Can You Have a Central Air Without a Furnace? Vital Guide

Do you ever wonder if it’s possible to have central air conditioning without a furnace? The answer is YES! Different from a furnace, central air systems circulate cooled air using refrigerant lines and an outdoor condenser unit. This cooled air is then distributed in the house through ducts or ductless systems.

Can You Have a Central Air Without a Furnace

Nowadays, there are several types of central air conditioning systems that don’t need a furnace such as:

  • Ductless mini-split systems
  • Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems

Both offer energy efficiency and flexibility to cool individual rooms or zones.

Before central air conditioners, window units or room air conditioners were used to keep people cool during hot summers. But now, central AC systems are preferred for their energy savings and better performance than individual room units. So, yes, you can have central air without a furnace!

Ductless Air Conditioning Systems and VRF Systems

To get efficient and cost-effective cooling for your home, you don’t need to install a furnace along with a central air system. This can be a solution without the need for ductwork. In this section, we will highlight the benefits of using these alternatives for central air conditioning and the differences between these two sub-sections.

Ductless Air Conditioning Systems

Want central air conditioning without a furnace? Ductless air conditioning systems are your answer! Compact and energy-efficient, they cool individual rooms or zones without any ductwork.

Discover what they offer:

  • Compact size: Perfect for smaller spaces.
  • Energy efficiency: Say goodbye to high energy bills.
  • Easy installation: No ducts needed!
  • Zoning capabilities: Only cool the rooms you need.

Plus, you’ll enjoy less noise and better air quality. Plus, save energy by only cooling the rooms you need.

When choosing your system, remember these tips:

  1. Pick the right size unit for your space. Too small or too large won’t be as effective or energy-efficient.
  2. Have it installed by a professional HVAC technician for best performance.

Say no to ducts and yes to ductless air conditioning today!

How do ductless Air conditioners work?

No need for bulky ductwork – ductless air conditioners are the modern way to cool your home. They come with an outdoor compressor and an indoor unit that’s mounted on walls or ceilings

  • Refrigerant lines connect them, providing a cool breeze all around.
  • Plus, you can control temperatures in individual rooms as energy-efficient
  • However, it’s important to choose the right size unit for each room you want to be cooled. 
  • Factors like insulation, sun exposure, and room size matter.
  • Installation is easy, so there’s no need to worry about disruption to your home. 
  • If you’re looking to cool multiple rooms, a multi-zone system with separate temperature controls for each zone is an option. 
  • Just one outdoor compressor, but several indoor units are connected by refrigerant lines.

Say goodbye to bulky ductwork and hello to the sleek efficiency of ductless air conditioning – it’s a win-win for you and your home.

Benefits of Ductless Air Conditioning Systems

Ductless air conditioning systems are a great option for households wanting to cool their homes without a furnace. They offer increased energy efficiency, as they don’t lose cool air through ductwork as traditional air conditioners do. They also allow for zoning, meaning different temperatures in different areas of the home. Plus, installation is quicker and more discreet than with other cooling systems.

On top of that, these systems operate more quietly than traditional ones and require less maintenance. 

The idea of ductless air-conditioners was born in Japan in the 70s, due to the country’s unique home construction. It spread across Asia before making its way westward and is now gaining popularity worldwide.

Who needs a furnace when you can chill out with a ductless air conditioning system? And the best part? You won’t need to sell a kidney to afford it.

Cost of Ductless Air Conditioning Systems

Ductless air conditioning systems are becoming the number one choice for homeowners who want central air without a furnace. Costs to install these systems vary, depending on factors like your home’s size and the type of system you pick. Here’s a breakdown of the costs associated with ductless air conditioning:

System TypeAverage Cost
Single Zone Mini-Split$1,500 – $2,500
Multi-Zone Mini-Split$3,000 – $7,000+
Whole-Home Mini-Split$15,000 – $25,000+

Be aware that extra costs may include electrical work and installation fees. However, ductless systems require less labor and no ductwork than traditional central air systems. To save on long-term costs, consider energy efficiency when shopping for a ductless system. 

