The Energy Efficiency Differences Between Ductless Systems and Central Air Conditioning

energy consumption

Your HVAC system is responsible for nearly half the energy consumption in your Lubbock home. When you want to save on energy bills, assessing your HVAC’s energy use and considering a newer system is a great place to start, especially if you currently cool your house with a window air-conditioning unit. But how do you know which systems are most efficient? Learn more about how ductless systems and central air conditioners work, and discover the advantages of each system and whether one is better for you than the other.

The Way They Cool

Central air conditioners and ductless systems use the same process to cool the air: they both use refrigerant and condenser coils to pull hot air from your home and replace it with cooled air. Both types of air-conditioning systems use electricity to run this process, but while central air systems are designed to cool your entire house, a mini-split system with a single unit is only meant to cool one room or zone of your home. However, ductless systems are able to provide whole home cooling by simply using additional units in individual rooms or zones.

Ducts vs. Ductless

One significant difference between central air and ductless systems is the presence or absence of ductwork. Central air uses ducts, while mini-splits do not. The United States Department of Energy reports that you can lose almost a third of your system’s cooling through leaks and imperfections in ductwork, making ductless systems more efficient in that regard.

Zoned Cooling or Not?

A central air system operates by blowing cooled air through vents that attach to your ductwork. Unless you have a brand new central air system with a zoned thermostat, you probably adjust the temperature of the whole house at once. In summer and winter, this means you’re cooling and heating rooms you may not use. You can make central air more efficient by having new thermostats installed that will allow you to zone your temperature changes. A programmable thermostat will also help, since you can set it to run only when you’re home.

One way to increase the energy efficiency of your home is to only cool or heat rooms you spend most of your time in and allow other rooms to be warmer.Ductless mini-split systems offer zoned cooling automatically because of how they’re designed and installed. As long as you operate the zones correctly and take care to only cool and heat rooms you’re spending time in, a ductless mini-split system is the more efficient option.

Energy Star and SEER

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it measures the amount of energy a cooling system uses compared with the amount of cooling it provides. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the system. Both ductless mini-splits and central air conditioners are measured on the SEER scale, and you can find Energy Star labels on both products. Both systems can be manufactured for maximum energy-efficiency, so if you’re looking for new equipment, you will find both types of air conditioners available in highly efficient models.

Air conditioners that are more than a decade old will likely have a SEER rating below 10. The current standard is 13 or higher, so with either HVAC system, replacing an older model will greatly increase energy-efficiency.

Choosing the Right System for Your Home

Depending on what kind of home you have, your options for cooling systems may be limited. For example, installing ductwork in a home built without it is much more difficult than installing a mini-split system. Though the two have a few energy-efficiency differences, if you’re concerned with the environment or want to save on energy bills, you have options. Remember that both new central air and mini-split systems are far more energy-efficient than window air-conditioning units.

Find out more about decreasing your home’s energy use by installing a higher efficiency HVAC system. Call Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning at 806-589-1014 today to learn about energy-efficient HVAC products and to find out which system is best for your home.

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Serving Areas

We are proud to offer service to all of Lubbock, TX and surrounding areas, including:

  • Abernathy
  • Amherst
  • Anton
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  • Crosbyton
  • Dickens
  • Floydada
  • Hale Center
  • Idalou
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  • Littlefield
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  • New Deal
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24-Hour Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Heating Repair

With more than 45 years’ experience providing heating, ventilation and air conditioning services for residential and commercial customers, we at Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning are proud to be the South Plains TX area’s comfort specialists. We specialize in system replacement, preventive maintenance and repair, all with the goal of keeping your heating, cooling, refrigeration and plumbing systems functioning at maximum efficiency.

