Air Conditioners: Ducted vs Ductless

With such a wide range of air conditioners to choose from, it’s difficult to determine which type is best suited for your needs. This article aims to help by providing some information on different types, and the advantages of each so that you, the reader, can make better-informed decisions and maximize the benefits of your air conditioning units.

Ducted air conditioners bring with them some of the following benefits:

  • Multiple-room cooling – ducted systems are designed to distribute air through ducts in multiple rooms, thus can cool an entire home or building in an efficient way.
  • Better aesthetics – as ducts are generally hidden in ceilings, floors, or walls, these systems can look a lot better than other comparable units.
  • Energy efficiency – more modern and advanced systems are designed with fans that vary in speed, and zoning capabilities (see next point). These help to reduce energy use and lower costs.
  • Even temperature distribution and customizable options – these systems can either be set to maintain consistent temperatures throughout the building or can also be customized to work in zones, which means different areas or rooms can be cooled independently of the rest of the building, saving energy by only affecting the rooms that are being used at any given moment.
  • Lower sound levels – the main unit is usually located in a separate room, or sometimes outside, meaning that indoor sound levels are minimized.

Though ducted air conditioners offer many benefits, they may not be ideal for everyone. Constant innovations in technology mean that there is a unit to suit everyone. Let’s consider possible benefits of non-ducted air conditioners:

  • Easy installation – since these systems do not require duct work, they are far easier to install, especially in older buildings or buildings in which adding ducts could be expensive, impractical, or simply impossible.
  • Local temperature control – as they are installed in individual rooms, it is possible to control the temperature in just the room being occupied…..although more advanced ducted air conditioners have this customizable option too.
  • Efficiency of energy – as a direct result of the above point, energy is saved by only cooling the rooms you need to use but, again, this is not an advantage over the more advanced ducted air conditioners for reasons already discussed above,
  • Size advantages – since they are far smaller systems, they are far more suited to smaller homes, rooms that offer limited space, or apartments.
  • No major renovations necessary – these systems can be fitted retrospectively a lot easier than ducted systems. They can be added to existing buildings without the need for major renovations, and are ideal therefore for extensions to properties, or garages.
  • Lower air loss – on some occasions, poorly insulated ducts can leak cooled air, leading to higher energy bills. Ductless systems eliminate these energy losses.

To summarize, ducted air conditioning units offer colling throughout the building, with customizable temperature distribution, and quieter operation and better aesthetics, not to mention being very energy-efficient, and more environmentally sustainable. Ductless systems do not offer the same features and may not suit bigger spaces or buildings. Be sure to seek advice to ensure that you have installed the correct system to suit you and your needs.

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