In the world of air conditioning, you have a lot of options at your disposal. You can opt for window units you can easily install on your own, split system air conditioning systems that can cool larger spaces more efficiently, and several other types of air conditioners; some of which are more suitable for the commercial market.

However, one form of air conditioning is constantly brought up by service professionals and consumers alike: Ducted air conditioning systems.

Ducted air conditioning systems are touted as must-have systems in any home or business, but are they really worth it?

Let’s take a look.

What are Ducted Air Conditioning Systems?

Ducted air conditioning systems are units designed to use a large exterior air unit to pump cool air through a complex system of ducts in your home or business.

This allows the unit to cool every room of the building, whether it be residential or commercial, at once; that’s in comparison to smaller room-based units that require separate units for every room.

This produces a number of pros and cons that anyone should look at before committing to having a ducted air conditioning system installed.

Pros of Ducted Air Conditioning

First, we’ll go over the pros of a ducted AC system.


Ducted systems use much larger, more powerful units than the dinky window units many people have. This ensures that they can provide reliable cooling to several rooms with ease, and you don’t have to worry about a room being stuck several degrees above your comfort level just because your AC isn’t powerful enough to cool it properly.


When you rely on window units, you have to run around the house trying to set each one to the temperature you want it at, and every time you want to adjust it, you have to do it separately.

With a ducted system, a simple adjustment of a central thermostat will adjust the AC for the entire house.

Potential for Splitting:

If making every room the same temperature doesn’t sound like it will work with your family, you’re in luck. Ducted air conditioners can be split to allow for room-by-room temperature adjustment without adding more expensive units.

Added Home Value:

Having ducted air conditioning installed automatically increases the value of your home when you go to sell it.

Cons of Ducted Air Conditioning

Ducted air conditioning isn’t perfect, though. Here are some major drawbacks to consider.

Maintenance is Harder:

With a window unit, you can simply pull a filter out and clean it off when needed. Then, you can do an in-depth cleaning once per year to make sure your unit is clean and functioning properly.

When it comes to a ducted system, you have to worry about a complex duct system you probably won’t be able to thoroughly clean on your own. This can cause health concerns if you neglect it, and it requires a professional ducted air conditioning service to fully clean or otherwise maintain it properly.

More Expensive:

If you have a four-room home, and you purchase separate window units for every room, even if you purchase fairly high-end units, you’ll spend less than you will by having a ducted system installed. With that being said, the added home value and overall longevity of a ducted system can help balance this out.

Is a Ducted System Worth it for Residential?

Whether or not a ducted system is worth it for your home depends on your budget, whether or not you intend to sell, and the climate in your area. If it’s extremely hot year-round, you will likely want to invest in a good ducted system rather than burning through window units for every room.

However, if you rarely used air conditioning, or you only need to cool a room or two, you can save a lot of money by sticking with simpler options.

Is a Ducted System Worth it for Commercial Businesses?

Ducted air conditioning is almost required for any commercial business. Having a bunch of window units or fans sitting around your professional environment turns customers off, and it’s inefficient.

This should be a serious consideration for any business, and it’s an investment you won’t regret.

How to Get Ducted Air Conditioning

If you’re interested in adding ducted air conditioning to your home or business, it’s not something you can install on your own.

You may need to have ducts added to the building, re-pathed, or tweaked to match your air conditioning needs, and simply installing the system can be far too much for any non-professional to do. Not to mention, there are laws against working with some of the chemicals involved without a license.

Instead, you should contact a professional air conditioning service to get a complete walkthrough on how it works, and they’ll help you find the right solution for you. Plus they can also advise on how to care for your system in between professional maintenance visits.

Mick Pacholli

Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

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