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Question DetailsAsked on 5/12/2017

What is better Ductless Air Conditioning or doing new ductwork and new a/c unit for a Florida home?

My ductwork in my rental house in FL is bad and needs to be replaced, holes will have to be cut in the ceiling in 4-5 places, due to not attic room to get to it, also the a/c unit is old and will eventually have to be replaced, don't know if I should have it redone or go with ductless A/C units?

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I presume you mean you own the house, and it is a rental unit - because if you are the renter this sort of work wouldnormally be3 paid for by the owner as part of routine periodic unit replacement, at his cost.

I would get bids both ways from Heating and A/C contractors (your Search the List csategory) for price comparison.

Ducted systems typically serve all occupied rooms, ductless (mini-split) systems generally only have fan/evapiorator units in 2-4 rooms in a house, so the ducted system commonly gives better uniformity of heating/cooling. Especially if going with heating - because a ducted system distributes the warm air at floor level so it diffuses through the room, whereas a heat pump ductless system releases it at near ceiling level (unless you have a very sophisticated system) so the heating is commonly complained about.

If your ducts are mostly exposed in basement or crawlspace, replacing them may or may not be cheaper if flex ducts (not that I am recommending them), likely signficantly more if rigid metal. Because you indicate access issues, a ductless system (assuming you are replacing A/C at same time) will probably come in cheaper.

You said "ductless A/c units" - usually for a normal size house a ductless system would be one unit, with pressurized refrigerant tubing going to several individual fan/evaporator coil units mounted high up on the wall in the primary rooms where cooling is desired. Multiple A/C units would be normally used only for large structure - or for a real cheap (though typically significantly shorter life) solution, with individual window-type air conditioners (which do not necessarily have to go in the windows). But they are noisy and generally a maintenance hassle, and if you get up to several or more their total cost is likelyk to meet or exceed that of a single unit - though occasionally is done because of lower power load capacity, interlocked so no more than one unit is starting at a time to limit the power draw - but that is rare and normally only in houses that only have 120V power, not 220/240V.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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