Ducted vs ductless: which is better for your home’s cooling?

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Ducted vs. ductless air conditioning Melbourne

There are a lot of decisions you’re going to have to consider when you decide on heating and cooling installation, Melbourne!

And the very first of these questions is what type of air conditioner you should go for: ducted or ductless?

Don’t get us wrong – branding, power and energy efficiency are pretty darn important too.

The thing is however that you can only make these decisions after you decide whether or not you’re going with ducted or ductless!

So, which one should you choose for your home?

Inside ductless cooling

Like the name suggests, these systems don’t use ducts – instead, they use an air handling unit that’s directly connected to an outdoor compressor.

More commonly known as split systems, these are the systems where air is delivered by an indoor air handling unit, most commonly a wall-mounted unit, though other options exist (more on that later).

While they function similarly, the big difference is that the air outlet isn’t a duct, but a separate system itself, complete with fan controls, filters and more. Instead of all the heavy lifting occurring outside as with a ducted system, here, it’s split between indoor and outside.

And that brings us to the big difference: by splitting the functions of the outdoor unit, these systems can eliminate the need for ductwork at all to connect the indoor and outdoor units.

While these systems can take a number of forms, wall-mounted units are the most common type by a mile.

You know how it works – however, there are other options out there…

Ceiling-mounted cassettes

Sitting flush with your ceiling, these cassettes look a lot like ducted air conditioning ducts.

Just be aware: make sure that your ceiling has enough room to fit all the guts that these ceiling mounted cassettes can take up.

Bulkhead units

While they don’t sit flush with your ceiling, bulkheads can fit in just as seamlessly!

With minimal drop, these systems offer minimalist appearance while also avoiding the ceiling space issues that can come with cassettes.

Recessed air curtains

You know those hand dryers that use a concentrated blade of air to quickly dry off your hands?

Imagine that, except with your air conditioning, and you have this particular type of ductless air conditioning!

Split system or ducted air conditioning
Split system heating & cooling

Which is better: ductless AC or central AC?

There are plenty of options out there – it isn’t just wall-mounted units anymore.

Of course, that doesn’t answer the burning question!

Truth be told, there isn’t a clear-cut answer – like all air conditioning questions, it all depends on what you need…

Coverage: how many square feet can a ductless air conditioner cool?

Before we answer that, we need to ask you an important question: how much space do you need to cool?

Unlike ducted systems which are designed for whole-home cooling, ductless systems focus on cooling specific spaces and rooms.

Don’t get us wrong, with the right set-up, you can have multiple indoor units hooked up to a single outdoor unit to get the effect of ducted cooling (without the ducts, naturally).

As a general rule however, if you need to cool multiple rooms, ducted’s probably the better choice.

Is ductless better than ducted when it comes to efficiency?

Generally speaking, ductless systems tend to be more energy-efficient than their ducted counterparts.

Part of this is owing to the fact that they’re just smaller overall – another reason they’re more energy efficient is because they’re designed for cooling individual rooms.

The issue with ducted cooling is that it’s all-or-nothing – if you want to cool a single room, the system goes on at full blast.

Sure, zoning and features like temperature sensors and VRV/VRF heating and cooling go a long way towards levelling the playing field. But that doesn’t change that with a ductless split system, you won’t need to worry about this at all.

Of course, this comes with its own trade-offs…

How many ductless units do I need? Is ductless cheaper than central air?

Once again, it depends on how much you’re cooling.

A handful of rooms? You can get away with a single ductless unit with 2-3 indoor units.

Not only is it less disruptive, but it’s also cheaper and more affordable!

For more than that however, you’re probably going to need multiple outdoor units in addition to multiple indoor units.

For larger homes, you might eventually reach the point where the cost of multiple ductless systems exceeds the cost of just going ducted to begin with.

Does ductless air conditioning increase home value?

Let’s take a step back for a second and assume that you aren’t getting air conditioning for your own home, but for a block of apartments or townhouses that you plan on renting out or selling.

If so, selling price and rent are probably at the top of your priority list.

Good news: any air conditioning will increase the property’s value (or at least, won’t negatively harm it – who in their right mind would pay extra for a place without cooling?)

The question is whether or not ducted or ductless has a greater impact on value.

As a general rule, this round goes to ducted:

  • More powerful cooling
  • Greater coverage
  • Less obtrusive aesthetically

No, ductless air conditioning doesn’t always mean faster installation

You’d think that reverse cycle ducted heating and cooling systems would take longer to instal, especially with all of the ductwork, mountings that we’ll need to run throughout your property as well as all the behind-the-scenes work involved.

A lot of our clients seem to think the same, and decide on ductless in situations where ducted might suit them better thanks to the “longer” installation time.

We’re about to let you in on a little secret: did you know that ducted air conditioning installation doesn’t have to take days and days anymore?

In fact, it can be done in as little as a single day!

Our team plans extensively in the lead-up to your installation. We take account of every potential issue we might face and devise a plan to get around it.

End result?

We turn up on the day with a strict game-plan and an exact idea of what we’re going to, ensuring that your installation is fast and effortless.

Heating and cooling Melbourne
Keep your home comfortable with the right heating & cooling solution

Get in touch with Alpha Air for all your cooling and heating needs

Deciding on ducted or ductless cooling is a momentous decision which can affect your home’s comfort going forward.

Unsure which one’s the right way forward? Don’t worry: we’re here to help with that.

On top of carrying out your installation quickly, our team also ensures that your system is meeting your needs.

We’ll help you make the big decisions with an eye towards efficiency, power and most importantly of all, comfort.

We’ll help answer all your questions, including:

And it continues long after installation is complete too, with a heating and cooling service in Melbourne your home or business can rely on to stay comfortable.

Want to make your home cooler? Need help getting through summer? All you need to do is call 1300 854 525, or click here to get a free quote!

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