Installing and Maintaining an HVAC System

Installing and Maintaining an HVAC System

Are Floor-Mounted Air Conditioning Ducts Right For Your Home?

Aaron Kennedy

If you need to keep your home comfortably cool during the hot summer months, there are a wide variety of air conditioning systems and configurations available to you. Ducted air conditioning systems are some of the most powerful and energy-efficient systems on the market today and are ideal for cooling homes both large and small.

However, finding space to install bulky ducting lines and air conditioner components inside your home can be a challenge, especially if you live in an older building or apartment. Conventional wall- and ceiling-mounted air conditioning ducts may not to a feasible solution in these homes, so many homeowners choose ducted air conditioning systems fitted with floor-mounted cooling ducts.

Choosing floor-mounted air conditioning ducts can be an elegant solution to your home air conditioning problems, but while there are advantages to choosing floor-mounted ducting, there are also some disadvantages you should be aware of.

What are the advantages of choosing floor-mounted air conditioning ducts for your home?

Fewer Space Constraints

Most ducted air conditioning systems installed in residential properties have ducting that is hidden inside wall cavities, drop ceilings and attic spaces. However, these conventional ducting configurations can be unsuitable for a variety of reasons — privately owned apartments in larger buildings may lack suitable wall and ceiling cavities for duct installation, while architectural features such as exposed roof beams can also prevent duct installation.

Floor-mounted air conditioning ducts are much more versatile when it comes to placement, and even the smallest, oldest homes usually have an appreciable amount of underfloor space suitable for ducting installation. Floor ducts can be especially useful in older rural homes with spacious crawlspaces and larger family homes with plenty of unused basement space

Floor-mounted air conditioning ducts are even a viable solution if your home has a solid concrete slab foundation. Ducting can be installed in specially created hollows carved into the slab itself. Sub-slab ducting is also available — this type of floor ducting requires significantly less modification of your home's foundations, but it also costs more to install.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Most ducted air conditioning systems are already highly efficient, but fitting them alongside floor-mounted ductwork can increase their efficiency even further. Unlike ceiling-mounted ducts, which are often left exposed and poorly insulated, floor-mounted ductwork benefits from the insulating properties of the floorboards, foundations and floor insulation that surround them.

Floor-mounted air conditioning ducts consequently suffer from significantly less unwanted heat exchange than exposed ceiling-mounted ducts and are able to maintain cooler internal temperatures without additional energy usage. 

What are the disadvantages of choosing floor-mounted air conditioning ducts for your home?

Slower Room Cooling

As cold air from an air conditioning duct enters a room, it gradually sinks to the floor, forcing hot air upwards and outwards as it cools your room.

However, the cold air that emanates from a floor-mounted duct is already close to ground level and will not displace hot air as quickly or efficiently as cold air coming from a wall or ceiling-mounted duct. This can make floor-mounted ducts unsuitable for cooling larger rooms or west-facing rooms that tend to heat up quickly.

Maintenance Issues

All air conditioning ducts require maintenance and cleaning from time to time; unfortunately, choosing floor-mounted ductwork can make these essential maintenance tasks more challenging. Accessing sub-slab floor-mounted ductwork for cleaning or repairs can be particularly challenging and may lead to significantly higher professional maintenance costs.


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About Me
Installing and Maintaining an HVAC System

Hello there, welcome to my blog. My name is Andrew and this blog is going to be about how to install and maintain HVAC systems. When I purchased a new office space in downtown Perth, I didn't have the first idea about HVAC systems. I knew that I would need one, as I couldn't expect my staff to work away in the heat of an Australian summer without any air conditioning. I contacted an HVAC contractor who advised me on the best type of system to install. He also gave me some top tips on how I could keep the HVAC system in good condition.