How to Zone Ducted Air Conditioning?

When Brisbane’s summer weather rolls around, many of us turn to our air conditioners to stay comfortable. Split systems are a common sight across the city, but more and more homes are investing in ducted air conditioning. Not only do ducted air conditioners look better, the right system will be energy efficient and cost effective year-round.

There’s no catch, but ducted air conditioning needs to be matched to your home and lifestyle. To give you an idea of what goes into the design process, we’ll be looking at how to zone ducted air conditioning and get more from your investment.

What is Ducted Air Conditioning?

Ducted air conditioning systems are a type of air conditioner that is capable of cooling your entire home. A ducted air conditioner uses a central cooling unit to distribute cool air through ductwork to every corner of your home.

With the central cooling systems hidden in the ceiling and outside your home, ducted air con is a great alternative to split systems. All you need is a small vent in each room, and a ducted air conditioning system can heat and cool the space as needed.

How to Zone Ducted Air Conditioning

Installing ducted air conditioning is a major investment. That means it’s important to get it right the first time. A professional air conditioning installer will need to design the system to meet your needs, your home’s layout and your budget. The right design will reduce your running costs and it means you’ll have years of trouble-free cooling.

When creating zones for your ducted air conditioning, your installer will consider:

  • Your home’s layout
  • How and when rooms are used
  • Windows and natural light
  • Passive heating and cooling
  • Connected areas like kitchens and dining rooms
  • Central zones that are always supplied air when the system is running

    How Do Ducted Air Conditioning Zones Work?

    Ducted air conditioners circulate cool air throughout your home using ductwork installed in the ceiling or under the floor. This ductwork has a series of valves – known as zone dampers – that direct the air where you want it to go. You’ll be able to use a remote control, tablet or smartphone app to select which zones you want to cool.

    Once you make your selection, the system opens the dampers and delivers cool air to the zones you’re using.

    Can You Add Zones to an Existing Ducted Air Conditioner?

    Yes! It’s often possible to add extra zones to an existing ducted air conditioner. Adding new zones isn’t always simple, so it’s better to invest in a system that has all the zones you want the first time around. If you do want to upgrade your ducted air conditioning then there are two things to consider:

    1. Air conditioning output. All air conditioners are rated to a maximum cooling capacity. If you want to add a new zone to your system, you’ll need to make sure the air conditioner is rated to handle the extra load. You may need to upgrade the central cooling unit if it’s not rated for an additional space.

    2. Maximum number of zones. Ducted air conditioners are limited on how many zones they can operate at once. You won’t be able to add a new zone if you’re already at your maximum, so you may need to upgrade the central cooling unit.

    It’s also possible to add zones to existing ductwork. For example, if you have a ducted system that cools your entire home without zoning, you may be able to add dampers to the ductwork and create zones. You’ll need to talk to your air conditioning technician to find out whether this is possible for your home.

    How Many Zones For Ducted Air Conditioning

    The number of zones required for ducted air conditioning depends on many contributing factors such as size and height of the room or area. The layout of your home relative to the sun such as North or West facing homes will also factor into the importance of specific zones. Modern ducted air conditioning systems have multiple zones, which can control operation and temperatures in different areas of your home or commercial air conditioning. 

    For larger commercial buildings or second or multi-story houses, it’s more efficient and effective to have separate zones for each floor. Different areas can be cooled independently based on usage.

    Smaller homes or open floor plans require fewer zones. A single zone is enough to provide cooling throughout the open area. It is important to consult with a professional air conditioning installer who can assess the specific needs of the building and recommend the appropriate number of zones for optimal comfort and efficiency.

    Table for Zones Per Room


    Amount of Zones

    Room size Type of room
    1 < 12 sqm2 Small bedroom, study, laundry
    1 – 2 > 35 sqm2 Open Plan – Living, dining, kitchen
    1 > 14sqm2 Kitchen
    1 12 – 16+ sqm2 Master Bedroom

    Using the above table, consider your needs and amount of rooms to calculate zoning for ducted air conditioning in your home.

    Individual Room Control For Ducted Air Conditioning

    Individual room control is a great feature for modern ducted air conditioning in homes and commercial buildings. By separating zones, you can control temperature and airflow in each respective room. Rooms that are not in use can be set to a higher or lower temperature or turned off completely which will improve efficiency. For example, when using an air conditioner whilst sleeping, this will then mean you can set the ducted air conditioning zone to only bedroom(s).

    Dampers control airflow to each zone, allowing for control over the percentage amount of cooling or heating delivered to specific rooms.

    Individual room control for ducted air conditioning offers significant energy savings. By only operating in occupied areas, energy consumption is reduced, resulting in lower relative power bills.

    Stay Cool this Summer with Ducted Air Conditioning by Technicool!

    There’s nothing quite like ducted air conditioning when it comes to Brisbane’s summers! Capable of cooling every corner of your home, a ducted air conditioner is always there when you need relief.

    To ensure you get the most from your investment, it pays to invest in a professional installation by Technicool! We’re experienced air conditioning technicians working all over Brisbane. We specialise in the installation, maintenance and repair of ducted and split system air conditioners.

    Our team is happy to visit your home and design a ducted air conditioning system that meets your needs, budget and lifestyle. Contact us today if you’d like to book a consultation!

    Technicool Air Conditioning

    Artick License No: AU04080
    QBCC License No: 700698

    7/152 Bluestone Cct, Seventeen Mile Rocks QLD 4073