VRF systems might sound like fancy sports cars, but they’re actually just an awesome way to heat and cool your home.

VRF Systems

VRF systems are quite flexible. One outdoor unit can be connected to multiple indoor units, each with its own thermostat. This enables precise temperature control in different areas of the building. The indoor units also come in a variety of styles – ceiling cassette, floor-mounted, and ducted.

What’s more, they operate silently and efficiently. Smaller pipes mean less impact on the building’s architecture and acoustics. Plus, the system only needs enough energy to meet the demand in each area.

To get the best performance out of your VRF system, keep a few things in mind. 

  • Match the size of your outdoor unit to the demands of the indoor units. 
  • Schedule regular maintenance for both the outdoor and indoor components. 
  • And, invest in high-efficiency filters for your indoor units to ensure air quality and system longevity.

What are VRF systems?

VRF systems are cutting-edge air conditioning solutions. One outdoor unit links to multiple indoor units, providing individual temperature control for each area of a building, without needing ductwork.

The energy-saving aspect makes VRF systems one-of-a-kind. They only cool or heat the zones that need it, leading to great cost savings. This advanced technology adjusts airflow and temperature in response to changes.

VRF systems are perfect if you want a cooling system that is as quiet as a ninja and efficient as a Tesla.

Benefits of VRF systems

VRF systems have many advantages that make them a great choice for HVAC installations. These include flexible zoning, energy efficiency, better temperature control, quiet operation, and minimal disruption during implementation. With VRF systems, multiple indoor units can be connected to one outdoor unit using innovative technology that automatically regulates refrigerant flow based on load requirements. It’s no wonder these systems are popular with both commercial and residential property owners.

  • VRF systems offer flexible zoning that allows for different temperatures in different rooms, for better comfort.
  • They save energy by adjusting refrigerant flow in response to the cooling or heating demands of different zones.
  • VRF technologies offer precise temperature control by constantly monitoring the environment and modulating the compressor output.
  • They have low sound levels and look great, making them perfect for applications requiring a quiet and discreet operation.
  • VRF installations normally require less space than conventional central ducted HVAC systems, making them ideal for denser urban areas with limited access.

A really cool thing about VRF systems is that even small ones cater to homeowners who can’t afford big installations. This flexibility provided by miniaturization gives a classy feel as it offers personalized cooling services according to customers’ needs, promoting energy efficiency and reducing the need for repairs.

The cost of VRF systems may cause your wallet to overheat faster than the actual air in your home!

Cost of VRF Systems

VRF systems is a popular choice for centralized air conditioning. They’re energy-efficient, flexible, and can cool or heat different areas at once. However, the cost may vary depending on several factors such as capacity, brand, and installation.

Let’s have a look at the estimated cost of VRF systems:

Capacity (Tons)Cost (USD)
510,000 – 15,000
1018,000 – 25,000
1525,000 – 35,000
20+Above $35,000

These figures could change. The list above is only an approximate estimate.

VRF systems have long-term benefits that can outweigh the initial purchase price. It saves energy and offers faster cooling and heating than conventional centralized air conditioning, reducing operating costs.

Don’t just focus on the price point when it comes to VRF systems. Quality of installation is more important. This will ensure enhanced longevity and performance with minimal maintenance requirements. 

Finding the right central air conditioning system is like trying to locate a needle in a steaming field of hay!

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Central Air Conditioning System

To choose the right central air conditioning system for your home, you need to consider several factors. With the size of your house, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, installation, and maintenance, and cost being important sub-sections of this topic, you’ll learn how each one affects the overall performance and savings of your central air conditioning system and makes a difference in the way your home feels during the summer season.

Consider the Size of the House 

Choosing central air conditioning is a must. The size of your house is a vital factor. Get the size right for optimal performance and energy efficiency. HVAC technicians must do a load calculation. Ceilings, insulation, windows, and location all must be taken into account.

  • Oversized units cycle on and off too much. This shortens lifespan and increases utility bills
  • An undersized unit won’t cool your house efficiently
  • Plus, proper duct sizing is key for good airflow. This helps avoid hot or cold spots and humidity problems.

