If you are considering purchasing an air conditioner for your home in Sydney, you might have realised there are thousands of choices when it comes to air conditioners. Primarily you will be choosing between two main categories: split-system or ducted air conditioning. Within both of those categories there are differences that you will have to consider. Before we outline the features and benefits of different air-conditioning technology, there are a few terms that you will come across in both ducted and split-system models:
In both ducted and split-system air conditioners reverse-cycle simply means that the air conditioners offer both cooling and heating functions, not just cooling. Air-conditioners cool rooms by pulling warm air from the room, cooling the air and blowing it back into the room, while releasing the heat through the outdoor unit. To warm a room, reverse-cycle air conditioners just reverse this process, pulling in warm air from outside (even in extremely cold outdoor temperatures there’s still heat energy that can be pulled in). Reverse-cycle air conditioners are actually remarkably efficient heaters, and are generally more economical than gas or electric heaters
Whether you buy a ducted or split-system air conditioner for your home or business in Sydney you will probably see the term ‘inverter’ mentioned on a lot of models. Inverter air conditioners are able to vary the speed of the compressor (which is a part in the box unit that usually sits outside the house) depending on how much power the air conditioner needs. For example, an inverter system that normally runs at 10kW might be able to run at 12kW when first switched on during a hot day to cool your house down quickly, then once the desired temperature has been reached it might stay on, but using much less power – perhaps 3kW.
A non-inverter model can only run at full power or be off, so a 10kW non-inverter system would run at 10kW while cooling your house down initially, switch off when the desired temperature was reached and automatically switch back on when it needed to start cooling again. Switching the compressor on and off uses a lot of energy, and creates more wear, so it is usually more expensive to run a non-inverter air conditioner.
Whether you opt for ducted or split system air-conditioning you’ll get an outdoor unit. This is a box attached to the outside of the building, it contains the compressor, propeller fan, circuit board and heat exchange coil. It’s situated outside, and pumps refrigerant to and from its companion indoor unit. You may also find this outdoor box referred to as the ‘condenser’, ’heat exchanger’ or simply the ‘compressor’.
Ducted air conditioning is the ultimate cool comfort in summer, and cosy warmth in winter. A ducted system can maintain ideal temperatures throughout your whole house or business in Sydney, and cover much larger areas than other air conditioning technology. A ducted system usually comprises an outdoor unit and a central indoor unit that connects to multiple vents or ducts throughout your building, usually in the ceiling but occasionally in walls or under the floor. Duct grills come in a range of styles, and can be seamlessly integrated into almost any interior. It’s also the quietest air conditioning technology so it’s ideal for bedrooms or boardrooms where you don’t want any distractions.
Ducted systems can be set up to create different temperature ‘zones’, so for example you could choose to have a kitchen where multiple people are cooking (creating heat) cooled more than a bedroom with a single person who is trying to sleep. They have advanced sensors and air distribution ducts that make sure air is distributed evenly throughout each zone, so there aren’t hot or cold pockets in a room.
Our team in Sydney supply and install a wide range of ducted aircon units suitable for both homes and businesses.
The name split system comes from the air conditioner being split into the indoor unit (with a fan, remote receiver etc) and an outdoor unit (with the compressor, propellor fan etc). Some outdoor units can connect to multiple indoor units, and these systems are called multi-split or multi-head systems.
Split systems will mostly use inverter technology but not all do so it’s worth checking. Each indoor unit can usually only cool one room, although depending how powerful they are they may be able to cool large, open-plan rooms in some homes. They are the most popular choice of air-conditioner for homes in Australia. Generally they are cheaper than ducted but not quite as powerful or consistent.
If you’re unsure whether to get an inverter or non-inverter air conditioner, our Sydney team can help you to choose the right model for your circumstances and budget.
Most portable air conditioners have a single duct that connects to a window to vent heat from the room, it draws air from the room and vents it outside. This results in an air pressure reduction which means more hot air is drawn into the room from other areas of the house. This means portable air conditioners have to work very hard to cool a room, are energy-inefficient, and therefore expensive to run. Most will not have an energy star rating because while they may cool down a person in part of a room, they will not cool the room effectively, and that is how the energy star ratings are measured. It is predominantly for these reasons that we don’t recommend or sell them.
Choosing the right air conditioner for your home or business in Sydney can be a complex process. There are many estimators available that will use general calculations such as a small room – up to 20m² – requiring 2-2.5kW of power, or a large room of 40–60m² needing 4-6kW, but these are a little simplistic. Room size is definitely one of the things that has the biggest impact on what type of air conditioning unit you’ll need, and what size it should be, but you need to consider more than just the floor size. The height of your walls will affect how it cools, the total volume of the room is more important than the floor space – a room with really high ceilings needs more energy to cool. You should also factor in:
You may be tempted to think that if you just get the most powerful air-conditioner available, or go for a higher model than an online estimator suggests that it will be a safe purchase, but that is not actually the case. An air conditioner that is too big is not just more costly to run than it needs to be, but it can also give you a worse quality of heating or cooling. It may not dehumidify or dry the air enough, the automatic systems may turn on and off so frequently that it causes damage, and it can also leave your room too hot or too cold. Similarly a unit that is too small for your room will have to work too hard, causing excessive wear and tear as well as huge power bills. Units that are too small can also dry your home’s air too much.
It’s always a good idea to seek a recommendation from an expert that can assess your property to find the best solution. The Globalrez team offers free quotes to residents of Sydney over the phone or online here.
In Sydney, there are many brands to choose from, and most of the big names make dozens of models, so it can seem impossible to compare between them. Mitsubishi, Haier, and Samsung on average are some of the most economical and environmentally friendly on the market. Mitsubishi is also often a favourite among consumer groups such as CHOICE, and Fujitsu is one of the most popular brands in air conditioning in Australia. ActronAir is well regarded as it is Australian-owned and their products are Australian-made, and Daikin – although it now has overseas ownership – still offers Australian-made air conditioners.
Most of these brands offer quality products, and it is a matter of watching out for any special sales or cash back offers to find the best value among them. Generally these companies will have similar models in similar price brackets, although you might have to be careful when looking out for particular features. For example, if you want an air conditioner that adjusts the temperature based on whether it senses people and movement you will have to look for different names with different brands – for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries it’s Eco Operation; for Haier it’s Eco-pilot; and for Daikin it’s Intelligent Eye.
You can expect to pay at least $1000 for a split system air conditioner, ranging up to closer to $4000 for multi-head systems. To get ducted you will probably be looking at $6000 minimum, but likely significantly more in larger properties. Obviously the initial cost is only part of the expense of owning an air conditioner, so it’s worth looking into the efficiency of the models you are considering. Comparing split systems is often relatively straight-forward using the energy star rating system, but because ducted systems will be different in every house you’ll have to ask an installer to get a better idea of the running cost for your home.
Most air conditioning manufacturers recommend regular servicing – twice a year, at the start of summer and the start of winter. Regular servicing and maintenance ensure your air conditioner runs at maximum efficiency, extending its lifetime as well as keeping operating costs at a minimum.
Regular servicing through Globalrez will also mean that your unit located in Sydney will qualify for the full warranty of up to ten years, rather than just the standard one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
A comprehensive service involves more than just cleaning filters, it’s a full service of all the indoor and outdoor components, as well as comprehensive testing to ensure all components are running at full capacity. A service includes duct cleaning – a cleaning of the supply and return air ducts and registers, grills and diffusers, heat exchangers, heating and cooling coils, fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing