Before you invest in central AC for your home, be aware of the installation cost. Is there enough space outside your home for the compressor unit? Do you live in a house or apartment building? What about the climate where you live? In the summer, do you have dry heat or humid heat?

If you live in a dry heat region, you may not need air conditioning at all, or you might be able to get through the summer with a window AC (dry heat does not feel as bad as humid heat). These are all things that should be taken into consideration when you purchase central AC.

Advantages & Drawbacks of Central AC

When you install central AC, you should have space outside the structure for the AC compressor. You must also have ductwork inside your home. Be aware that a central AC installation and maintenance can be expensive.

However, you should not let this deter you. Central AC will reduce your monthly energy bill considerably.

The benefits of central AC far outweigh the drawbacks. Knowing the pros and cons of a central AC will help you make a better decision. Take a look:


  • Combined heating/cooling.
  • Consistent indoor temperature.
  • Whole-house cooling.
  • Controls indoor humidity.
  • Programmable thermostat option.
  • Reduces energy costs.


  • Expensive to install.
  • Requires ductwork.
  • Requires maintenance.

Pros And Cons of Window Units

A window AC is the way to go if you are on a budget. They are affordable and the installation is easy. They also require very little maintenance.

However, because they cool one room only, you may want to install more than one in your home. This can quickly become expensive.

Setting up a window AC is easy. If you have poor insulation, you will spend more on your energy bill monthly. Likewise, if you install more than one unit.


  • They are inexpensive.
  • No installation cost.
  • Take it with you when, if, you leave.


  • Hot spots inside the home.
  • Limited air filtration.
  • Cool only one room.

Central AC or Window AC Unit

Carefully consider all the pros and cons of each system. If you can afford it and if your home already has ductwork and vents, you can install central AC. If you are a renter, the central AC system may not right for you because you have no room outside for the compressor. However, when you move out, you can take the window unit with you.

The cost of installing a central AC system should be your first consideration. Insulation should be good in your home. A poorly insulated home will result in a higher energy bill, no matter which system you use.

You could have your home professionally insulated before you installing the central AC system, but that will add to the overall cost. You will enjoy energy savings monthly and in the long run. But be aware that, unlike with a window AC, a central air conditioner will require annual inspections.

Central AC system or window AC unit? Call Green Horizon One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® in Durham, NC if you need help in making the right decision. An expert will explain everything in detail, so you can make an informed decision.