What is a Ducted Air-Con System?

Ducted air conditioning is a type of air conditioning that is configured to move conditioned air from one area to another. This is done by using ducts and vents rather than directly blowing the cool air. Ducted systems are used in commercial buildings and homes for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

It provides a way to deliver conditioned indoor air to spaces where it’s needed most while keeping other areas of the house cool. Additionally, they’re more energy-efficient than standard split systems because they don’t have to heat up the entire house when only one space needs cooling or heating.

How Does a Ducted Air-Con System Work?

Ducted air-conditioning systems consist of an outdoor unit, which houses the compressor, cooling coils, and an electric motor. It also has an evaporator, which is a cooling coil that’s located inside the building and connected to the outdoor unit by a series of ducts.

The outdoor unit also has an indoor blower, which sucks the warm air out of the house and pushes it into the outdoor unit. The outdoor unit sends the warm air outside and cools the air before it’s pushed back into the building through the ducts.

The outdoor unit also includes a temperature sensor, a pressure sensor, and a control panel that automatically begins the cooling process when it’s too warm inside. The control panel can also be manually controlled by a remote, a wall-mounted panel, or a smartphone app.

The system is connected to an electrical outlet, which powers the compressor and blower motor. This is why air-conditioning units are typically installed outside the house. Reach out to a Sydney electrician to ensure the safety and reliability of your electrical systems.

Types of Ducted Air Con Systems

There are two main types of ducted air-conditioning systems: central systems and mini-split systems. Central systems connect to a single outdoor unit that cools an entire house. Mini-split systems are smaller systems that are installed in individual rooms or zones within a house.

Central systems

Central systems are large systems that cool an entire house. They are designed for cooling large areas with high humidity, like commercial or industrial buildings. The outdoor unit is usually placed in the attic or on the roof, and there are ducts that go from the unit to each room in the building.

Central systems are most often used in commercial buildings but can be used in homes as well.

Mini-split systems

Mini-split systems are smaller systems that are designed for cooling smaller areas with low humidity, like offices and homes. They are installed indoors, and they typically have an outdoor unit that’s located outside the building. The outdoor unit has a duct that goes to the indoor unit. Mini-split systems are often used in homes, but they can also be used in commercial buildings.

Benefits of Ducted Air-Conditioning

Reduce Energy Bills

Ducted systems work best in areas that have high humidity, like tropical areas and Southern Australia. In these areas, ducted systems are more efficient than central air systems or evaporative coolers because they don’t have to waste energy heating up the entire house. Ducted systems only cool the areas that are being used.

Better Cooling

Ducted air-conditioning systems are more efficient than window units, and they can better cool areas that window units can’t reach. They can also be used as a backup system when the central air system fails.

More Choice in Location

Central ducted systems are typically installed in the attic or the garage, while mini-split systems can be installed anywhere in the home. This gives you more freedom in selecting a good location for the unit.

Environmentally Friendly

Ducted systems are more energy-efficient than split systems, and they don’t have to run as often. They also recycle the indoor air, which reduces the amount of fresh air that needs to be brought into the building.

Quiet Operation

Ducted systems are designed to be quiet, and many have soundproof insulation. This makes them quieter than split systems, and they don’t produce the rushing sound of outdoor units.

Can Be Added to a Split System

Central ducted systems can be added to a split system, giving you the best of both types of systems.

Drawbacks of Ducted Air-Conditioning

Higher Initial Cost

Ducted systems cost more to install than split systems. However, their lower energy usage can reduce your future energy bills by as much as 30%.

Additional Maintenance

Central and mini-split systems require more maintenance than split systems. You’ll need to clean and inspect the ducts, check the internal blower, and change the filters once a year. You may also need to adjust the ducts from time to time to prevent them from being crushed.

Power Outages

Mini-split systems don’t have an independent power source, so they will shut down during a power outage. Central systems will stay on during a power outage, but the ducts may lose pressure and fail to distribute the cooled air.

Noisy Operation

While most ducted systems are designed to be quiet, some are louder than split systems. This is usually due to duct issues, and it can be resolved with duct cleaning and noise reduction techniques.

Installation Problems

Installing a ducted system may be more complicated than installing a split system, especially if you’re adding a central ducted system. It’s important to make sure the ducts are run properly and secured to avoid problems with noise and loss of airflow.

Installations and Costs of Installing a Ducted AC

Installing a ducted system is a bigger job than installing a split system. However, it can offer many benefits, like reduced energy usage, cooling only the rooms that are in use, and quieter operation.

You’ll need to hire an air conditioning contractor to install a ducted system. The cost of installing a ducted system depends on the size of the system, the layout of the house, the materials used, and whether the system needs to be integrated into the existing ductwork. You can expect to pay from $2,000 to $5,000 for the installation of a ducted system.


Ducted air-conditioning systems are more efficient than split systems, but they cost more to install. They are designed for cooling large areas with high humidity and may be integrated with central systems.

Mini-split systems are smaller systems that may also be used in commercial buildings. They are installed indoors and are designed for cooling smaller areas with low humidity. When choosing a ducted system, you’ll need to consider the size of the area you want to cool and the duct layout in your house.

You can read more about the ducted air-con system here.