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High-Velocity Air Conditioning vs Mini-Split Air Conditioning Systems

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Both a high-velocity air conditioning and a mini-split ductless system can be great options if you want to do away with the heavy ductwork setup of a traditional centralized aircon system. In this article, we give you the rundown on the pros and cons of a high-velocity ac and a mini-split ac system to guide you better when it comes to choosing which of the two will be the best fit for your home’s cooling and heating needs.

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High-Velocity Vs Mini-Split AC (How They Both Work)

High-Velocity Air Conditioning System

Let’s start with the high-velocity air condition system. It basically works the same as a traditional centralized aircon system. It takes in the humidity from the air via its ventilation system and then it evenly distributes cold or hot air within your home from a single air handling unit. Once it reaches the right temperature that was set in the control, the system pauses its activity and only resumes when the temperature changes.

However, instead of all the heavy ductwork that you need for a conventional central aircon, you only need to set it up with a ventilation system that requires mini ducts. These smaller ducts are way easier to install around the house. You can either have it built-in within your ceiling, floors, and walls or you can also have it retro-fitted into a preexisting build.

In a regular central system, you will need ducts sized six inches in diameter or more. Meanwhile, in a high-velocity aircon system, the ducts are insulated aluminum tubes that are usually around two inches in diameter. The vents needed to transport the humidity and air around the system are also smaller and less invasive than that of a central aircon system.

Mini-Split AC System

Now we go to a mini-split system. With a mini-split system, you have your outdoor condenser unit, your indoor evaporator units, and the small tubes that connect your outdoor and indoor components. A mini-split works by taking out humidity through its indoor air handlers and replacing it with the air supplied by its outdoor unit.

You can have multiple indoor units connected to a single condenser. The separate indoor units work independently from one another. This allows you to customize the temperature of individuals rooms.

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High-Velocity AC Pros and Cons


Aesthetically Pleasing – Because you have vents that are more discrete than the traditional aircon system, it does not interfere with the aesthetics of your home much. You also have a wider variety of options in terms of the size and location of your vents.

Small Indoor Handler – Your smaller sized air handler takes a lot less space compared to that of a conventional central aircon system. You can place it in your attic, your basement, or your crawl space without intruding in your actual living spaces.

One Unit for Multiple Spaces – You just need a single air handler to distribute an even temperature for all your rooms that require cold or hot air.

Quick Acting – A high-velocity AC system moves air within your home quickly so you can instantly get the temperature you want for your home.


Strong Blows of Air – Since air is transferred at high speed, the breeze coming out of the vents can be uncomfortable when the unit is working rapidly.

Loudness – As the air moves throughout the ductwork and released through the vents, noise is created and it can be louder than a mini-split air conditioning system.

But, some brands have started to apply noise-canceling and muffling technology to their high-velocity aircon systems to decrease the noise level it creates.

One Temperature for an Entire System – You only have a single air handler to rely on with a high-velocity system. This means you can only have one temperature setting for all the rooms connected to that one air handling unit. You need to assign another air handling unit to be able to get a different temperature for a separate zone.

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Mini-split System Pros and Cons


No Ductwork – Ductwork requires more labor and materials to set up. In a mini-split system, you will be working with a small refrigerant line system and electrical cables that are much easier to place within your home and connect to your outdoor unit.

Temperature Zoning – You get to assign different temperature zones within your home because your air handling units work independently from one another. All you have to do is to install an indoor unit in the rooms you want to provide heating or cooling to.

Your multiple indoor units can be serviced by a single condenser. The number of indoor units you can have to one outdoor unit is determined by the capacity of your condensing unit.

They’re Quieter – A ductless air conditioning system is relatively quieter than a high-velocity AC.


Large Indoor Units – The size and design of mini-split indoor units may interfere with your home design. Additional effort is needed if you want to conceal the bulky indoor units.

Multiple Units – If you want to be able to transfer air to multiple areas within your house, you will need to install more lines, cables, and an indoor unit per area you want to cool.

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Which is better for your home?

Now that you have seen the pros and cons of a high-velocity AC and a mini-split system, what are the things you should consider when picking out the best option for your home?

Home Design

It may not seem much of an issue at first but it’s not all about looks when it comes to your home’s interiors. This also includes the amount of space you have and the layout of the fixtures within your home.

Since mini-split units are usually mounted on walls, wall fixtures, cabinets, and windows can get in the way of their installation. Because you only need vents to let air move in a high-velocity AC setup, you will be able to take advantage of your living space more.

You also have to think about where your ductwork or your refrigerant lines will run. If you are renovating your home to install your HVAC components, it is best to look into the integrity of walls, ceilings, and floors of your home so that you know if they can accommodate the type of system you want.

Size and Number of Serviceable Areas

You need to assess which areas you want to heat or cool in your home. If you have a large-sized home, you will need to install more indoor units if you go with a mini-split system. In such cases, the installation costs of a high-velocity system can turn out cheaper.

Installing a high-velocity aircon system can cost between $3,000 and $18,000. This may be able to service your entire home through its small ductwork system.

On the other hand, setting up your house with a mini-split system can cost you around $1,000 to $5,500 per outdoor unit. It’s $400 to $1,700 for every indoor unit. For the refrigerant lines, they can cost between $5 to $20 per foot.

You can have up to 8 indoor units to a single outdoor unit. However, the more indoor units you have, the higher the capacity and the more expensive your outdoor unit becomes.

Heating and Cooling Needs

With a high-velocity system, it is more difficult to assign temperature zones around your home. If you choose a temperature for one room, it will target that same temperature for all the other areas.

But with a mini-split system, you will be able to pick and choose a different temperature for each area. The other units can also be turned off when they are not needed so you actually save on energy costs and your condenser unit does less work.

Final Thoughts

The cost of operation and the cost of units are not so far apart between a high-velocity AC system and a mini-split system. However, It is important to figure out which air conditioning setup is best for your home according to their pros and cons because that determines the savings and the comfort you will be getting from the system you choose.

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