Mini-split air conditioners are a distinctive type of air conditioner. They are wall-mounted units that blow chilled air into the room that they are installed in without the use of ducts. They are still connected to an exterior component, unlike window air conditioners, which simply vent pull air in from the outdoors and chill it on the way. This distinctive method of operation distinguishes mini-split air conditioners from both window and central air conditioning units. Understanding some of the benefits associated with that uniqueness can help you determine if installing a mini-split system in your home is the best course of action.
Mini-split systems are designed to be highly efficient. Unlike central air conditioning units, they do not make use of duct work, which means that there is no risk of cold air leaking out as it is being transported. This results in better cooling at a faster rate. Further, while window air conditioners provide chilled air directly into the room that they are installed in as well, they come with two major caveats. First, they do not completely seal the window around them, allowing some heat to leak into the room. Secondly, they are simply not as powerful, because they lack a separate, dedicated outdoor compressor that mini-split systems use.
Another major upside of choosing mini-split systems is the fact that you are able to adjust the settings of each individual unit in your home, depending on the specific needs of that room. This differentiates from central units, which have a whole-house temperature setting, and window units, which only work in rooms that have an outside wall, leaving the middle of your home lacking any sort of summer climate control. This will also translate into energy savings, since you won't have to worry about cooling down parts of your home that you aren't using.
Unlike window air conditioners, which take up an entire window in order to operate, mini-split systems will not change the layout of your room at all. In fact, even central air conditioners require vents to be kept free from obstruction, which effectively limits where you can place certain pieces of furniture. Since mini-split systems are installed on the wall near the top of the ceiling, out of the line of sight, there is no risk of disrupting your interior design or altering how you can use a room because of climate control considerations.