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The Big Summer A/C Showdown: Ducted Versus Ductless - Which One Is 1

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A new contender to the traditional air conditioner has shown up on the scene here in Canada and it is called the ductless A/C!

Ductless A/C is not a window unit air conditioner or central A/C. So what is it? And why is it becoming so popular?

If you are in the market for a new air conditioner, you may want to meet the new kid on the block. In this blog post, we put ducted and ductless head to head so you can decide which one is the right new air conditioner for you!

Meet the Champion: Ducted (Central) Air Conditioning

Cooling our indoor air took a giant leap forward around the turn of the century when a now-iconic figure in the field, a man named Willis Carrier, invented the first central air conditioning unit. In 1925, the new system debuted in his hometown of New York City in a local movie theater, and the rest, as they say, is icy-cool history.

Today, central air conditioners are still holding fast to their championship status since most homes already have ducts through which to distribute the cool air throughout the home, but now they are not the only choice.

Meet the Challenger: Ductless Air Conditioning

The ductless air conditioner, as its name suggests, can do all the heavy lifting of cooling your indoor air without any need for ducts!

This is a pretty remarkable evolution in the HVAC industry and means the window unit A/C, with its higher security risks and unpleasant acoustics, is no longer the only option if your space doesn’t have existing ductwork.

Ductless air conditioning is not actually that new. It is just fairly new to Canada. In fact, ductless A/C has been in use since the 1970s, but primarily in Asia where spaces are both smaller and more crowded and can’t readily accommodate ductwork.

Head to Head: Let’s See How Each HVAC Stacks Up

Both ducted and ductless air conditioners have plenty of benefits to offer, especially the new Energy Star-certified, high-efficiency systems that can quickly reduce your carbon footprint and your monthly energy bills.

So here, we aren’t looking to declare a single all-around winner, but rather to identify where one system excels over the other for particular applications.

We will do this by asking a series of questions.

Are you adding on to your existing space?

As DIY home renovation culture becomes a “thing” at the same time the Canadian housing market prices are skyrocketing, more of us are choosing to add on to our existing homes rather than sell, buy, and uproot.

But if you can’t or don’t want to route ductwork into your new addition, the ductless A/C is the clear first choice to cool your add-on.

The winner: Ductless A/C

Are you replacing your existing A/C and your home has ductwork?

If your home already has ductwork installed, by far the easiest solution to avoid any more invasive choices is to simply pop out the old A/C and put in the new.

The winner: Ducted A/C

Are you installing A/C for the first time in your space?

More Canadians are choosing to add air conditioning as global warming and climate change effects raise temperatures each summer. It is important for safety, health and, let’s be honest, comfort!

But unless your home is already ducted for heating, you probably won’t want to go to the trouble and expense of buying ductwork and installation as well as purchasing and installing air conditioning.

Here, ductless A/C is a clear win on every level.

The winner: Ductless A/C

Do you need both A/C and heat from your new unit?

A central A/C system requires both an A/C unit and a furnace unit. Ideally, these two appliances are purchased and installed together and both are made by the same manufacturer and are designed to work together.

Not surprisingly, this can represent a hefty investment, especially if you are installing or upgrading your ductwork too!

A better option might be a ductless mini-split system, which can easily provide both air conditioning and heating.

The winner: Ductless mini-split A/C

Do you need to trim your energy bill?

Of course we all love paying less for cooling and heating. But if you can choose either system, all else remaining equal, a ductless system is going to be more efficient and lower cost to run, especially if you opt for a ductless zoned system.

A typical ductless zoned system (either A/C only or mini-split for A/C and heat) allows you to control up to eight zones through a single compressor unit. Needless to say, this lets you direct cooling to just the rooms you are using and potentially trim big bucks off your bottom line.

The winner: Ductless A/C

Do You Need Help Choosing Ducted Versus Ductless A/C?

’Tis the season to ponder all things air conditioning – the steady stream of incoming calls to our office is proof!

But sometimes it is less clear which type of air conditioning system is the best choice.

In these situations, it can help to get a professional's input.

Get in Touch

Are you ready to add air conditioning or upgrade your existing A/C system? Give us a call!

Contact us online or give us a call at 905-549-4616.

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