Ducted Vs. Ductless HVAC Systems

Whether you are renovating your house or building your new dream home, you might be considering a ducted system ac system versus a ductless system.  


Both ducted and ductless heating and cooling systems come with their own merits and which kind of system is right for you ultimately is your decision.  


To help, our team at Integrity Home Solutions covers the basics of these two types of systems and the pros and cons of each! You can think of us as your ‘keep it cool’ experts (because we are). Let’s dive into the ducted or ductless unit discussion.  



Ducted HVAC Systems  


As you may have guessed from the name, a ducted air conditioning system provides heating or cooling by using a system of ducts that are spread through your home.  


A central unit made up of the condenser, compressor, and air handling unit usually located in the attic or garage. It creates hot or cool air that is then distributed throughout your space through a series of ducts and vents.  


Types of Ducted Air Conditioners 


Central air conditioning systems are another name for ducted systems. Split central air conditioners and packaged central air conditioners are two types into which they can be divided.


Split Central Air Conditioners  


These are the most common types of central air conditioning systems for residential applications. They consist of a condenser and compressor in an outdoor unit, and a separate evaporator inside, usually in the attic.  


The outdoor condensing unit provides refrigerant to the evaporator which then cools the air and pumps it through the network of ducts in your home.  


In many split-system air conditioners, the indoor unit also contains a furnace or the heat exchanger for a heat pump.  


Packaged Central Air Conditioners  


Mainly used in commercial space, a packaged central air conditioner includes all the components in one single unit. These systems can also be coupled with heating coils or furnaces to provide heating as well.  


Though less efficient, packaged AC systems  

don’t take up as much space inside your home.  


Pros and Cons of Ducted Systems 


Before choosing a ducted air conditioning system, consider the space that ductwork takes up. Central air ducts take up a significant amount of space in your home.  




  • Provide whole home heating and cooling 
  • Low profile look 
  • Quiet operation 
  • Flexible zones 
  • Can be less expensive to install if there is existing ductwork 




  • More expensive to install if no existing ductwork 
  • Some homes cannot accommodate ducts due to space constraints 
  • External units can be unsightly 
  • Mold, mildew, and dust can accumulate in the ductwork 
  • Energy costs can be quite high  

Ductless HVAC Systems  


Ductless AC systems do not require ductwork to move air throughout your house. Instead, ductless units blow cooled air directly into your space, making them highly efficient.  


Ductless air conditioners are made up of two main components: 


  • An outdoor unit 
  • An indoor handling unit with an evaporator coil and fan 


These systems are especially great for small spaces or homes that want to heat or cool one space at a time.  


Ductless Mini-Split AC Systems  


Though window and portable AC systems are considered ductless ACs, we are going to focus on ductless mini-split air conditioners.  


Wall-mounted mini-split air conditioners can be installed on any wall that has enough space outside for the outdoor compressor unit and can either be installed for single-zone or multi-zone use.  


We recommend installing ductless mini-splits as high  

up on a wall as possible for effective air circulation.  

Remember, cold air sinks!  


Ductless mini-split ACs provide the flexibility of zone control, allowing you to set the temperature of each room individually, allowing for greater energy efficiency.  


Mini-splits can also work as reversible heat pumps to warm your home in the cooler months. 


Considering a ductless mini-split? Call our team at Integrity Home Solutions to learn more; 813-473-6007! 


Pros and Cons of Ductless Systems  


Ducted systems have many benefits, but there are some cons too: 




  • Do not need ductwork so are more versatile 
  • Ideal for small spaces 
  • Easy to create multiple zones 
  • Higher efficiency 
  • Generally provide better air quality  




  • Require a unit to be placed on the wall in a room 
  • Can be more costly initially to install 
  • Unless zoned, they only provide heating and cooling in the room where they are installed  

Ducted Vs Ductless: Which is Better? 


Ultimately, the decision to choose either a ducted air conditioner or a ductless system is up to you and your specific home’s needs. HVAC systems are complex, and there are many considerations.  


Ask yourself: 


  • Are you installing the system in an already-built property?  
  • Are you building from scratch?  
  • What size is the space that you are heating/cooling?  
  • What is your budget? 
  • Do you want to have zonal control?  


These questions and more will help you decide which kind of system is right for you. But if you are still unsure, that’s what you have the pros like us for. You can trust our team to help maintain the integrity of your home. And the best part? We’re just a phone call away.  

Tampa Bay HVAC Solutions  


Whether you are building a new home and want to install a ducted HVAC system, or want to zone your house with ductless mini-splits, our experienced team at Integrity Home Solutions is here for all your heating and cooling needs.  


Call us today for a ducted or ductless air conditioning consultation today; 813-473-6007! 


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