If you've never had central air in your home but are now thinking about having it installed, you probably have some questions about how this cooling system works. Central air is the layman's term for ducted AC, and it operates through a system of ducts that are installed in your home by a certified contractor. To help you understand all the ins and out of ducted air, here are the important things you need to know about this system.

Ducts Explained -- Ducts are ventilation devices that are either round or rectangular that are similar to pipes, but have a larger circumference. They are made from fiberglass, polyurethane, steel or aluminum to help prevent ruptures that lead to leaks. Most contractors install ductwork in your walls or in some cases, under your floor. Ducts installed in your walls are hidden from view by plasterboard, but in some commercial establishments, exposed ducts have become an aesthetic choice. Ducts conduct the flow or cold and hot air from an outdoor condenser into the vents of your home. A thermostat mounted on your wall lets you control the temperature in your house by regulating when the outdoor condenser turns on and off.

Zone Options -- Most standard ducted AC units only offer you single zone cooling. What this means is that every room in your home that has a vent will cool at the same temperature, which may not be efficient if there are areas in your home that are not used very often. To resolve this issue, you can install a ducted system that has zone options. A zone ducted AC system lets you program your thermostat for different 'zones' or rooms in your home that have cooling vents. So for example, with a zone AC you can set a different temperature for your bedroom and for your study depending on your needs. If the study isn't used often, you can set the thermostat high so that the air only comes in when that room gets very hot. Zone AC helps make your cooling system more efficient, which can also reduce your energy bill.

Maximize Your Ducted AC Efficiency -- When you install a ducted AC system, there are several steps you can take to increase the cooling efficiency. Insulate your home to ensure that all doors and windows are sealed against any air leaks that could force your AC to work harder. You can also tint your windows to reduce the amount of light, glare and heat that enters your home, and you can make sure you change your air filter every six months so that dirt and debris don't make it more difficult for air to reach your rooms.

For more information or to install ducted air conditioning in your home, talk with local HVAC contractors, like those at Kintore Airconditioning.