, they may be two to four times more efficient to run than central air.

Additionally, mini-split systems can be zoned, meaning they can cool only the areas of the home that need it. This can save energy and reduce cooling costs by as much as 30% compared to traditional central air conditioning systems which pump the same temperature air throughout centralized ductwork.

AC systems often are integrated with a furnace and boiler system. Efficiency may be dependent on the state of the ductwork and air leakage. Consider duct sealing with Aeroseal to make this ductwork as insulated as possible.


Mini-split or ductless heat pump air conditioning systems are versatile and can be installed in a variety of locations. They are ideal for homes without ductwork, as well as for room additions, garages, and other spaces that are difficult to cool with a central air conditioning system. Furthermore, mini-split systems can be easily installed in older homes without the need for extensive remodeling. They are quieter than traditional central air conditioning systems, as the condenser unit is located outside the home, significantly reducing noise levels indoors.

However, if you are installing in a home which already has existing ductwork either a central heat pump or central AC can be used. Of these options a central heat pump integrating with your furance and boiler will be more efficient that an AC system and rebates will likely offset the slightly higher cost.


Depending on the layout of your home, the upfront cost of installing a mini-split system will likely exceed that of installing central AC. However, if your home is lacking ductwork, that is a significant cost adder for central air. Additionally, with 2-4x better efficiency with mini-splits over central AC, most homeowners will see this difference pay itself back within a couple of summers.

Also, homeowners in Massachusetts have lots of state incentives which can help reduce the cost of mini-split installation. Mass Save is still offering their $10,000 whole home rebate, or for those who do not want to give up their natural gas systems you can access a $1,250/ton partial-home rebate, and this year they announced that the 0% interest 7-year heat loan maximum would be increased to $50,000 for heat pump systems.


In summary, mini-split air conditioning systems offer some advantages over traditional central air conditioning systems. They are typically more energy-efficient, more versatile, and are more quiet to operate. However, the cost savings and energy efficiency of mini-split systems may vary depending on the size of the home and the number of indoor units needed to cool it.

Central AC systems work well for customers with ductwork already in place. If exploring this option consider a central Heat Pump system, which can act as a dual fuel option with your furnace or boiler – give you AC and saving you money during the heating season.

Ultimately, the decision between mini-split air conditioning and traditional central air conditioning will depend on your individual needs and budget. We recommend consulting with one of Endless Energy’s HVAC advisors to help you make an informed decision about which system is best for your Massachusetts home. Call us (508)-501-9990.

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