A ducted air conditioning system – also known as a “central” or “fixed” system – can be a more powerful and efficient alternative to a window mounted, wall mounted or portable, “monobloc” system. Ducted air conditioning systems are available in cooling only or cooling and heating models, and allow a comfortable temperature – typically between 20°C and 23°C – to be maintained in a home or office all year round. Of course, ducted air conditioning systems do not only affect temperature; they also “condition” the air removing dust, smoke, and other impurities, and create a hygienic, hypoallergenic environment in which to live and work.
How Ducted Air Conditioning Works
Ducted air conditioning units are usually concealed completely – typically in a ceiling void – and cooled or heated air is circulated throughout a room, or rooms, via diffusers mounted on the wall(s) or ceiling. In cooling mode similar to other forms of air conditioning an indoor unit cools, dehumidifies and purifies air, before blowing it back into a room and the heat is carried away to an outdoor condenser unit where it is dissipated. The “refrigerant” – the special chemical used to carry heat – is compressed and cooled so that it becomes a low pressure liquid before being pumped once again to the indoor coiling coil, where the cycle is repeated. In heating mode the presence of a heat pump allows the process to be reversed so that heated air is circulated throughout your home.
Pros & Cons of Ducted Air Conditioning
Ducted air conditioning systems are typically more efficient than other “split” or wall mounted systems. Variable fan speed or “inverter” technology allows the cooling or heating capacity of a unit to be matched very precisely to the requirements of your home. Ducted systems are usually designed to provide cooling or heating in distinct multiple zones, allowing the flexibility to digitally control one specific area, several areas or the whole of your home with the same degree of efficiency. Ducted systems also perform well in conditions of high humidity since they extract excess moisture from the air. All of the equipment required can be installed, unobtrusively, into the ceiling of a room and its operation is very quiet.
Ducted air conditioning systems are generally less flexible than other forms of air conditioning and can be expensive to instal as well as to run particularly if not split into zones. The overall cost of a ducted air conditioning system obviously depends on the size of your home and the number of rooms that require air conditioning, but installation is typically more expensive, and more disruptive, than that of other air conditioning systems. Occasionally, it may not be possible to install ducting into a ceiling and, where it can, the available roof space is diminished.