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Older Ann Arbor Home? Choosing Between a Window AC & Ductless Mini-Split

Many older Southeast Michigan homes do not have air ducts, so your choices for air conditioning are limited. Is a window unit the right way to go, or would a ductless mini-split system be better?

It depends on whether you own your home or are renting. For those renting a home or who are financially strapped, a window A/C unit may be best. Otherwise, the benefits of a ductless mini-split for homeowners are many.

As mentioned above, there are many advantages of a ductless mini-split system. These include:

  • No window required
  • Safer, as theft is less likely
  • Can be placed nearly anywhere due to its compact size
  • Increased property value
  • Quiet operation when compared to window units
  • Zoning – cooling different areas in your home


  • Ductless mini-splits cost more to install
  • Installation requires a qualified technician

What about window A/C? The advantages of this type of cooling system include:

  • Lower initial equipment cost
  • Simple to install


  • Windows are blocked, thereby reducing light that comes into your home
  • Security concerns as a window unit can be removed, making for an easy entrance
  • Intrusive regarding decor
  • At 47-63 decibels, the noise level can be irritating and is comparable to a dishwasher

So, which cooling system is best in your situation? It is easy to see by the comparisons above which is best. However, other factors to consider include:

Budget. Mini-split systems cost about twice the cost of a similar capacity window unit regarding tonnage, usually in the range of $1,500 to $2,000 per ton of cooling capacity. A window unit may be the solution if your budget is tight.

Size and space of your SE Michigan home. If you have several rooms you want to cool or window space is limited, a ductless mini-split system is an ideal solution as you can locate them in the areas you need cooling most, and they can be mounted on walls or the floor depending on the model. Additionally, with multiple indoor units, you can program which rooms you want to cool.

Do you own your home or rent? A ductless mini-split system is quite an investment for someone who’s renting, so you may want to consider window AC. However, if you own your home, it is worth the initial investment considering you can “zone” cooling and your property value are increased.

Still wondering which is right for your budget and situation? At Haley Mechanical, our qualified technicians can help you determine which is the best cooling solution for your needs. We invite those in Ann Arbor and surrounding areas in Southeast Michigan to give us a call today!

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