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What are the options in adding central air conditioning to a home that has no ductwork?

Question:

What are the options in adding central air conditioning to a home that has no ductwork?

Answer:

There are three basic options:

  • You can get a conventional central air conditioning system and have conventional ductwork run throughout the house.
  • You can also choose a high-velocity air conditioning system and have much smaller ductwork run (for more information about high-velocity systems, see Mini-Duct Air Distribution System). This type of system is often good for older homes where there aren’t many options for running large ducts.
  • You can install a ductless mini-split system. In this type of system, there is no ductwork. Instead, the refrigerant line, which is typically a very skinny copper line is run from the outdoor unit to each area of the house to be cooled. A small air handler—which looks like a small window air conditioning unit, but is mounted on a wall— in each area blows air over the refrigerant to cool the air.