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If you are planning to get a new air-conditioning system, you will probably find yourself asking, “To duct or not to duct?” Choosing between a ducted and ductless air-conditioning system can be a difficult decision because they both have their pros and cons. In order to make the right choice, you need to take your own needs and preferences into consideration. Follow this guide to find out if a ducted or ductless system is a better option for your Baltimore home.

Differences Between a Ducted and Ductless Air-Conditioning System

As its name suggests, a ducted air-conditioning system distributes cooled and heated air throughout your home via a network of ducts. Typically made of sheet metal, these ducts are installed behind the walls and above the ceilings of your home. They are usually designed to transport air from both your cooling and heating systems, carrying conditioned air from an air-handling unit or central furnace to vents and registers throughout your home.

Also called a ductless mini-split air-conditioning system, a ductless unit does not distribute air through ducts. Instead of having one central air-conditioning unit to produce conditioned air, it consists of multiple air handlers installed in different parts of your living space. An air handler can be mounted on a wall or installed inside a ceiling or wall. It blows cooled or heated air directly into a room or space. A ductless air-conditioning unit is not the same as having multiple window air-conditioning units, because it has a central condensing unit that delivers refrigerant to each air handler via conduit pipes.

When Is a Ducted Air-Conditioning System a Better Option?

Existing Ductwork

If the walls in your home already have ducts installed in them, it may be a good idea to make use of what you have and just replace your old ducted air-conditioning system with a new one. However, you have to make sure that the ducts are in good condition. It is easier, faster, and cheaper to install a ducted unit when you have existing ductwork.

Humid Environment

If the level of humidity in your home is high, a ducted air-conditioner may be a better choice, because it does a better job at controlling humidity. In comparison, a ductless air handler does not remove much moisture from the air.

Need for Better Airflow

If you want better air circulation in your home, you should get a ducted air-conditioning system. A ducted system will move air around your home to balance air pressure conditions, while a ductless unit is designed to cool different areas individually.

Lower Maintenance Costs

A ducted air-conditioning system is usually easier and less costly to maintain, because it consists of only one indoor air handler and one outdoor condensing unit. A ductless air-conditioner, on the other hand, has multiple air handlers that all require regular maintenance.

When Is a Ductless Air-Conditioning System a Better Choice?

Lack of Space

This is a common problem in Maryland, where there are many old or historic homes with no ductwork. Since these homes are not designed with ductwork installation in mind, there may not be sufficient space in the walls or ceilings to accommodate ductwork.

Dust Problem

If dust is a big concern in your home, it is better to opt for a ductless air-conditioning unit. Since it does not have ducts that accumulate dust and dirt, a ductless system does not spread as much dust throughout your home and contributes to better indoor air quality.

Multiple Zones with Different Requirements

If you prefer to have different cooling or heating requirements in different areas of your home, it is a good idea to get a ductless air-conditioner. You can control ductless air handlers individually to produce varying cooling or heating effects to suit the purposes of different rooms.

Whether you decide to get a ducted or ductless air-conditioning system, it is essential that you find a reputable HVAC service provider to configure and install the unit. If you want to purchase a high-quality HVAC system or schedule an installation, contact Griffith Energy Services at 888-474-3391.

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