With the summer almost over and cool season rebooting, it’s time for home owners to ensure their home heating still meets the mark. After all, when in comes to keeping the missus and kids warm and comfy, there should be no compromise.
Home Heating Systems – Ducted Gas vs Reverse Cycle
When it comes to home heating, there are a few options you can explore. If you already have a home heating installed, you may still want to read this post to decide if you would like to switch or upgrade to a heating method that may be more ideal for your home.
Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning
Reverse cycle air conditioning comes in two forms. Ducted Reverse Cycle and Split System Reverse Cycle. Both are capable of producing cold and warm air – hence the name “Reverse Cycle”.
Reverse Cycle air conditioning is a popular choice that many home owners go for. This is because it is a convenient all in one system that delivers both cooling and heating. You do not need to invest into purchasing a separate heating system.
A downside to reverse cycle air conditioning is that the running costs could get quite costly. Of course, this would depend on your usage pattern. Some home owners get by with a few hours of air conditioning a day, while others like to blast their air conditioning and heating throughout the day. Excessive usage could lead to sky high power bills as a result of reverse cycle air conditioner usage.
Having said that, reverse cycle air conditioning in recent years have become a lot more efficient than the older models. Most recent models come with a highly efficient inverter technology, that scales down the power modes when the heating and cooling requirements of a room is met. This significantly reduces the amount of power consumed, as opposed to having the air conditioner run in high power mode constantly.
With moderate usage, and a reverse cycle air conditioner with a high energy star rating, one could be quite satisfied with the heating and cooling solution it provides. Reverse cycle air conditioning is still viewed as the system that provides the highest level of comfort for a home.
Ducted Gas Heating
This form of home heating only does heating. It does not produce cold air. Hence it cannot be used as an cold air conditioner during summer. You will need to invest in a separate air conditioning system to complement Ducted Gas Heating.
Ducted gas heating does have it’s unique benefits though. Gas is still much cheaper than electricity and a gas heating solution during winter runs far cheaper than a reverse cycle air conditioner.
For this reason, many home owners choose to install reverse cycle air conditioning or evaporative cooling, and complement it with a ducted gas heating system.
Braemar is one the top ducted gas heating brands which boasts a high 7-star efficiency rating. You could save a considerable amount of spending on your power bill during the cold months by swapping to a ducted gas heating solution for your home. A nice benefit is that a ducted gas heating system can use the same set of ducts and air vents that a ducted reverse cycle air conditioner or evaporative cooling system uses. That means, you only need to install one set of ducts – and use it for both your heating and cooling system.
In terms of heating, a ducted gas heating system provides the best heating performance vs other systems. It generate warm air that is truly comfortable and can quickly heat up a cold home in winter. It also covers the entire home, whereas a wood heater or wall furnace can only heat up a small area.
For overall heating comfort, especially for larger homes, ducted gas heating would be an ideal heating choice.
Wall Furnaces & Wood Heaters
A wall furnace or wood heater is a combustion system that burns gas in order to produce heat. It is a stand alone system that is attached to a wall and can generate warm air rapidly. However, it’s coverage is limited to a small space around the heater, or a small room. Since it is a stand alone system and does not distribute air through a duct system, it does not cover the entire home like ducted gas heating.
If you just want to heat up a small room or space, a wall furnace may be quite suitable. For instance, if you only want your dining area to be warm when entertaining guests, a wall furnace could be quite a cosy option.
So should you get Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning or Ducted Gas Heating for Winter?
It all depends on your personal preference, usage pattern and of course, your budget. Here are 2 combinations that are commonly adopted by home owners in Adelaide.
Of course, this is only for home owners who have the budget for it. You will need to invest in both a revere cycle air conditioner and a separate ducted gas heating system. You only need to install 1 set of ducts and air vents though.
This option gives the best of both worlds. During hot summer days, you can use the reverse cycle system to blow cold crisp air to cool your home. During winter, you can fall back on the ducted gas heating system for some truly cosy home heating – safe in the knowledge that gas heating costs less to run than the electrical powered reverse cycle system.
Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning Only
This is perhaps the most popular option as it makes sense. You also save upfront cost as you do not need to invest in a seperate system for heating. Since the reverse cycle air conditioner can cool and warm a home, you can use it like an all in one system to keep your home comfy during both winter and summer.
This is the option with the lowest initial cost but may not be the option with the lowest running.
Evaporative Cooling only cools while Ducted Gas Heating only heats. This make them a perfect complement for each other. And that’s the combination that many home owners choose.
Evaporative cooling producing better quality cool air that is produced through the process of evaporation. This air has a higher moisture content, is easier to breathe and more comfortable on the skin. You can run your evaporative cooling with your door and windows open, creating a very natural cool atmosphere in your home.
Evaporative cooling is also by far the cheapest air conditioning to run. Since it does not use the refrigeration process, it consumes only up to 1/10th the power that a reverse cycle air conditioner consumes. You could blast an evaporative cooling system the entire day and still not spend as much as you would on a reverse cycle.
The downside to evaporative cooling is that the air is not as crisp and cold as that produced by a refrigerated air conditioner. Still, you would be able to achieve temperatures between 18°-24° on an average day. Which is good enough for most. However, one hot summer days during the heatwaves, it may fall a little short in terms of comfort levels.
An evaporative cooling coupled with ducted gas heating may cost more upfront, but the long term running cost is definitely the lowest. You will be spending far less in consumption in both winter and summer. And throughout the year. The downside to this combination is that you would need to service and maintain 2 systems, instead of one.
So as you can see, there are strong benefits and also downsides to each combination mentioned above. If you are in Adelaide, South Australia, contact Jim’s Heating and Cooling at 1300 113 516 or visit our website at https://www.jimsheatingcooling.com.au. Send us your floor plans and we will advise the best home heating and cooling option for your home.