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The front exterior view of a large, ranch style, residential home with a ductless mini-split air conditioning unit installed at the far left.

There are some common heat pump myths being spread around that keep Boston homeowners from making the switch to ductless air conditioning. One of the most commonly misunderstood factors is a mini-splits ability to cool an entire home.

Some people simply assume that central air conditioners are the stronger and more capable AC systems. To give homeowners all the information they need to make accurate decisions about their home’s comfort, let’s look at a mini split’s cooling capabilities.

Is a mini-split capable of cooling an entire house?

Yes! Despite what you might have heard or read, ductless AC units are just as capable of cooling your entire home as centralized units. And in some ways, mini-splits do it even better. Here are just a few ways ductless systems put their centralized counterparts to shame.

Energy Efficiency

When compared to ductless mini-splits, conventional AC units fall way short in terms of energy efficiency. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, up to 30% of air is lost when routed through ductwork. By virtue of their ductless design, mini-splits avoid this issue altogether, helping homeowners save money on energy bills.


A mini-split can easily meet the cooling needs for an entire home, but they’re just as effective when controlling the temperature in one or two rooms. This flexibility makes ductless systems a better choice for homeowners who prefer to have greater control over their home’s cooling.

How mini-splits cool your home

A common source of confusion for homeowners is how mini-splits work. So, let’s clear the air. Conventional AC systems have a central unit that distributes cool air throughout a home via ductwork. Alternatively, mini-splits have individual handling units responsible for controlling the temperature in each room while an outdoor condenser is in charge of cooling the air. This setup eliminates the need for ductwork while still offering more cooling capabilities than a central AC system.

What is a multi-zone ductless system?

If you’ve been researching ductless systems, you’ve probably come across the word “zone”. In short, this simply refers to a room or space that an indoor handling unit is responsible for cooling. A zone could refer to a bedroom, bathroom, garage, basement, or any other space that homeowners want to cool. This term is important because ductless systems don’t cool an entire home in the same way as a conventional system.

Instead of controlling a home’s temperature from a central unit, ductless systems give homeowners the ability to set temperature controls in each zone of their house. And when you have more than two indoor handling units, it’s known as a multi-zone system. Even though mini-splits are responsible for cooling just a single zone, having multiple zones achieves the same results as a centralized unit with some added advantage too.

How many square feet can a single unit cool?

Although all mini-splits have the same function, they’re not all built identically. In order to make sure your new ductless system has the ability to cool your entire home, you’ll need to choose indoor handling units with sufficient capacity. There are a variety of different mini-splits on the market, and each is designed to control temperatures within a certain area of space.

British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the measurement used to determine how much square footage an indoor handling unit can cool. You should always check this metric to determine whether or not a mini-split is the right size for your cooling needs. Get something too small, and your system will struggle to reach an ideal temperature. Something too big will cost you more than you need to spend. Working with a professional can ensure you find the ideal unit.

If you’re interested to learn more about the advantages of ductless AC systems or want to schedule an installation, reach out to the experts at New England Ductless. As a leading provider of mini-split services in Boston, we’ve helped countless homeowners make the switch from central units. We can provide you with a quick, cost-effective, and pain-free installation.

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