Ducted air conditioning is a system where a central air handling unit is located in one part of the house or building, and then long ducts spread out from that air handling unit into all of the rooms of the building. This is also known as central air conditioning.
There are many benefits to ducted air conditioning and a few drawbacks, and in this article, we’re going to talk about them all. What’s the difference between ducted and ductless air conditioning? Ductless and ducted both have pros and cons.
What Are the Benefits of Ducted Air Conditioning?
With ducted air conditioning, you don’t set different temperatures on thermostats for every room. Instead, you set one temperature for your entire home or building, and then the air conditioner blows evenly throughout the building to put every room at the same temperature.
When wondering how to use ducted air conditioning efficiently, if you would like to stop the airflow to one room or rooms, then you can simply close the vent in the wall or ceiling that connects to the ductwork. This will mean that the cool air will not go into that room, and the room will stay warmer.
Likewise, by having a central air handler, you are only dealing with one machine, rather than several ductless units spread across the home or building (such as with split systems or swamp coolers). This means that there is less maintenance, and you only have to worry about the condition of one piece of equipment.
Also, a central air conditioner is generally located inside the house, with outside heat exchange, while, if you had a separate split air conditioning system for every room or a window-mounted air conditioner, you would have a piece of equipment hanging off the side of the building for every location–which could make your home’s exterior look bad.
Maintenance and servicing is also easy, as ducted air conditioners need to be cleaned once every three to five years, and the work is done by a professional.
How many kWh does it take to run ducted air conditioning? How much it costs to run air conditioning per hour and how it will affect your electricity bill depends on the unit. If you know the size of your system and how long on average you run it for you can work out an accurate estimate of the cost using our AC Running Cost Calculator.
What Are the Downsides of Ducted Air Conditioning?
Having the air temperature of the entire building or house dictated by a single thermostat can be a blessing or a curse. If you have someone who wants a cool bedroom to sleep in but someone else who gets cold easily, they may not want to deal with opening and closing vents to regulate the temperature. It may be easier for ductless air conditioning running that is dedicated to that room and adjusting its specific temperature. This way every room in the building can have its own temperature.
While it is convenient to have a single air handler in one part of the house rather than several small air conditioning units in each room if the central air conditioning fails, then not only is the whole house overheated, but the expense to fix it is generally higher. When it comes time to replace a central air unit, the expense can be large, whereas you could replace one small AC unit at a time for lower costs.
Another major factor to consider is that it is very difficult (and expensive) to upgrade a non-ducted home into a ducted air conditioner, so costs to install the ducted air conditioning can be high if the home is not made for it.
The ducts of the ducted AC unit have to go in-between the joists in the floors and ceilings, and if the home is not made for ductwork, then major renovations will be needed to get the ducts in place. (There is also the question of where to put an air conditioner unit into a home if it wasn’t built in a special place already).