Central Vs. Split System: Which Is The Best Choice For Residential Heating?

When investing in a residential heating system, you will come across two popular options: central heating and split systems. Central heating units are designed for whole-house heating, and they use ducts to supply heated air to all the rooms in a home. Split systems use indoor air handlers to heat individual spaces. The choice between the two options can be difficult to make. Thus, consider the following factors before settling for one.

Size of Your Space

How big is your home? Would you like to heat individual rooms or the entire house? Split heating systems are ideal for heating small- and medium-sized spaces. They also work well for apartments and rental homes. You only need an outdoor unit and multiple air handlers for the various rooms. However, they can prove challenging when dealing with bigger spaces. 

Large homes require a whole-house heating system for efficient heating. You can run ducts throughout the entire house, making it easy to heat the individual rooms. Also, note that zoning is possible with options other than split systems. Although trickier and more complicated, zoning is also possible with central heating systems. This allows you to regulate temperatures in individual rooms.

Layout of the Home

What's the layout of your home? Does it have an open or closed floor plan? An open layout works well with split systems. Due to the free circulation of air between living areas, you only need a few indoor air handlers to heat your space. However, if you have a closed plan, you may require multiple air handlers for the different rooms. 

Most units only offer a maximum of around four or five air handlers. Beyond this, you may need to invest in an additional heating system. To save yourself the trouble, you may want to install a central heating system, which allows you to lay ducts in all the rooms.

New vs. Old Construction

Is your building new or old? New buildings that are still in the construction stage are incredibly versatile. You can install HVAC ductwork with ease. Therefore, they are great candidates for central heating systems. On the other hand, already-built homes complicate the installation process. Since ducts pass through ceilings and crawl spaces, installing ductwork in these homes can be costly and structurally disruptive.

Split heating systems are suitable for old and already-built buildings. The system has an outdoor unit and multiple air handlers. You don't need ducts to supply air to the rooms. For this reason, the installation is fast and less disruptive. Since split systems require fewer materials and components, they are affordable to install.

Both central and split systems are great solutions for residential heating. Therefore, consider the above factors to determine the best choice for your home. Contact an HVAC contractor to learn more about your options for residential heaters.