Pro Tip: Use a programmable thermostat. It optimizes performance and reduces energy use, while keeping you comfy.

Figuring out the AC size of your house? It’s complicated!

How to determine the size of the house?

Size is key when picking the perfect central air conditioning system. Too small? Poor performance. Too big? High energy bills. Here’s a 6-step guide to help you make the right decision:

  1. Measure the square footage of each room.
  2. Multiply the square footage by ceiling height to get the total cubic feet.
  3. Add up the cubic feet of each room.
  4. Multiply the overall cubic feet by 30 to get BTUs per hour.
  5. Factor in windows, doors, insulation, sun exposure, and climate zone.
  6. Get a professional opinion for accuracy & installation.

Every home is unique, so take any extra factors into consideration! Plus, don’t forget maintenance costs when choosing a system, higher-quality units can save you money in the long run. 

Choosing the wrong size central air system? Don’t sweat it – you won’t get the desired result.

Importance of Choosing the Right Size System

Choosing the Right-sized central air conditioning system is essential for comfortable indoor temperatures, as well as keeping energy costs low. Going with the wrong size can result in various issues, from expensive repairs to poor performance and uncomfortable rooms. Let’s have a look at some details when selecting the best-sized central air conditioning system.

Factors to considerToo SmallJust RightToo Large
Airflow and efficiencyInadequate airflow, inefficient cooling, high utility expenses due to frequent repairs.Adequate airflow, optimal energy efficiency, and properly sized (recommended).Inefficient cooling/ heating leads to temperature swings and high electricity bills.
Maintenance frequency/repair costs:Frequent breakdowns due to overall strain on under-sized AC units.Rare or normal maintenance requirements due to perfect sizing of AC units.Regular servicing may be required, leading to higher repair costs on oversized AC units.

Homes with high ceilings or large windows, letting in more sun, should get advice from an experienced HVAC contractor. Oversizing an air conditioning unit can also cause it to cool rooms too quickly without dehumidifying them. This will boost moisture (humidity), which could harm indoor air quality leading to mold or pest infestations.

Clean air is not only a luxury, but it’s also a need – that’s why you must choose your central air conditioning system carefully.

Indoor Air Quality of Home For Choosing AC System

Choosing a central AC system? Make sure indoor air quality is your top priority. Poor air can cause allergies and asthma. 

  • A good central AC will help filter out pollutants and allergens.
  • HVAC systems have advanced features to improve air quality
  • Consider UV light filtration, electrostatic air filters, activated carbon filters, and HEPA filters.
  • Pick the right size for your home. Too big, and you get high humidity and energy bills. Too small, and it won’t cover the whole space. 
  • Plus, don’t forget routine maintenance. Change the filter every three months.
  • Make sure qualified technicians install your unit. Ask about energy efficiency. 
  • Choose a reliable brand that fits your budget, and read up on after-sales service.

Remember that indoor air quality affects our health. Don’t compromise. Choose your central AC wisely!

Impact of Indoor Air Quality on Health

Indoor air quality is key when choosing an AC unit. Poor air can cause a range of health issues – from allergies to asthma. Inside, pollutants can be up to five times stronger than outside. That’s why investing in an effective system is so important.

When selecting an AC system, check the filter. It must have HEPA filters to trap dust, dirt, pollen, bacteria, viruses, and other bad particles. Avoid systems with ozone generators or ionizers – they produce dangerous by-products.

Having a well-maintained and filtered AC system is essential for providing clean air for your family/employees. Ignoring this could lead to health problems and medical bills. Make sure to get a system with adequate filtration and maintenance capabilities – this is the only way to ensure good air quality. 

Breathing clean air is like giving your lungs a luxury vacation!

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality is essential for comfy living spaces. To improve it, here’s what to do:

  1. Install high-efficiency air filters to capture dust, pollen, and pet dander.
  2. Ensure adequate ventilation with open windows or exhaust fans.
  3. Reduce the use of chemical-based cleaning products.
  4. Invest in houseplants.
  5. Plus, schedule regular HVAC system maintenance and cleaning to prevent the buildup of mold and bacteria.

