High Velocity Air Conditioning Vs. Mini Split: What Are The Differences?

Gary Evans
by Gary Evans

Depending on where you live, air conditioning may be a necessity rather than a luxury. Oppressive temperatures year-round could be impossible to bear with no air conditioner helping you out.

In search of a new unit to buy, you may have to choose between different types of air conditioners. There are so many options available, but we want to shine the spotlight today on high velocity and mini-split units. So, which of those two will be better for your home?

High-velocity air conditioners are preferable if you want optimal cooling and something that’s easy to hide. Meanwhile, mini-split air conditioners are considered great options because they’re easy to install and work very quietly. Cost is a more variable factor and the size of your home will greatly influence that.

Air conditioners can play a crucial role in maintaining the comfort level of your home. Keep reading to learn if a high-velocity air conditioning unit or a mini-split air conditioner will suit your home better.

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What Is a High-Velocity Air Conditioner?

High-velocity air conditioners are modeled closely after standard HVAC units. The main difference between them is that high-velocity air conditioners tend to be smaller.

Smaller doesn’t mean inferior cooling, however. The high pressure air coming from high-velocity units can still quickly cool down your home.

Some homeowners even prefer the smaller size of high-velocity air conditioners. Since they’re smaller and come equipped with smaller ducts, it’s usually easier to factor them into a home’s existing décor.

What Is a Mini-Split Air Conditioner?

The first thing you’ll notice about mini-split air conditioners is that they’re ductless. They use a single tube instead of ducts to maintain the connection between the exterior compressor and the interior unit. That kind of setup allows them to fit inside just about any interior space.

The part of the unit set inside your home is responsible for collecting and cooling down air. The part of the system that’s placed outside gets rid of the heat.

Evaluating the High-Velocity Air Conditioning vs. Mini-Split Matchup

High-velocity air conditioning units and mini-split air conditioners will inevitably come up during your search for home cooling appliances. They are both great options to consider as well.

But how do they compare to one another? We’ll find that out as we go point by point below.

Cooling Speed

The last thing you want from your new air conditioner is weak air flow. You bought that new appliance to improve your comfort level at home so optimal cooling is a must.

If your priority is to find the appliance that provides optimal cooling, you should choose a high-velocity unit. High-velocity units get to work on cooling down your home quickly. They greatly outperform mini-split air conditioners in that regard.

Targeted Cooling

High-velocity air conditioners have mini-split units beat when it comes to cooling speed, but what about targeted cooling? Targeted cooling is important because the members of your household may handle cold temperatures differently.

Some may like the temperature to be very cold while others may prefer milder cooling. There is no right or wrong answer. People simply have their cooling preferences.

Mini-split air conditioners are better at targeted cooling. You can plug multiple indoor units to a mini-split air conditioner’s exterior unit. That allows everyone in your home to set temperatures individually and that means your family can enjoy targeted cooling.

Humidity Control

Humidity can greatly affect the comfort level you enjoy at home. Too much humidity can have an adverse effect on the type of cooling you’re getting from your chosen unit. Knowing that, you may want to purchase a high-velocity unit if you live in a humid area.

High-velocity units can extract a significant amount of humidity whenever they’re in use. You don’t need to run a dehumidifier in conjunction with the air conditioner to create your desired climate.

Energy Efficiency

Running an air conditioner can be very expensive. You need to save what you can by purchasing a unit that boasts great energy efficiency. Mini-split air conditioners are better from the standpoint of energy efficiency.

Mini-split units have an advantage over many other types of air conditioners because they don’t rely on ductwork. The lack of ductwork means that energy leakage is less likely to occur. You’re getting every bit of cooling that you’re paying for.

Furthermore, the targeted cooling that mini-split units provide also boosts energy efficiency. Members of your household can choose how much cooling they want. They don’t have to all experience maximum cooling all the time.

Targeted and efficient cooling can also save you money. That can make a real difference in the long run.

Noise Level

Air conditioners are known for being noisy, but that’s not true for all types of units anymore. When comparing a high-velocity unit and a mini-split unit, it’s clear that the former produces more noise.

The high noise level can be attributed to two things. First off, air conditioners that use ductwork almost always produce a lot of noise. On top of that, the fast-moving air contributes to the louder noises.

You generally don’t have to worry too much about mini-split air conditioners in the noise department. Continue running them at night without disturbing your sleep.


Do you have a specific design scheme you’re following inside your home? If you answered yes to that question, you will have an important decision to make regarding your air conditioner purchase.

Mini-split air conditioners are ductless, but they have to be installed on either your wall or ceiling. Room may even have to be carved out for them depending on your home layout. It’s harder to maintain your desired design scheme when you have an air conditioner sticking out of the wall or ceiling.

In contrast to mini-split air conditioners, high-velocity units are easy to hide. They can be installed in either your attic or basement to keep them shielded from view.

High-velocity units also have relatively small ducts that top out at around four inches in circumference. You’ll have an easier time accommodating those ducts and keeping them hidden inside your home.

Ease of Installation

A professional should have no trouble installing a high-velocity air conditioner. Once you tell them where they should put the unit, installing it will be easy. Even running the ducts through your home won’t be difficult since they’re so small.

The difficulty of installing a mini-split air conditioner will depend on your design preferences. If you don’t mind having your wall or ceiling cut open, installing the unit should be a straightforward exercise. Things become way more complicated if you want to preserve your home décor.

Number of Units Needed

Mini-split air conditioners can provide comfortable cooling, but they are still somewhat limited. Because of their size, they are not capable of effectively cooling down large spaces or multiple rooms. They are usually at their best when they are allowed to focus on cooling a single room.

Homeowners typically end up purchasing multiple mini-split units because of their cooling needs. Your outdoor mini-split unit may be able to accept air from four indoor units.

Aside from the cost, getting several multi-spit units is also not ideal for maintenance. You may have to double, triple, or even quadruple the amount of maintenance you need to perform. Ask yourself if you’re willing to provide that kind of maintenance.

For the most part, one high-velocity air conditioner will be enough for one home. Just arrange the ducts carefully so the cold air gets to the right spots.


Installing a mini-split air-conditioning system is usually more expensive because multiple units are required. Those additional units don’t come cheap after all.

However, if you only need one or two units, then the mini-split setup may be preferable from a cost standpoint. That may be the case after you account for your operating expenses. Long-term, you may be able to save more money because of how efficient mini-split units are.

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Related Questions

Can a Single Mini-Split Air Conditioner Cool an Entire Home?

Whether or not a single mini-split air conditioner can provide adequate cooling for your home will depend on two factors. The first factor is the size of your home. The other factor is the unit’s BTU rating.Generally speaking, a mini-split air conditioner with a BTU rating of 9,000 should be enough for a 400-sq. ft. home. BTU demands will increase significantly as the size of the home similarly grows.A single high-velocity air conditioner is typically able of providing all the cooling that an average household will need. Make sure you remember that when choosing between mini-split units and high-velocity units.

Can You Use a High-Velocity Air Conditioner in an Old Home?

Owners of old homes may be wary of purchasing an air conditioner out of fears their house cannot accommodate it. Put those fears to rest by buying a high-velocity air conditioner.High-velocity air conditioners work exceptionally well inside old homes because of their ducts. Those ducts can be adjusted to fit older construction. You won’t be compromising the capabilities of your high-velocity air conditioner by using it inside an older home.

Gary Evans
Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

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