Pros and Cons of Ducted and Ductless Air Conditioning Systems
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Pros and Cons of Ducted and Ductless Air Conditioning Systems

Building or renovating a home is full of exciting decisions – type of floor, paint colors, fixtures, and the list goes on. One decision that may not have the “wow” factor but will impact the comfort of your home for years to come is the heating and cooling system. When it comes to air conditioners, you have two major categories: ducted or ductless system.

In this article, we’ll share the pros and cons of each type of system to help you make the right decision for your needs and budget.

Ducted air conditioners

A ducted air conditioner is the traditional approach. It’s a centralized system that serves the entire house. The AC unit blows cool air through metal ducts to vents in various rooms. It can use the same ductwork as your furnace.


  • Save money by using existing ductwork – If your ducts are in good shape, you can lower your installation costs
  • Better air circulation – The centralized system promotes good air flow throughout the home
  • Humidity control – Central air conditioners are effective at removing excess moisture from the air, making the space more comfortable
  • More discreet – Ductwork is concealed behind walls or ceilings


  • Lack of zone cooling – In most cases, your entire home is set the same temperature
  • Can’t serve a separate structure – You’ll need a different system for an in-law suite or pool house
  • Can trap dust and allergens – Using a high-quality air filter can help, but it’s still a good idea to have your ducts cleaned periodically

Ductless air conditioners

Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners Heat Pump

Also called a mini-split air conditioner, a ductless system is designed to cool one specific room or zone. The unit has three main components – the outside condenser, inside blower/evaporator box, and a conduit that conducts the two through the wall.


  • Multiple cooling zones – By configuring mini-split units, you can cool rooms only in use, or can customize the temperature per room based on personal comfort
  • More energy efficient – The smaller units use less energy than a central system
  • Quieter – New technology makes ductless ACs whisper quiet
  • Fast, flexible installation – Units can be installed virtually anywhere


  • Unit visible in room – The ductless AC box is mounted on the wall
  • Less air movement – Since the AC is only serving one room, it can cause some  stagnant air and air pressure issues throughout the home
  • Each unit requires maintenance – Depending on how large your home is and how many units you install, the maintenance costs can add up

Choosing the right air conditioning system can seem complicated and overwhelming, but not when you work with Robert B. Payne, Inc. Our licensed technicians are available to answer all your questions and recommend the best cooling solution for your home.  Call us today a 540-373-5876 or send us a message today.

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