Save cash and the environment; so choose an energy-efficient central AC system. Not sweating through summer? That’s for the cool birds!

Energy Efficiency Consideration for Choosing Air Conditioning System

Chooses a central air conditioning system smartly. A high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. 

Insulation and sealed ductwork, plus air filters trapping pollutants and dust, reduce strain on the system. Variable speed motors adjust compressor speeds depending on temperature-efficient cooling with minimal energy consumed.

Someone chose a unit based only on upfront cost without considering energy efficiency. As a result, their utility bills were much higher due to the low SEER rating and lack of proper insulation. Be wise – choose an energy-efficient system! Remember, small energy savings add up to a big result.

Importance of Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a must when choosing a central air conditioning system. It can save you money and decrease your carbon footprint. 

  1. Look for systems with high Energy Star ratings. They meet energy efficiency standards. 
  2. Make sure the unit is the right size for your home or business. An oversized or undersized unit can use more energy.
  3. To further reduce energy costs, improve insulation and seal drafts. This will help your air conditioner regulate temperatures better and keep out external heat.

In WWII, Carrier Corp. produced freon-based coolant for U.S. Navy vessels. This allowed crews to work in extreme temperatures. Later, Carrier created residential and commercial AC systems. This changed modern architecture by allowing large windows without sacrificing comfort and lowering operating costs.

Rather than hibernate, upgrade insulation and ventilation. This will help improve energy efficiency.

Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency in AC Systems

It is important to make your central air conditioning system more efficient in order to save energy costs. Here are two ways to do this:

  1. Get a programmable thermostat – You can set when the system turns on and off, so you can save money when you’re not home.
  2. Clean or change the filters regularly – Dirty filters make the system work harder, using up more energy and shortening its lifespan.
  3. Seal up any leaks – Make sure cool air stays in by sealing any gaps around windows, doors, or ductwork.

Furthermore, it is also important to buy the right sized unit to increase efficiency. Ask an expert for help in buying the right size.

Did you know that Willis Carrier created the first modern air conditioning system in 1902? The purpose of his invention was to take out moisture from the paper at a printing plant. But, it became popular for cooling buildings and homes. Since then, air conditioning has become part of our lives. We must remember to use them responsibly and efficiently.

It’s like a relationship – when it comes to central air conditioning systems, it’s all fun and games until you forget to change the filter.

Installation and Maintenance of Air Conditioning System

For an effective central air conditioning system, here’s a 6-Step guide to ensure proper installation and maintenance:

  1. Hire professionals who are licensed, experienced, and knowledgeable.
  2. Inspect the ductwork before installation.
  3. Clean the area where the unit will be installed.
  4. Create a maintenance schedule.
  5. Buy high-quality filters with MERV ratings between 6-12.
  6. Schedule yearly tune-ups by professionals.

Preventative maintenance can reduce energy costs, improve IQA and increase the life of your AC. Improper installation leads to reduced efficiency and increased wear and tear. Poor maintenance results in decreased IQA and increased energy consumption–leading to breakdowns.

NIST states closing vents isn’t efficient to cut down cooling costs as it affects ductwork efficiency. Hiring a professional for AC installation is way cheaper than hiring an amateur to fix mistakes.

Importance of Professional Installation of Air Conditioning System

Professional installation is key when shopping for a central air conditioning system. Experts measure for the perfect size and location, and they install ducts to spread cool air around your home. 

Pros have the right tools and knowledge to install complex systems with ease. They can spot potential issues before they become costly repairs. 

For optimal performance, regular maintenance is a must. An expert technician can ensure your AC runs smoothly for years. When shopping for an AC unit, get advice from professionals who know different brands and models. They’ll help you find one that fits your needs and budget.

Proper installation ensures maximum comfort. A trained technician will place vents in the right spots for even climate control. Trust a qualified HVAC contractor for the most value when choosing an air conditioning system. 

Remember that regular maintenance is essential – just like visiting the dentist!

