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Cooling and Heating Air Conditioning choices for your Home

The domestic market is spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding what sort of climate control system to use in their homes. In fact, for many people there are actually too many choices, so this article will provide a quick overview of what’s available and when to use it.

While there are many different brands and sizes on the market, broadly your cooling options fall into one of three groups,

  • Split Systems – cooling only, reverse cycle, heat pumps
  • Ducted Refrigerated Units – reverse cycle units
  • Evaporative Cooling
  • Gas Heating Systems

Each of these units has their strengths and weaknesses, with the most critical factor in choosing a system being the area to be controlled and its use.

Split System

These systems typically have one or more small “head” units mounted inside, up on a wall and out of the way. The head unit acts as a fan to both circulate the air in the room as well as heat and cool. Coupled to this unit, is the larger companion unit outside which does much of the heating and cooling work.

Features of this type of unit are they are they are very discrete inside, take up little space, are quiet, tend to be pretty efficient to buy and run, come in range of sizes to suit the room and many units provide a dual heating option.

Split System units are typically used to heat or cool a specific area, one or two room – but not a whole house.

Evaporated Cooling

Evaporated cooling is very climate dependant, but is well used in Melbourne due to our lower humidity. Evaporated cooling works on the theory of drawing warm air though wet batts, which cools the air and then pumps it around your whole house using ducts in the ceiling. These systems are typically very economical to run and have the added advantage of drawing in fresh air into the house on a continual basis. This type of system actually requires you to have windows and doors open – so for those with children or animals, this can be a real plus.

The downside comments about evaporated cooling are normally about its performance on the really hot, humid days. Under these sorts of conditions the evaporated units can struggle a bit, but for those living in Melbourne this is normally only a handful of days each year.

A great economical system for cooling the whole house.

Ducted Refrigeration Unit

These units operate off a series of ducts which have been installed in the house, similar to those used in the Evaporated system and offering either a whole house or zoned area solution for your heating and cooling needs.

Considered to be the premier air-conditioning solution for a house, the Ducted Refrigeration units pump refrigerated air throughout the house. As this system relies on a refrigerated system to do the cooling, there is no impact if it hot and humid – with the refrigerated system designed to provide nice cool air whenever it is required. 

Given the more complex equipment, this system is the most expensive of the three options but for those who enjoy cool air in summer and warm air in winter, when they want it – and have it whole of home, then there is no better choice.

Gas Heating

Gas ducted heating systems have been around or years in Victoria Metropolitan area, largely due to the availability of Town Gas Supply at many of Melbourne households.

Gas ducted systems can be ducted to service the whole home at once for fast effective heating and come in a range of start rating capacities from the budget 3 star models right up the largest 7 star model for maximum energy efficiency.

Boasting small vents in either the floor or ceiling for each room, this is a discrete and space saving alternative, with the gas furnace unit located outside.

You can also with most systems upgrade your control and fan to be able to add on refrigerated cooling to get the best of gas and efficient heating and cooling environments in your home.

So if you are thinking about what system to use this season, start your homework early and get it installed before you need it so you beat the rush!