Whether your home is one or a hundred years old, one of the most expensive systems in it is the heating and air system. Today, there are more solutions than ever to replace your air conditioning system. Deciding between High-velocity AC vs Mini Split AC systems will impact your cooling throughout the lifetime of your home.

Older homes and businesses often have very little space in walls, ceilings, and crawl spaces for conventional vent systems. Architects design new homes with room for these systems. Older homes, however, usually lack the space to install traditional air conditioning ductwork.  When adapting air conditioning systems to older houses and office spaces, these systems’ flexibility makes them desirable.

If you are considering a new air conditioner for your home or business, follow along to learn how the latest systems can cool your space.

High-Velocity AC Systems

How they work

High-velocity air conditioning systems work much like other central air systems. You have outside and inside components that force air through ductwork. However, a high-velocity A/C system generally has a smaller outside unit. The ductwork is comprised of four to six-inch diameter tubing that is easier to install than conventional ductwork.

High velocity ac diagram
High velocity AC works just like a central air systems, but with a smaller outside unit.

Pros of High Velocity Air Conditioning

High-velocity AC systems are aesthetically pleasing.

Due to the smaller ductwork used to cool your home, a high-velocity air conditioning system is more aesthetically pleasing than a conventional air conditioner or mini-split AC system. In addition, with a high-velocity air conditioning system, there are no more large grates on the floors and walls.  Instead, small, inconspicuous vents and even smaller ports replace them.

Excellent for removing humidity

Because of the air volume they move, high-velocity air conditioning systems can remove up to 30 percent more humidity than conventional systems. Lower humidity means increased comfort, which is especially true for those who live in high-humidity areas.

Energy saving

Because high-velocity a/c systems are smaller, they use less energy than conventional air conditioning systems. The smaller ductwork also has less air leakage than the ductwork of traditional AC systems. Since this is where a lot of energy is lost, this benefit also helps with efficiency.

Easy to install

Traditional ductwork ranges in size from 3 x 7 inches up to 3 x 3 feet and larger. Installing this type of ductwork is more labor-intensive than that used by high-velocity a/c systems.  In addition, it takes up a lot of space and can take a lot of time to install. The smaller ductwork of high-velocity A/C systems is easier to install than conventional ductwork in older homes or businesses. Its smaller size will fit between walls and floor joists, and the smaller ports used by these systems need very little space.

Cons of High Velocity Air Conditioning

A High-Velocity AC is loud.

Anytime you move air at a high velocity, you will hear it, and the production of sound is no different when forcing cold air into your home. However, some owners of these systems find the noise to be uncomfortable.

You only get one temperature for the entire house.

With a high velocity or conventional air conditioning system, you can only set the temperature for the entire home.

They can be expensive.

Although a high-velocity AC is smaller than a conventional AC and uses less expensive ductwork, it can be more expensive. This is because they can cost more than units of the same cooling capacity.

Mini Split Air Conditioners

How they work

Minis split air conditioners work like any other AC system, are ductless, and have two main components. These components include an outside compressor/condenser unit and an indoor air-handling unit.  

split type ac
Mini split air conditioners are like any other air conditioning system.

A hose connects the two units, runs through a small hole outside of your home, and leads to where the interior unit is to be mounted. Some mini-split AC designs will support more than one indoor air-handling unit, offering a great deal of flexibility when installing.

Manufacturers rate mini split air conditioners by the same unit of measure as every other air conditioner, which is BTU’s (British thermal units). However, since mini split air conditioners can be configured with a variable number of indoor handling units, you can cool one area and not another. Therefore, a mini-split system is perfect for offices. Furthermore, with a mini-split AC system, you can turn the system off in a particular room or raise its temperature if a space is not occupied.

Pros of Mini-Split Air Conditioning

Zoned Air conditioning

Not everyone wants the room at 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and a mini-split air conditioning system adds this flexibility. Because a mini-split A/C may require more than one inside unit, you will have the flexibility to control the temperature in the area of every different unit. In addition, some outside units are large enough to handle two or three inside units simultaneously. Therefore, adding another air handler will add expense but will still cost less than another complete system.

Mini-split A/C systems are ductless.

Mini-split systems are the easiest air conditioning systems to install because they do not need ductwork. However, they need no ductwork and can be as costly as a high-velocity system. Because if you need to add other units to the system to provide air conditioning, then the cost of the system will increase.

A Mini-split A/C is the easiest to install

Since mini-split A/C does not require a duct system, it is easier and faster to install than conventional air conditioning or high-velocity A/C systems. In addition, a mini-split air conditioner only requires a hole about three inches in diameter near the outside unit and a hole in the wall or the room where the air handler is to be mounted.

male installing and checking split ac
Split ACs are easy to install since it doesn’t require a duct system

The exterior components are, on average, about 25 feet from their indoor components and can be as far away as 50 feet without any problems. The distance an air handler can be from an exterior unit depends on the unit’s size and is a factor you need to consider.

Cons of Mini Split Air Conditioning

Unsightly components

Do you know the air conditioners that are in the windows of some motels? That is a little of what you get with a mini-split air conditioner, air handler. It protrudes from the wall. However, the manufacturers of these units have gotten clever and offer different options for air handlers that include ceiling units.

Higher cost in some applications

Mini-split AC systems range in size from about 12,000 BTUs to over 50,000. They are large enough for most homes, without the necessity of adding a second compressor and more air handlers. However, the need for an added compressor and its corresponding components can add extra cost for extensive applications.

Determining the number of air handlers you need can be a challenge.

Calculating the size of the mini-split A/C system you need can be a challenge. An air handler in every two or three rooms means the AC will cool a certain number of square feet. You need this information because it is used to size your system. You can find help here have to determine these measures or ask a professional. The information you gather will help you make an informed decision when choosing a high-velocity A/C vs a mini-split A/C.

Which air conditioning system is best for you?

Both a high-velocity system and a mini-split system have their advantages. As you can see, they are both energy efficient and easier to install than conventional air conditioning systems. Therefore, if you need air conditioning that provides zones for your home or business, then a mini-split A/C will be perfect for you. If, however, you would like a more conventional style of air conditioning, then a high-velocity AC system may be your best choice.