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What Customers Love About Us

Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning
4.8
Based on 411 reviews
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Shuvo Alam
Shuvo Alam
03:54 09 Aug 21
Good people. Very upright about making things right with no hedging or fussing.
Valri Western
Valri Western
16:05 16 Jul 21
I had a wonderful experience with them! They were on time, professional and fixed my problem with my A/C quickly. I... was very happy with their work!read more
Stacy Reese
Stacy Reese
22:05 08 Jul 21
As always, BTAC was fast & friendly! They got my AC working quickly, and were very courteous. 10/10 recommend!
Griselda Cepeda
Griselda Cepeda
17:31 01 Jul 21
Way much better then the last service that we had didn't even try to fix it and left whit then 15 min..
Lora Field
Lora Field
03:53 26 Jun 21
I found that my water heater was leaking on Friday night about 7:00 pm. I called BTAC, and Jeremy, the on call plumber,... called me back and headed to my house as soon as he finished the call he was on. He was so kind and professional and replaced my water heater right away, making sure I was up and running before he left. He did a great job and even cleaned up after himself. I was so grateful.read more
Ponciano Flores
Ponciano Flores
15:28 24 Jun 21
Jeff the customer service manager took time out to address my concerns and to make things right he understood the... frustration wanted to make things right. Joe the service manager was dispatced and knew how to fix it and was just overall Amazing.read more
Kristie Pedroza
Kristie Pedroza
15:32 16 Jun 21
They are fast, friendly, explained what they did and gave helpful suggestions to maintain our system.
David Benitez
David Benitez
15:27 14 Jun 21
Frank was the best plumber I’ve ever used. I will continue to use BTAC for all my needs. He fixed my water heater and... I also have an air conditioner not working. So I had BTAC check my A/C Joe came out and was done in no time. BTAC got be back up and running in no time.read more
Adam Villarreal
Adam Villarreal
05:33 14 Jun 21
Its a great place awesome customer service an some of the best work done
Debra Haney
Debra Haney
16:54 11 Jun 21
John and Stone were awesome. They found and fixed the problem within minutes
Navil M
Navil M
21:26 08 Jun 21
Highly recommend giving them a call. They got me in right away and the tech David was very helpful. Will definitely be... using them again in the future.read more
Brenda Melbern
Brenda Melbern
17:50 08 Jun 21
My A/C wasn't cooling like it should and the unit wouldn't cycle. I have used BTAC for several years now and would... highly recommend them They have done both A/C and Plumbing for me. David was here today and did a great job! So far, everyone that has been to my house knew what they were doing and got the job done.read more
Ray Munoz
Ray Munoz
23:34 01 Mar 21
Installation was quick and very professional. Service calls are very expensive to say the least, but always fast... response for issues.read more
Nsncy Alvarado
Nsncy Alvarado
00:11 01 Jan 21
Shower faucets working good. Had some faucet tubing replaced and faucet accessories also. I am pleased with Raul and... Sisco. Thanks BTACread more
John W
John W
14:52 31 Dec 20
Very efficient and capable. They are very pro customer service. All projects were performed when scheduled and cleanup... was excellent. I will use BTAC again.read more
Christy Jordan
Christy Jordan
22:05 22 Dec 20
Raul M. and his associate Cisco were called to address a drain line clog. They were very attentive and addressed all of... mine and my grandmother's concerns. Additionally, we made the call and they were on their way out here within the hour. Between the customer service and ability to make repairs, we are highly satisfied. Kudos to BTAC on your company as a whole!read more
Cathy Morton
Cathy Morton
01:07 07 Nov 20
We cannot thank Frank and his crew enough for taking care of us today. We had been without gas for 6 days waiting to... have a new line installed. We talked to Frank yesterday and they were here at 8:30 this morning. They were available all day until the line was installed, City code officer was here and Atmos turned the gas back on. Then Frank made sure all was working well. We certainly will recommend BTAC to all we know! Thank you!read more
Douglas Mires
Douglas Mires
21:29 14 Oct 20
Prompt, clean, efficient, friendly and kept me informed on what he was doing.
S. Wayne Osborne
S. Wayne Osborne
19:32 08 Oct 20
BTAC installed a mini split heat/ac system in my workshop. I am initially very pleased with their sales and... installation, and the system they installed. The Daitec system is built in Houston so it is a made in USA product. It was expensive but should prove to be worth the price.read more
Angela Dixon
Angela Dixon
