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    What is ducted air conditioning?

    How do they work, and should you be installing a system in your home?

    Hannah | Oneflare

    Ducted air conditioning is one the most popular means of maintaining a desirable temperature in a home. The best part about ducted air conditioning is that it can be used for heating and cooling as well.

    Characteristics of a Ducted Air Conditioning System

    A ducted air conditioner consists of a main compressor to cool the air and a series of ducts that then distributes the cooled air through the house. For total convenience, you can also select a reverse-cycle ducted air conditioner capable of both cooling your home in summer and heating it in winter. The base unit is installed either on the roof, under the floor, or outside on a deck or concrete pad, depending on your home. The air conditioning system can also be fitted with energy efficient inverters that monitor the internal temperature and cycle on and off at the energy level needed to operate.

    Ducted air conditioning is a subtle option for keeping your home cool and comfortable / Source: Clear Finish Painting & Decorating

    Advantages of a Ducted Air Conditioning System

    Ducted air conditioning systems are suited for most buildings and have features that make them superior to other types of air conditioners. Primarily, a ducted system can keep your entire home at the same temperature. However, if energy efficiency is important to you and only need to keep parts of your house cool, you should consider a zoned system that can be programmed to operate in certain rooms at certain times. For example, you can cool the kitchen and living room during the day and the bedrooms at night. 

    Another advantage to ducted air conditioning systems is that they are hidden from view. The only part you see inside your house are the vents on the ceiling or the floor.  The units are either outside or on the roof. This means no more losing a closet to an old-fashioned water cooler or having an unsightly window unit spoiling the appearance of your house. 

    However, ducted air conditioning system are not an out of the box solution. The compressor, the air handler, the ductwork, and all the wiring must be sized and installed separately. Talk with a professional who can design and install the correct size of system for your home. Too large a system runs inefficiently and too small a system runs up your bills without giving you the cooling you want. This is not a do-it-yourself project. 

    Factors to consider before getting ducting air conditioning

    • Understand the energy star rating system – Every air conditioning system is given a star rating based on the balance between energy consumption and the ability to heat or a cool. In technical terms, this rating is known as Coefficient of Performance (COP) for heating systems and Energy Efficient Ratio (ERR) for cooling systems. When you start looking for an air conditioning system, this is the first thing you should take into account.
    • Choose the right capacity – Depending on the area of the room that needs to be cooled or heated, you must decide the capacity of an air conditioning system. The capacity is directly proportional to the amount of energy consumed by a system and is measured in kilowatts(KW). It is crucial that you choose the right capacity according to the size of a room. If you choose a lower capacity system for a large room, the cooling won’t be efficient and the energy consumption will be sky-high. Follow this equation to calculate the ideal capacity – for the living area, choose a system which consumes 125 watts per square metre of space while for the bedroom, 80 watts per square metre is ideal. Also consider the height of the ceiling and the insulation mechanism of a room; a room with a high ceiling and open doors or windows will need a system with higher capacity.

    How to increase the energy efficiency ofducted air conditioning?

    Even after choosing the perfect air conditioning system, there are a few steps that can you take to maximise energy efficiency. Firstly, insulate the room by using double glazed glass; this will ensure that the cool air doesn’t escape the room. Secondly, set your air conditioning at the right temperature; a difference of a single celsius can reduce energy expenditure by almost 15%.

    If you have a particularly large house, you can consider getting a zoned system, i.e. a system with separate motors in different parts of the house. This will lead to quicker and more efficient cooling, but it will also increase cooling expenses. To reduce expenses and save energy, ask your air conditioning experts about inverter technology. This form of technology adjusts a compressor’s speed according to the temperature of a room. This feature is very beneficial for people who live in areas with high temperatures where air conditioners are forced to work round the clock.

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