Ducted air conditioning is a highly effective and convenient way to heat or cool a home or building, allowing occupants to achieve the perfect temperature, every time. However, like any other type of cooling system, ducted air conditioners can experience problems that affect their performance and efficiency.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most common problems with ducted air conditioners. From problems with air flow to issues with thermostat settings and maintenance, we will explore the various challenges that can arise with ducted air conditioning systems. We will also provide some tips on how to troubleshoot common problems with ducted air conditioners and keep your system running smoothly and efficiently, ensuring that you stay cool and comfortable in your home all year round.

common problems with ducted air conditioners

What is a ducted AC system?

Ducted AC systems are the ‘whole home’ air condition solution and are capable of controlling the temperature and humidity in every room of the house. A ducted AC system works through its internal unit, which is installed within the roof space of the home.

A series of ducts run from the AC unit to each of the rooms in the home, allowing you to cool or heat each room using individual controls.

Ducted systems are the fastest working, most energy-efficient option when it comes to cooling and heating your home, but do you ever need to replace the ducts?

Busting the Myths About Ducted Air Conditioners

When it comes to ducted air con, it can be easy to get carried away with myths and assumptions.

Family and friends will always have the advice to offer, but what really matters is getting the right system working in your home.

There’s a lot of assumptions behind ducted air-conditioning, but finding the truth can save you money and keep your home at the perfect temperature all year long.

So let’s take a look at some common myths about ducted air conditioners so you can make the best decision for yourself.

Bigger Systems Are Better

When it comes to ducted AC systems, bigger is not necessarily better. A system that is too large for your home will not only cost you a lot more money to run, but could be overkill.

Another downfall of a system that is too large is that it may compromise the functioning of the thermostat, which should be optimised to switch on and off when needed.

A bigger system will cause a shorter cycle, increasing wear on the unit. It’s important to talk to a specialist, as they can take appropriate measurements to find the size most suited for your home.

Ducted Air Conditioners Use a lot of Energy

There’s no way around it, all air con units use energy, however, modern manufacturers realise that consumers desire efficiency to save on bills and reduce their environmental impact.

Companies are constantly developing new technology that increases the efficiency and performance of their ducted systems. If your system is starting to get old, you might be amazed at the energy you could save by installing a new system for your commercial or residential property. .

Setting AC on Max Cools the Room Faster

Admit it, you’ve tried this one. Maybe it was that 40-degree day last summer and your first thought was to crank your air con system to the max.

What you probably didn’t know is that ducted air conditioners cool at the same rate, regardless of the thermostat setting.

If you set the temperature lower, it will just keep working until it reaches the desired temperature, which might be too cold and will end up costing you unnecessary amounts of energy.

Instead, consider investing in a smart thermostat with a timer, which can set your house to a comfortable temperature before you get home.

Ducted Systems Are Inefficient Because of Leaks

People assume that because ductless systems do not have ductwork, they are more efficient as there is no chance that air leaks can compromise the system.

This myth is only based on poorly installed or maintained ducted air con systems, and in fact, ducted systems are far more efficient at maintaining the temperature of a whole house.

5 common problems with ducted air conditioners

While ducted AC is one of the best options when it comes to heating and cooling, there are still some common problems with ducted air conditioners. Check out the five most common problems with ducted air conditioners.

Air loss

If the connections within the ductwork of a ducted system are not properly aligned, they can become loose.

This might allow warm or cool air to escape quickly. Not only will this issue cause air loss, but it can also bring harmful gases from the outdoors inside through the air con system.

If you start to notice uneven room temperatures throughout your home, as well as super high energy bills, your ducted unit may have a significant air loss problem. The great news is, it can be easily fixed.

Dirty ducts

If there are large or small gaps in the air ducts, impurities and debris can be sucked up through the ducts. An overload of such impurities can adversely affect the indoor air quality, which poses a risk of eye or nasal allergies.

If you have a ducted system, make sure you hire a professional to clean them before dirt builds up too much.

Restricted flow

Sometimes if an object gets lodged in an air duct, it can stop air from flowing through with ease. This may also be the case if a duct is crushed, torn or twisted due to some kind of external damage.

The biggest issue with the restricted flow is the effect it can have on your energy bills, as well as a decreased lifespan of the system. If you notice any damage or think something might be lodged, call a professional straight away.

Poor insulation

Insulation is not a major concern during the summer. However, heated air distributed through a ducted system during the winter months can lose a significant amount of energy to cold environments if there is little or poor-quality insulation.

To make air insulation more efficient, you should contact a professional technician such as HunterCON will help ensure that your air ducts work well, increasing efficiency.

Poor ductwork design

The poor-quality design of a ducted system may lead to massive inefficiencies. A ducted system that is too large for a small home or building will certainly lead to significant energy losses.

Conversely, a ducted system that is too small, will be forced to work much harder to distribute air and control room temperatures and will not be as effective.

It is essential that you choose highly qualified professionals when installing a ducted system to ensure that the design is of the highest quality.

When should you replace your ducts?

Over time, AC ducts are exposed to dust and moisture, which form due to condensation during operation. Over time dust, lint, grime and more can all build-up in your air-con ducts.

It is recommended that you have your ducts cleaned or replaced if your AC has been installed for over ten years. If you are installing a new ducted system, you should always choose to put in new ducts too.

Benefits of replacing your AC ducts

While it is important to clean your AC ducts regularly, sometimes replacing them altogether is the most viable option. There are a number of benefits of replacing your AC ducts, including:

Air Quality & Hygiene

Old air ducts can become clogged up with dirt and grime, dead carcasses of insects and other contaminations. This build-up can result in the growth of bacteria which can have an impact on the hygiene of your home and the health of your family.

Energy Efficiency

Clogged ducts can reduce airflow by up to 80% and forces your AC to work much harder, adding significantly to your energy bill. Replacing old ducting will work to save on running costs of your AC system all year.

Increasing the life of your AC

Clean ducting also has the added benefit of maximising the life of your air conditioner. Build up of contaminants and reduced airflow means that your AC system has to work much harder to perform the heating and cooling, which shortens the life cycle of any system.

At HunterCON we always recommend putting in new ducts with each new system installation.

Contact HunterCON today

HunterCON is a fully licensed specialists located in Sydney, servicing the greater metropolitan area, including the Eastern Suburbs, Lower North Shore and South West.

If you have any questions about ducted air conditioners or would like to book a quote for repairs, installation or maintenance, contact HunterCON today. With over nine years of experience, we pride ourselves on providing air-con and electrical services of the highest quality.