People residing in older homes often confront a unique challenge. While planning to install a centralized air conditioning system, the ductwork poses a hindrance. In old buildings, there’s no easy way to install the ductwork. To help you with these problems, the experts have come up with viable solutions. You can always reach out to an experienced air conditioning services provider for professional support.

However, you need to have some understanding of how the ducts work with your cooling systems. Even if you do not have ductwork in your home, you can enjoy the benefits of a central air conditioner.

How Do Ductwork And Cooling Systems Work?

Homes without ductwork don’t have adequate ventilation through which the airflow can be distributed through the interiors. Therefore, if your house does not have ductwork, there would be no default ventilation structures through which the air would travel from one room to the other.

Thus, the presence of ductwork ensures adequate airflow. There is a series of channels in a ductwork system that distribute the air in different directions. However, when the ducts are absent, you need to opt for an alternative.

Challenges Of Installing The Ductwork And Equipment

While some homes come with central heating systems, they are present in the form of radiators and boilers. These are traditional systems of airflow distribution that do not involve any sort of ductwork.

Now, the width of traditional ductwork ranges between six to twelve inches. Placing the system is a huge problem for homeowners. This implies that you need to tear open the walls to create room for additional soffits. As well, you would try to hide the ducts behind the ceilings and walls. This involves high costs, as you need to alter the room’s architecture.

The equipment itself proves to be problematic at times, as it may be difficult to make room to facilitate its placement. Considering the size of the home and other objects, the equipment can be pretty large. For example, it’s difficult to install ductwork in certain rowhomes, as the walls are not too thick.

A New Alternative: Central Air Conditioner Without Ductwork

Ever wonder about installing central air in a house without ducts?

In the past, homeowners did not have any other option than to deploy wall or window air conditioners as their room units in the absence of ductwork. Alternatively, they had to tear the walls and install the duct system.

However, you have a new alternative now to enjoy the benefits of an air conditioner for a house with no ductwork. These are known as “mini-split” or ductless split-system central ACs. This system does not have a single handler for the central air with ducts that run into all the rooms. Instead, the mechanism involves several fan-coil units that remain connected to a single outdoor unit with refrigerant pipes.

Benefits of Ductless Central Air Conditioning

With this system, you can combine the flexibility of zoning with the room units. This implies that you would be able to cool down each room separately. Therefore, the entire house would have the same ability as a centralized cooling system.

The indoor unit of a fan-coil is smaller compared to a standard window AC unit. Besides, it is more silent since the compressor is present outdoors. You can mount the fan-coil on a wall or suspend it from your ceiling. Some of the manufacturers have also come up with remote-controlled systems. As a result, you can mount the system on the ceiling or a high wall.

Therefore, ductless central air conditioning has proven to be a viable solution for homes where you do not have any ductwork. It also serves as a practical solution for additions to the present system when extending the mechanism is not practical.

Cost And Efficiency Of Ductless Central Air Conditioning

Here’s what you need to know about installing central air in a house without ducts.

The SEER ratings for ductless central air conditioning systems are between 18 and 19. This is equivalent to the ducted central air conditioning systems with the highest efficiency. Specific households also go for variable speed high-efficiency fans. Alternatively, you can opt for heat pump versions, capable of providing both space heating and air conditioning.

Presently, the initial expense would be around double that of traditional units that are installed on windows. Compared to a standard central system, it would be around 30% higher. However, factoring the new ductwork into your cost, the ductless system would prove to be an economical alternative for homeowners.

How Effective Are High-Velocity Systems?

In case you are looking for a retrofit solution for your AC at your home, you can go for a high-velocity air conditioning system. Regardless of how old your home is, you can install this mechanism. It comes with flexible ducts, with a thickness of 2 inches. These are engineered and designed to fit into the present framework.

Therefore, you need not deal with large and unsightly ducts. You can seamlessly install the compact air handler in your basement, attic, closets, and crawl spaces. This means that the design will easily fit into any sort of construction.

With these high-velocity systems, you can retain the charm and architectural integrity of your property.

No matter which system you opt for, it is crucial to maintain them regularly. Occasional professional maintenance will help your system last longer.


Installing central air in a house without ducts will involve certain modifications. If you are looking for an alternative to these disruptive processes, you can go for a mini-split or high-velocity system. This makes the process easier and much more cost-effective.

Before opting for these solutions, you might consult the experts for their opinions. Based on your requirements, they will provide you with the right solution to balance comfort and cost-effectiveness when adding central air to a house without ducts.