These days, air conditioning comes in many forms. There are heat pumps, there are ductless mini-split ACs, and, of course, there is ducted air conditioning. In this guide, we’re going to delve into the specifics of ducted AC, in particular.
Not only will we explain how ducted AC works, but we’ll also discuss its benefits as well as any drawbacks it might have. Ready to get started? Here is your ducted AC buying guide.
How Does a Ducted AC Work?
First, we’re going to discuss how ducted ACs work. Ducted ACs make use of a single condenser unit. This unit sits on the outside of the home and is connected to the home’s blower mechanism via a refrigerant line.
This one condenser and one blower create all of the air needed for the entire home. Once the air is produced, it’s forced out of the blower and into a series of ducts.
The ducts are installed all over the home, leading to different rooms throughout the house. These ducts carry the air produced by the condenser and the blower and then push that air out into individual rooms through vents.
So, effectively, a single ducted AC cools the entirety of a home. It produces enough air to meet the home’s cooling needs and then works with the duct system as a means of transferring that air to the necessary areas.
This differs from, say, ductless mini-split systems, which are only big enough to accommodate a single room’s cooling needs. So, if you’re looking to cool your whole home, a ducted AC is the way to go.
The Benefits of Ducted AC
There are quite a few benefits that come along with ducted AC. These benefits include, but aren’t limited to, the following.
This is true not only because the unit is relatively affordable but because the amount of energy needed to run that unit is relatively small as well. Less energy used, of course, equals less money spent.
If you’re only looking to cool a single room, a ductless AC unit would actually be cheaper. However, if you’re looking to cool your entire home, there’s no contest: the ducted AC is easily the cheapest option.
Another big benefit of ducted ACs is that they’re extremely quiet. Yes, their condensers will make some noise. However, these are located outside of the home, and therefore will have no effect on sound levels in the home’s interior.
This is in contrast to ductless mini-split systems, which have condensers right up against the interior wall. This isn’t to say that ductless mini-splits are exceedingly noisy, but they can be a bother for some.
Doesn’t Impair Aesthetics
When you install a ductless mini-split unit, you’re essentially mounting a big and bulky machine on your wall. It’s going to disturb the aesthetics in your home and will reduce the overall vibe of the room in which it’s installed.
This isn’t really true of ducted AC. The only portion of a ducted AC system that impairs a room’s aesthetics is the vents. And these are so small and insignificant so as to be invisible. Yes, they’re there; however, no one truly registers them when they take in the room as a whole.
Vents can be painted to match the colour of the room and can even have items placed in close proximity to them, blocking their appearance almost entirely. So, if you want to leave the interior decor of your home intact, go with ducted AC.
Allows for Quick Temperature Changes
The last benefit we’re going to discuss is how ducted ACs allow for quick temperature changes. Because one system provides air to the entire home, you can switch the temperature of the entire home with just the press of a button. You don’t have to go from room to room in order to make temperature adjustments.
This isn’t true of ductless mini-splits. If you’re using ductless AC to cool your entire home, you’ll need to go from room to room to adjust every system individually.
The Disadvantages of Ducted AC
While ducted AC is mostly beneficial, it does have some disadvantages. These disadvantages include:
Needs Additional Damper Motors in Order to Allow for Temperature Variation in Different Areas
Let’s say you wanted your bedroom to be cooled at 20 degrees Celsius while you wanted your living room to be cooled at 22 degrees Celsius. With a central AC in its standard form, this wouldn’t be possible.
That said, there is an option to add damper motors to your ducted AC. These motors allow you to break your ducts down into zones, enabling you to control the amount of air pressure that goes into each room of your house. As such, they allow for temperature variation from room to room.
Ductless mini-splits can also allow for this type of temperature variation. However, you would have to install several of them.
Is Complex to Install
The other disadvantage of ducted AC is that it’s complex to install. This is due to the ductwork that ducted ACs require.
In a new home, the ductwork can just be made part of the construction process. In an existing home, though, installing fresh ductwork can prove difficult.
This is why, if you install ducted AC, you’re advised to use the services of an experienced installer. They’ll know exactly how to install the ducts without affecting other portions of your home.
Looking to Buy a Ducted Air Conditioning Unit?
As you can see, there are a number of benefits to buying a ducted air conditioning unit. Ducted AC systems are the ideal whole-home option, as they enable you to cool large areas at a minimal cost.