When selecting an air conditioner to purchase for your Northern Beaches home, you will no doubt be faced with thousands of cooling and heating options. Primarily you will be choosing between two core categories: split-system or ducted air conditioning. Also for consideration are the many differences within each category. Knowing the key terminology, and the features and benefits associated with the many ducted and split system air conditioning options will help you with your decision:
Reverse cycle can be a feature of both split systems and ducted air conditioning units. The term simply indicates that the air conditioners can not only cool air, but also have heating functionality. Air-conditioners work to cool rooms by pulling warm air from the room, cooling that air, and propelling it back into the room, while discharging the heat through the external unit. To heat a room, reverse-cycle air conditioners simply reverse this process, pulling in warm air from outside (even in extremely cold outdoor temperatures there is still heat energy that can be pulled in). This style of air conditioner is very efficient as a heater and you will find it far more cost effective than traditional electric or gas heater options.
Whether you buy a ducted or split-system air conditioner for your home or business in Northern Beaches you will no doubt come across the term ‘inverter’ on a lot of models. The speed of the compressor (which is the external box unit) varies in an inverter air conditioner in accordance with the power needs of the unit. For example, an inverter system that normally runs at 10kW might be able to run at 12kW initially during a hot day to cool your house down rapidly, then once the chosen temperature has been reached it might stay on but using far less power – perhaps 3kW.
Whereas 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 once the chosen temperature was reached and then automatically switch back on again when it needed to recommence cooling. It takes a greater amount of energy with a unit that is switching on and off, and causes more wear and tear on the machine, both of which will increase your operating and maintenance costs, making non inverter systems a less cost-effective option.
An outdoor unit is a component of your air conditioner system regardless of whether you choose ducted or split system air conditioning. The outdoor unit is located on your external wall and contains the compressor, propeller fan, circuit board and heat exchange coil. It functions to pump refrigerant to and from its companion indoor unit. The outdoor unit is commonly also called the ‘condenser’, ’heat exchanger’ or simply the ‘compressor’.
For the ultimate in all year-round cooling and heating, ducted heating is hard to beat. Keeping you cool in summer and toasty warm in winter, a ducted system can preserve ideal temperatures throughout your entire Northern Beaches home or business. A ducted system traditionally includes an outdoor unit and a central indoor unit that hooks up to multiple vents or ducts throughout your building, allowing it the capacity to cover more expansive areas than other air conditioning technology. The outlet ducts are usually located in the ceiling but can also be located in your walls or under the floor. With a modern range of duct styles now available, they can be easily incorporated into your interior styling. Ducted cooling and heating technology is also the quietest option available, making it the perfect choice for bedrooms or boardrooms where you do not want any distractions.
With the ability to establish different temperature ‘zones’, ducted systems enable variable temperature settings throughout your home or workplace. 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. Ducted systems feature advanced sensors and air distribution ducts that ensure air is distributed evenly throughout each zone, hence eliminating the existence of hot or cold pockets in a room.
Contact our Northern Beaches team to learn more about our supply and installation 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). For larger spaces, you may install a multi-split or multi-head systems whereby one outdoor unit will connect with multiple indoor units. Most split systems will use inverter technology, but its worth checking this feature is included as it is not always the case. An indoor unit is designed to cool one room only, however depending on its power and how large the space is, it is possible for a single unit to cool a large open space in some homes. Available for a smaller upfront investment, split systems are a very popular choice for Australia homes, however they are generally less effective and less powerful than ducted systems.
Our Northern Beaches team are available to chat with you if you need help determining if an inverter or non-inverter air conditioner is the best option for your circumstances and budget.
Most portable air conditioners have a single duct that links to a window to expel heat from the room, it draws air from the room and vents it outside. This results in an air pressure decrease, meaning more hot air is pulled 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 primarily for these reasons that we don’t recommend or sell portable units.
With so much choice, how can you be sure to select the right air conditioner for your home or business in Northern Beaches? Use of an online estimator may be a great place to start. However, be aware that many online estimators 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, and these generalisations are a little too simplistic. To help accurately match a product type and size to your space, you need to factor in more than just floor size. Room size has the largest impact on how effective a unit will be at cooling your space, so be sure to factor in the height of your walls when calculating the total volume of your room. Other factors to consider include:
Selecting the most powerful air-conditioner available or opting for a higher model than an online estimator suggests does not necessarily result in finding the best fit for your needs. An air conditioner that is too large is not just more expensive to run than it needs to be, but it can also be detrimental to the quality of heating or cooling. It may not dehumidify or dry the air enough, the automatic systems may turn on and off so often that it results in damage, and it can also result in your room being too hot or too cold. Similarly, a unit that is too small for your room will have to work excessively hard, causing additional deterioration and higher 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 Northern Beaches over the phone or online here.
In Northern Beaches, 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 preferred choice among consumer groups such as CHOICE, and Fujitsu is one of the most well liked 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 excellent products, and it is a matter of watching out for any special sales or cash back offers to find the best price among them. Generally, these companies will have similar models in similar price brackets, although you might have to be vigilant when seeking particular features. For example, if you want an air conditioner that alters 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 considerably higher costs for larger properties. Obviously the purchase price is only part of the outlay 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 need to ask an installer to get a more accurate estimate of the running cost for your home.
Air conditioning manufacturers commonly recommend regular servicing – twice annually, at the start of summer and the start of winter. Regular servicing and maintenance safeguard your air conditioner and allows it to run at optimal efficiency, extending its lifetime as well as keeping running expenses to a minimum.
Regular servicing through Globalrez will also mean that your unit located in Northern Beaches 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 analysis to ensure all components are running at full capability. A service comprises 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.