Ducted vs. ductless: which is better for your home?

Latest post
Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!
We Are Ready For 24/7 Emergency Service
Ducted air conditioning Melbourne

In the past, air conditioning was a lot more straightforward – and as such, a lot more basic, too!

Nowadays, advanced technology and more sophisticated systems give us greater control over how we heat and cool our homes and businesses.

And it also means that the process of choosing the right one for your needs has also gotten a lot more complicated.

There are a lot of things you’re going to have to think about when it comes to heating and cooling installation in Melbourne.

And one of the first of these decisions is whether or not you should go with a ducted or a ductless system.

Today, we’re going to do our best to help you make that decision!

Heating and Cooling Melbourne

What is the difference between reverse cycle and split system?

Step one in understanding which one’s better for your needs: figuring out what the difference between the two is!

While the actual cooling mechanism is the same, what changes between these two types of system is how it’s structured in your system.

In a split system (AKA, a ductless system) all the different functions are split between your outdoor unit and your (usually wall-mounted) indoor unit. While blowing air is the indoor unit’s main role, it also usually features a heat exchange coil, filters, remote signal receiver and fan, among others.

By contrast, in a ducted system the entire cooling process is handled by the outdoor unit, with your ducts only delivering now-cool air throughout your home.

And this fundamental difference leads to a number of other differences between the two types of systems:

Ductless/split system

  • Lower upfront price
  • Homes with ductless systems use multiple outdoor units, meaning that each one is weaker individually
  • Ductless systems are less extensive, requiring multiple systems
  • Ductless systems typically require less space and room to install

Ducted heating and cooling system

  • Higher upfront price
  • Ducted systems use a single centralised unit for the entire property, which has to be much more powerful
  • Ducts offer far greater coverage, and can scale up much more
  • Ducts need a lot of ceiling space for ducting and mountings

As for which one’s actually better for you, that all comes down to your property…

Which AC is best for home use: is ducted air con better than split system cooling?

Absolutely not – while there are differences between the two, these differences can be both strengths and weaknesses depending on context.

For example, say you live in an old home like one of those Victorian-era homes that populate Melbourne’s inner suburbs.

These homes are old, and many fall under heritage overlays, limiting what you can do. Not only that, but they simply might not be able to handle ducted heating and cooling – after all, what architect 150 years ago could have had the foresight to accommodate aircon in their design?

In this case, ductless might be the way to go.

And in other cases, say you’re building a new home on a huge block of land. You have a lot of different rooms and areas to cool, which would take dozens of ductless systems.

In this case, a single ducted system with an extensive ducting network might be better.

For example, some of the things we look at might include:

  • Your unique space – how big is the property, how many rooms need cooling?
  • Installation challenges – not all properties can support ducted cooling
  • Personal preferences – need we say more?
  • Size – ducted cooling is typically better for large homes
  • Cost – installation costs can depend on which type you choose

Long story short, neither is inherently better than the other – it all depends on the property and what you need to stay comfortable.

Ducted air conditioning unit vs ductless: your questions, answered

Do I need a mini split for every room?

When it comes to single-room cooling, ductless is the way to go. Its smaller scale and lower upfront cost is what make split systems the ideal choice for:

  • Apartments and studios
  • Individual rooms
  • Small homes and units
  • Small retail shops

Of course, if you have more than one room that needs cooling, things can get a little more complicated.

However, this doesn’t mean that each room will need its own split system!

In many cases, two or even three indoor units can be hooked up to the one outdoor unit, bringing down the cost of your installation while helping you keep everybody comfortable.

Are wall-mounted systems the only choice when it comes to ductless heating and cooling?


While wall-mounted units are the most common form split-systems take, they aren’t your only option, especially if you’re looking for a way to keep your walls clear.

Our team offers a range of split system options, including:

  • Bulkhead units
  • Ceiling cassettes
  • Floor standing units

Each of these give you more options, and help you keep your walls clean and uncluttered.

Which AC consumes less power? What’s cheaper to run: ducted heating or a split system?

We briefly mentioned the upfront cost of getting your system installed. What we didn’t get to touch on however was the operating cost.

Arguably, this expense is just as important as the purchase price itself – especially since you’re going to be using said system for years to come!

Air conditioning system size and coverage are the biggest determinants of energy use – it just makes sense that a larger, more powerful system will use more power.

As a general rule, that typically means that ducted systems tend to be hungrier.

But not always!

Thanks to features like zone control, today’s ducted reverse cycle air conditioning systems are closing the gap.

And speaking of which…

Is ducted reverse cycle expensive to run?

Thanks to VRV/VRF technology, today’s ducted systems are able to reduce their power consumption by over 50%, meaning that ducted systems don’t always have to drive up your power bills.

Older systems were all-or-nothing. They run at full-tilt, even when you only need a little bit of cooling, or when all you wanted was to maintain the current temperature.

Standing for Variable Refrigerant Volume/Flow, this technology automatically adjusts the amount of coolant circulating through your system.

Why does this matter? Simple: it takes a surprising amount of electricity to keep refrigerant circling throughout your system. By reducing the amount of coolant being used, VRV/VRF thereby reduces the electricity your system needs to use.

Worried about the bills? If so, it’s time to start thinking about VRF air conditioning system installation.

Split system air conditioning installation

Look after your comfort with Alpha Air’s heating and cooling solutions

Why it’s so important you choose the right team!

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to your comfort.

That’s why it’s so important that you choose a team that carefully works to ensure that your unique heating and cooling requirements are met.

A good heating and cooling team understands that the best answer to these questions depends on your home, needs, preferences, budget and more. As such, a good team is one that tailors each installation to your needs.

What’s more, a good team goes into depth, looking at all sorts of minute details like:

  • Room volume
  • Insulation quality
  • Windows
  • Room orientation
  • Appliances
  • Room usage

Unfortunately, a lot of air conditioning installers simply look at room volume alone, ignoring countless other crucial factors. Worse, some even try to eyeball it!

Reverse-cycle heating and cooling can keep you and your family cool all year-round – something that Melburnians appreciate thanks to our unpredictable weather swings.

And the first step towards that is ensuring that you’re choosing the right type of system for your property.

Whether you’re interested in Mitsubishi reverse cycle ducted air conditioning or a Daikin split system ducted air conditioner, the right team is crucial when it comes to your comfort.

Our team uses their experience and expertise to ensure that we choose the perfect heating and cooling solution for your home. That’s why we have 150+ 5-star reviews – that many people can’t be wrong!

And it isn’t just installation, either – our attentive service and workmanship extends to heating and cooling service in Melbourne as well.

Find out how we can help you today – give us a ring on 1300 854 525 or click here to get in touch online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Please fill in the form below, and we will be in contact within 24 business hours!


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.


Follow Us