If you're involved in a significant renovation project at home, which may involve an extension or a sizeable upgrade to your energy and resource needs, then you will certainly be looking at your air conditioning system. You will see an array of choices in the marketplace, but will want to know not only what is more cost efficient for you, but what solution will meet your specific circumstances. Where do you start?
From a Big Picture Perspective
Your first major decision will involve a choice between ductless and ducted air conditioning units. The latter are more conventional and require a network of preconfigured ducts that are usually made from sheet metal and built in to the structure of your home behind its ceilings and walls. A ductless system is different insofar as it doesn't rely on those intrusive ducts to distribute all of the air. A number of different blowers will be configured throughout the space, in order to generate the cool air in each zone, rather than relying on a central A/C unit. These blowers (or handlers) can be mounted on a ceiling or a wall and will be linked to a single condensing unit that generates the refrigerant and distributes it through pipes.
Narrowing down Your Options
In order for you to make the right choice, you need to answer a few questions.
What type of environment do you live in? If you are expecting a considerable amount of humidity then the ducted system may be the better choice, as it can remove a lot more moisture from the air to the exterior.
If you already have a series of ducts within the building and they will remain, then it may make sense to keep them and just replace the centralised unit instead.
However, the space that you will add during your renovation may be self-contained to a certain extent and if so, you could generate the correct amount of capacity by simply adding a supplemental ductless system. In this case, you wouldn't have to replace everything in one go.
Also, if you live in the middle of a big city then you may not have the luxury of a lot of space. You might not be able to build outward sufficiently in order to accommodate all of that new ductwork and therefore ductless would be your best solution.
Other Questions to Ask
If you've got a relatively clean sheet of paper as far as planning is concerned, then you may be able to think of other factors. For example, if dust is a big health issue then you may like to consider ductless as you can avoid the accumulation of dust within those channels and the consequent allergen buildup.
You may also have very specific needs when it comes to individual rooms within your revised property. In short, you may need to create different heating or cooling zones for one room or another and ductless systems can certainly help you to achieve your goals more effectively.
Making the Decision
When you are weighing up your options, make sure that you take every element into consideration and have a word with your supplier to see which system will meet your needs.