15:59 09 Sep 20
Confused how this company has so many stars and yet, we have had nothing issues. Salesman came out and told us how to... fix our issues. Suggested some changes in duct work would improve the flow of air to far bedroom and the whole house. His words were "it will feel like a meat locker". That never happened. (But come on, we live in Texas, "meat locker" was a little extreme and our exceptions weren't that high!! We at lest wanted the house to stay at 70 unlike 75-80+.) We also knew the unit was old and we expected to replace the whole unit. He said we didn't need one and doing the duct work would be enough to improve the cold air.After the work was done, we realized NO air was flowing in one of our sons room. The room was RIGHT by the ac unit. Had to call them and wait 3 plus days, for them to attach the air duct to his room. (because they didn't do it the first time, even AFTER walking through the house to double check everything). They had to come adjust/fix things three times. They put the wrong size return, realized they needed to add another vent, and so on...Needless to say NOTHING has changed expect the $3,000ish dollars missing from our account. House was still as hot as it was before they came. To be clear, money wasn't an issue. We wanted it cool in the house.Called another a/c place to see what they would say. Wanted to know if we were expecting something impossible...or what other suggestions they had because we were getting nowhere with BTAC. The other company gave us several suggestions and change a few things and that improved the air instantly.Contacted Bruce Thornton after speaking with the other company, to let them know what was said to us, to give them the opportunity to fix mistakes, give suggestions, or anything. We expected more pride in their work. Not for them to view us complaining because we wanted a discount on the bill. Which was not the case.It makes me sad that we wasted money that changed nothing. We should have got a second opinion, or maybe done more research before we gave them the go ahead. We were disappointed they weren't willing to fix mistakes and or even give more options to fix the a/c. It felt like they got their money and they were done with us. We were willing to pay for a new a/c unit, but were told we didn't need one, we needed to get the duct work changed. That is why it is even more upsetting, because we were going to give them more business, but because of this, we moved to another company.It is always good to get a second opinion. That is the lesson we learned through all this.read more
adam castro
adam castro
14:47 05 Aug 20
Great Customer Service from start to finish. From getting pre approved by Brian which he was great and helpful in... making the process smooth he took care of me throughout. Then on the day of installation showed up 20 minutes early which was a plus. The gentleman that did the installation were fantastic and knowledgeable and helpful and very friendly. Ivan, Michael, Esai, and Gabriel were great. Ivan was awesome he worked very hard and got the job done. They were all great thanks for everything! I highly recommend them!read more
Jen S
Jen S
16:39 24 Jun 20
6/24/2020I had a sales person come out and he was friendly professional and knew what he was talking about.This... company is great they were one of the only companies to come and help with a new ac.read more
Lana Lane
Lana Lane
14:49 26 May 20
BTAC has been professional, informative and has taken care of all our chiller issues. Joe and Louis are the Best!!
Erin W
Erin W
16:52 18 May 20
Louis was so helpful and got our air back up and running in no time. When I asked about a special system tune up for... nurses they did that and didn’t charge me anything!!!! We will certainly call you again!!!! Thank you so much!read more
Leah Beikmann
Leah Beikmann
23:42 04 May 20
Just wow!!! I work at the hospital and they came out and did a free evaluation of my AC unit, inside and out. We had... been told before by other companies that the whole unit needed replacing but a great technician from Bruce Thornton AC told us we just needed to replace the capacitor! $130 instead of 5k! So worth having them out here to take a look. The technician also rewired something in my AC unit inside (sorry I don’t know technical words for AC units lol) that makes it turn on faster (a couple seconds versus a few minutes). I was very grateful for the very professional service I received, both on the phone with the lady who I made my appointment with, and the technician who really saved me a buck! They didn’t try to up sell me on something I didn’t need, they just let me know what I needed to keep my AC running. I highly recommend using them for your AC needs especially with summer coming up!read more
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