No modern home design is complete without a high-quality air conditioning system. This is doubly true for buildings in warmer climates. However, designers face a choice when deciding how to cool a home. Should they opt for a less-expensive option, such as a split system air conditioner? These units hang on the wall or in the window, providing air conditioning for smaller rooms or particular parts of the house. Of course, split systems also come with some drawbacks, such as uneven cooling throughout the house and a decidedly unattractive appearance.
There is a better option! Ducted air conditioning systems rely on a central unit hidden in your ceiling space to deliver cool air throughout the house via a network of air ducts – hence the name. These systems are a little more expensive upfront and require significant installation work but they also bring several advantages, which we’ll look at in this article.
1. Long-run savings
It is true that ducted systems tend to be more expensive initially, as well as costing more to install. But those initial costs are often offset by savings in the long run, as ducted systems are more efficient overall (more on that later).
While split system air conditioning systems are cheaper upfront, you may need several of them to cool an entire house. The cost of a single, more efficient ducted system is quite often more cost-effective than multiple, split systems.
2. Improved aesthetics
Split system units hang from exterior windows, dangle from the wall, or even stand in the corner of a room. They can be loud, obtrusive, and generally mar the overall aesthetic.
In contrast, the network of ducts your ducted system uses are all safely hidden out of sight in your roof space; the primary unit itself is located outside, and can easily be concealed with some simple landscaping. The interior design of your home remains untouched, with only some well-placed vents to reveal the presence of your ducted system. That, and the cooler temperatures, of course.
3. Efficient design
While split system units can perform well at cooling an individual room, it nearly always requires multiple units to cool an entire house. Airflow being what it is, split systems tend to produce one or two super-cool rooms while the rest of the house swelters.
With a ducted air conditioner, a home designer or builder can match the needs of the duct system to the house; more vents in larger rooms, or at higher or lower points on the well, depending on the requirements of the house. And because only one unit is required, rather than two or three, temperatures can be kept more even throughout the home.
4. Combined heating and cooling
Most ducted air conditioning units provide heating and cooling, efficiently combining both into one system. This ensures efficient use of the ducted system, delivering hot or cold air to the entire house evenly and as-needed.
While most split system units are also dual-purpose, they suffer from inefficiency and uneven application; in the worst-case scenarios, using split system units leads to some rooms that are colder than they should be while other rooms are still too warm, and the reverse situation in the winter.
5. Built-in flexibility
Ducted air conditioning systems require a certain amount of “hardwiring;” they are built into the house or structure. That may not seem like it offers much flexibility, but once the duct network is installed, the primary air conditioning unit can be repaired, upgraded and replaced as needed usually without changes the duct system.
Long-term maintenance on the duct network is minimal. If there are changes to the building’s footprint, such as an addition to a house, there may be no need to purchase a new air conditioning unit – sometimes we can just add on to the duct network to provide cooling to the new rooms!
Speak To A Professional About Ducted Air Conditioning
When you are considering your options for your home AC system, there are many advantages of a ducted air conditioning system compared to split system units. If you’re still unsure which system is the right way to go, contact Smarter Air. Our friendly team install both systems every week and can assess your unique situation then point you in the right direction.