Regular Maintenance of the Air Conditioning System

Maintaining your central AC system is essential for efficiency and long life. Here are key points:

  1. Keep the outdoor unit area free of debris, like leaves, grass clippings, and dirt. This prevents blockages and damage.
  2. Change the air filter every 1-3 months. Clogged filters can lead to lower energy efficiency & bad air quality.
  3. Have an annual inspection & maintenance by a certified HVAC technician. They’ll check for refrigerant levels, wiring connections, motor bearings, etc.
  4. Inspect the ductwork for any leaks or damage that affects airflow or energy efficiency. Sealing leaks can help improve air quality & reduce mold.

If bills have risen due to an inefficient AC system, maintenance can help bring them down. My friend once found this out the hard way after his AC broke down on a hot summer day and he had to pay thousands for repairs. Take care of your AC so it takes care of you!

Cost Consideration for Choosing Air Conditioning System

Cost is important when picking a central AC system. Installation and maintenance costs should be included. But, you also need to look at energy efficiency ratings and anticipated energy bills

An energy-efficient system may cost more, but it could pay for itself in savings. You should also factor in the cost of maintenance. A well-maintained unit will have fewer breakdowns.

A customer once told us about choosing a cheaper AC unit that needed frequent repairs and failed after a few years. They wished they had spent more upfront on a higher-quality, energy-efficient unit.

Choosing an AC system is like picking a partner: compatibility, reliability, and not draining your bank account are all key!

Factors Affecting the Cost of Air Conditioning Systems

When it comes to choosing a central air conditioning system, there are several factors that can affect cost. Knowing about these factors is key to making a well-informed decision. Let’s break it down.

  • The size of your home is a big cost-affecting factor. A larger home will require a more expensive system, while a smaller home will need a smaller and less costly system.
  • Other factors that influence the price are efficiency rating, brand name, and features like smart thermostats or air purification systems.

We created a table to show the costs associated with each factor. System Size (in BTU), Efficiency (SEER Rating), Brand Name, Air Purification Add-ons, and Smart Thermostat Add-ons are all included with their corresponding costs in USD.

FactorCost in USD
System Size (in BTU)Variable
Efficiency (SEER Rating)Variable
Brand NameVariable
Air Purification Add-onsVariable
Smart Thermostat Add-onsVariable

Also, the level of required ductwork can affect costs. Retrofitting ducts in an older home can drive up installation expenses. Maintenance services such as general upkeep repairs and replacements for cooling units like fans or compressors are costly too. Air conditioning filters must be replaced regularly, which increases upkeep expenses.

Homework and professional advice should be sought before making big purchases. Unfortunately, 25% of Americans don’t seek professional help for AC-related needs, leading to expensive mistakes or long-term damages.

Saving money on air conditioning is easy: just turn it off and take a dip in your sweat pool!

Ways to Save on the Cost of Air Conditioning System

Thinking of a central air conditioning system? Cost-cutting is key! Here are some ways to save money:

  • Go for a high-efficiency, top-tech model for long-term savings.
  • Keep up with regular maintenance which prevents costly breakdowns.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat that adjusts temperature settings for energy efficiency.
  • Plus, go for a system with zoning capabilities. Cool only the areas that need it – no energy wastage.

Did you know? New, efficient AC units can save up to 20% on cooling costs (Energy Star). 

Choose carefully, a bad AC system can make your home a sauna or an igloo!


Choosing the best central air conditioning for your home can be confusing. Many factors need to be taken into account, such as the size of your house, energy efficiency, and budget. Two ducted central AC systems are available: a traditional HVAC system with a furnace, and a ductless AC system without ductwork. The HVAC system sends cooled and heated air from the furnace to different parts of the building through ducts. Whereas, a ductless AC system has an indoor handling unit connected to an outdoor condenser via refrigerant lines. If you want something different, try VRF systems. For example, traditional forced-air systems have better performance but require more installation and maintenance than ductless alternatives like VRF systems. Keeping your thermostat at 78°F during summer months will save money on electricity bills while keeping your home comfortable.