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Air conditioning comes in various forms, sizes, and styles. While many can achieve a similar result, fundamental functional differences make each major form more suitable for certain environments than others. When choosing air conditioning, other key factors to consider include affordability, energy use, purpose, and convenience.

With so many alternatives on the market, it can be hard to navigate and select the right style. Further, it can also be difficult to decide between a single heating/cooling solution and an all-in-one system. If you are about to invest in new AC but don’t quite know where to start, we are here to help. Read on for a breakdown of each style.

Reverse Cycle

This effectively refers to air conditioning with the capacity to deliver both heating and cooling. In some cases, you may hear reverse cycle air conditioning referred to as a ‘heat pump’. Essentially, these systems work through a combination of inbuilt refrigeration and filters to transform cool to warm air or vice versa.

Since growing details have surfaced about the safety concerns of gas heaters, more and more are turning to reverse cycle technology. Not only does this offer a safer substitute, but also greater energy efficiency.

Reverse cycle air-con comes in two major forms – split system or ducted. Let’s break down each in detail.

Split Systems

Perhaps the most popular form of air conditioning on the market, split systems are ideal for personal, residential, and commercial use. Evident in its name, split systems have the ability to instantly switch between heating and cooling functionality. Through a simple remote control device, users can adjust the temperature to meet their precise level of comfort.

A split system is most appropriate for smaller interior spaces, as they primarily provide localized coverage. For example, a wall-mounted unit is a perfect option for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining areas. If you are looking for whole-house heating and cooling, consider other alternatives. However, if you need an easy solution for a single room, these adaptive systems are ideal.

Ducted Heating and Cooling

Ducted networks are a highly effective method of larger-scale heating and cooling. A ducted system is typically installed above the ceiling or below the floor. While the prevalence of home installation continues to grow, ducted networks are also found everywhere from offices to shopping centers, municipal buildings, and industrial warehouses.

As ducted air conditioning is larger than a split system, they typically result in high energy costs. However, if you reside or operate in climates with extreme weather, the benefits can far outweigh the downsides. Modern ducted systems have also adapted to be more eco-friendly than ever before, minimizing energy use/output where possible. Temperature can also be easily adjusted via a centralized thermostat.

Evaporative Cooling

Sometimes dubbed the most natural form of air conditioning on the market, evaporative units utilize a unique cooling method. These mounted or mobile units draw in air from the outdoors and filter it through water pads. Unlike its counterparts, artificial air does not need to be created. The final result is a flow of cool refreshing relief that blasts from the evaporative cooler into your home.

An evaporative air conditioner comes in two major forms, either a mobile unit that you can move around or a system installed on the roof or window of the property. Both are ideally suited to the warm summer months and can even be placed in outdoor living areas. If you’re searching for a more eco-friendly alternative, evaporative air con could be the perfect path.

Consider Your Spatial Requirements

Obviously, the type of property you own or run will play a major role in this decision. Air conditioning, regardless of its form, should directly match the unique needs of the house/business. For instance, if you only require heating and cooling for a couple of rooms, there is probably no need to invest in a full-scale ducted network. Alternatively, multiple split systems in the same house can seriously run up the energy costs.

The dimensions and features of your property also play a role. Without the necessary ceiling or underfloor space, a ducted air conditioner is simply not possible. Despite this, there are countless options and HVAC professionals can work with you to find the best AC solution.


Like any addition to a home or business, affordability is always worth consideration. It should be said here, however, that air conditioning has become noticeably more affordable in recent years. Across Australia, countless HVAC companies also offer great deals for installation and maintenance. This means that the costs don’t get out of hand as the years go on.

Another aspect of affordability lies in greater energy efficiency. Modern advancements and innovations have significantly lowered the daily energy use required for air conditioning systems. This becomes particularly clear when compared to older forms of heating and cooling that drain energy and run up your utility bills.

Adapt to Your Climate

Climate plays a huge role in determining the form of air conditioning you need. For tropical environments, you may not need a system with heating capacity at all, whereas regions with a bitter chill in winter can require whole-house heating to keep out the persistent cold. Essentially, what you will need to consider here is the frequency and likelihood of use. It is vital that you cover this aspect prior to purchase.

Get a Personalised Solution from a Heating and Cooling Provider

One of the best paths to finding premium air conditioning lies in enlisting the help of heating and cooling experts. Some HVAC companies have in-house engineers that can tailor personalized solutions for your property, seasonal requirements, and budget.

The last thing you want to do is move too quickly and purchase the wrong air conditioning. Through professional services of this type, you’ll never waste money on energy bills from unused AC. A reputable heating and cooling company will also provide a free quote prior to any installation services.