Are you considering installing a ducted air conditioner in your home or business? This guide will help you decide if ducted air conditioning is right for you, offer tips on how to design an effective ducted air conditioning system, and how to use ducted air conditioning efficiently once it’s installed.
Ducted air conditioning: Is it right for me?
If you answer ‘yes’ to the following points, ducted air conditioning is likely the right choice for you and your family or business:
- Do you want full control over temperature and zone control room-by-room?
- Do you want an even air distribution in your home or office on stifling hot summer days?
- Do you want to have an energy efficient system to cool, warm and maintain the temperature of your entire home or office?
- Do you have valuable possessions (furniture, books, antiques) that may be damaged by humidity?
- Do you want to avoid a noisy air conditioner in your house or office?
- Are you constructing a new house or doing major renovations?
Ducted air conditioning benefits
A ducted air conditioning system offers many benefits. These include:
- The ability to cool or heat the entire house
- A control system that allows you to control the temperature in each zone
- Superior efficiency compared to multiple split air conditioners
- The cost-effective ability to turn off the system in rooms where it is not needed
- An exceptionally discreet design (concealed under the floor or in the ceiling)
- Quiet operation compared to a split air conditioner
- Once the desired temperature is reached, inverter technology will ensure the temperature is constantly maintained – keeping you comfortable and at the same time running more efficiently
- Flexibility to control which rooms to cool from your smartphone with the MyAir app
- Ducted air conditioning adds resale value to your home
- A regularly serviced ducted air conditioner should typically last for more than 15 years
How ducted air conditioning works
A ducted air conditioner is one that is capable of cooling an entire building. It works by having a central unit (fan coil) installed in the roof or ceiling that cools the air and distributes the cooled air via a series of ducts into each room. This allows you to cool or heat each room using individual controls, or ‘zoning’.
Ducted air conditioning design guide
A ducted air conditioning system design requires careful planning and attention to detail. For example, the location of the grills and registers play an important role in ensuring optimal and efficient performance.
H&H Air Conditioning creates a complete house plan showing the position of all ducts, grills, zones and the outdoor unit, which allows us to plan noise levels and efficiency. We also offer our customers advice on best practices. For example, the type of house construction, ceiling cavity and outdoor area size may influence your choice of a ducted air conditioner. Some homes are more suited for ducted air conditioner installation than others. The best way to find out if ducted air conditioning is a possibility is to call our team to arrange a site visit and receive a quote.
Installing a ducted air conditioner is more complex than installing a split air conditioner, due to its planning and the necessity of high-quality parts to provide the highest thermal R rating quality for long-term insulation. Ideally, your air conditioner installer should design the system to exceed the Minimum Energy Performance Standards set by Australian laws regarding energy efficiency.
Ducted air conditioning zone control
Zone control, available with all ducted air conditioners, allows you to group specified rooms within a ‘zone’. Ducted air conditioning will give you complete control over cooling your entire home or business with multi-zone ducted air conditioning. The air conditioning zone control system is versatile and provides all of the control you need to maximise comfort and energy efficiency and minimise your energy costs. For example, you may want to assign bedrooms to Zone One and the living areas to Zone Two, to ensure these specific areas can be cooled or heated individually when necessary. When a zone is selected, cooling and heating will not extend to rooms outside the zone.
The position of the discharge grills in a ducted air conditioning system may also be tailored to suit the shape of each room within a zone to improve air circulation.
How to use ducted air conditioning efficiently
Choose your air conditioning temperatures wisely
Each degree of extra heating in winter or cooling in summer increases energy consumption by approximately 5–10%. In summer, we recommend setting your ducted air conditioning system between 22-24°C. In winter, 20-22°C is ideal. These temperatures are comparable to the outside temperatures in south-east Queensland and mean your air conditioner will not need to work overtime, driving up your energy costs.
Start your AC early in the morning
To combat the heat and have your air conditioner working to maximum efficiency, it’s best to turn your air conditioner on early in the morning. Many people don’t realise that it’s actually more efficient to turn your system on first thing in the morning when it is cooler, so your air conditioner doesn’t need to battle against the heat to maintain a cool, even level of comfort.
Close your doors and windows when the air conditioning is on
For areas that need to be cooled, it’s best to keep doors, windows and curtains closed, to keep the cool air in and block the hot air out. This will help the air conditioner work faster to cool the area and reduce your energy bill.
Avoid excessive expenses on start-up
Avoid setting your AC controller to a colder setting when you first turn it on, with the intention of turning it down once it reaches that temperature. This will not cool your home any faster and adds unnecessary cost to your electricity bill.
Get an annual service
To keep your ducted air conditioning system in top shape, it’s best to schedule full maintenance and clean at least once every 12 months. This will help ensure your ducted air conditioner is continuing to perform its best.