With summer in Massachusetts just around the corner, many homeowners are considering upgrading their air conditioning systems. The decision can be overwhelming with so many options available and the price of energy so high, but two popular choices are mini-split or heat pump systems and window AC units. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at both options and explore which is better in 2024.


One of the primary reasons people choose to upgrade their air conditioning is to improve comfort in their home. When it comes to comfort, mini-split systems are the clear winner. Unlike window AC units, which only cool a single room, mini-splits are designed to cool multiple rooms, providing consistent comfort throughout the entire home. Additionally, mini-splits have the ability to adjust the temperature in individual rooms – so your family can spend the summer relaxing instead of fighting over the thermostat.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a major factor to consider when upgrading your air conditioning system. In this regard, mini-splits are the superior choice (against central air too!) Mini-splits and ducted heat pump systems are designed to be highly energy efficient, using up to 50% less energy than traditional window AC units. This can lead to significant savings on your energy bills over time. Additionally, mini-splits use a variable speed compressor, which allows the system to adjust its output based on the current temperature, vastly improving energy efficiency. Especially as electric prices rise in Massachusetts energy efficiency is a major consideration for anyone with an electric bill.


When it comes to our homes, safety is paramount. In this regard, window AC units fall short. Window AC units on higher floors can be dangerous if they fall out of the window, potentially causing harm to anyone walking below. Additionally, window AC units require a window to be left open, which can be a security risk without having a grate installed. Mini-splits, on the other hand, are mounted securely on the wall and do not require any windows to be left open, providing increased safety and security.


Noise can be a major issue with air conditioning systems, especially if you plan on using the system while sleeping or working. In this regard, mini-splits and ducted heat pump systems win the day. Minisplits are designed to be whisper-quiet, making them an ideal choice for any room in your home. Window AC units, on the other hand, can be quite noisy, making them less than ideal for use in bedrooms, home offices, or other quiet spaces.


It is tough to conceive of a less convenient appliance than the Window AC. Heavy and unwieldy, it’s a sick tradition to haul them from storage each spring and precariously place them in our windows. Mini-split systems on the other hand offer heat in addition to air conditioning, allowing them to be utilized year-round. Additionally, mini-splits are incredibly easy to use, with many models featuring remote controls or even smartphone apps that allow you to adjust the temperature from anywhere in your home.


In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between mini-split systems and window AC units in 2024, the decision ultimately comes down to personal preference and priorities. While mini-splits offer superior comfort, energy efficiency, safety, noise, and convenience, they are more expensive to install due to requiring a licensed professional and the cost of the equipment itself. Window AC units, on the other hand, offer a more affordable and convenient option, but will not provide the same level of comfort, energy efficiency, or safety.

Luckily there are plentiful rebates and assistance available for many homeowners in Massachusetts to make the upgrade to mini-splits, such as the Mass Save $10,000 whole-home rebate, $2,000 IRA tax credit, and $50,000 HEAT Loan, which allows eligible customers upgrade to heat pumps to finance them at 0% over 7 years.*

If you would like to speak to a professional about getting a mini-split or ducted heat pump system installed in your home, please contact us!

*Not all household will be eligible, please refer to Mass Save for specific eligibility requirements.
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