Australians have become so used to being in climate-controlled environments that we have begun to take heating and air-conditioning systems for granted. We expect that our homes, shops, offices, and other buildings are comfortable all year round. Keeping us cool in the summer months and toasty during those cold winter nights, our air conditioning and heating air conditioner systems work around the clock.

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems, or HVAC for short, have become an integral part of our daily lives, but do you know how these HVAC systems work? Most modern HVAC systems have three main components:

  1. Indoor & Outdoor Unit: These components contain the compressor which provides the cooling or heating effect & also the fan which pushes the air around the home.
  2. Duct & Fittings: This delivers air to different areas or zones in the home in case of a ducted-system.
  3. Thermostat: Allows you to set your desired temperature, the thermostat then sends signals to the unit to control the temperature in the home.

Whether you are renovating an existing home or office or building a new one, there are a few things that you should consider when trying to beat the freeze this winter!

 

Renovations

When you are renovating an existing home, you should always find out what kind of air conditioning and heating air conditioner systems exists in the house and then consult a professional to see what the best solution is for your home. We can check your existing system to see if its capacity is sufficient for your current and future needs and also how efficient the system is. Many older homes have power-hungry fixed speed compressors installed whereas modern air conditioners are inverters, which means they can speed up and slow down to save energy and your hip pocket.

If you have a ducted air conditioning and heating system, it’s worth checking to see if it is divided into zones or not, which simply means that individual rooms can be turn off when unoccupied to save energy. Many older homes simply have no zones at all or only two zones (living and beds). This means that you have to run all the bedrooms even if you only want to heat or cool one or two rooms. Modern zoning allows you to zone each room for more control and you can also add temperature sensors to your zones so everyone can set their comfortable temperature.

 

New Constructions

 

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When building a new home, it’s important first to make sure the home itself is ready for a ducted air conditioning and heating system, somethings to go through with your builder are:

  • Does the house have roof insulation under the tin/tiles?
  • Are the walls insulated?
  • Is the ceiling insulated? We recommend a minimum of R3.5 for ceiling insulation.
  • Is there adequate roof ventilation installed? Eg. whirlybirds

Once the above has been investigated, we then need to look at the efficiency of the air conditioner we are planning to install in the home. You should start by looking at the EER & COP; these figures indicate how efficient a system is in cooling (EER) & heating (COP). Also sometimes shown as AEER & ACOP, this differs from EER & COP as they also take into account standby power. The higher the EER or COP, the more efficient that model is when it’s running at it’s rated capacity. While EER & COP are a good place to start, you should also consider the minimum cooling or heating capacity of the unit, the lower the capacity the more efficient your system will be when you are only running a few zones!

Choosing a professional air conditioning installer such as Smarter Air ensures your system is sized correctly for your home and also caters for how you will commonly use the heating or cooling system.

Okay, so far so good, but what kind of system should you install? Well, there are several different types of air-conditioning systems that are available in the market, each of which has their own pros and cons.

 

Ducted Heating & Cooling Systems

 

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Ducted heating systems are the most popular type of air conditioning and heating air conditioner solution in Brisbane and Gold Coast. They offer the ability to heat or cool most of the living areas during the day or only a few bedrooms at night, making them super versatile. Ducted systems also add to the value of your home; they provide comfort whilst being more aesthetically pleasing when compared to other types of air conditioners. With a ducted system, all you see is the grilles in the ceiling; almost everything else is hidden up in the roof space.

 

Split System Air Conditioners

 

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Split system air conditioners are a cost-effective air-conditioner used for single room heating or cooling, and are relatively cheap to buy and install. If you are looking to heat or cool one room at a time, then a split system air conditioner might be for you. Just like the name implies, these systems are ‘split’ into two sections. One is the indoor evaporator unit that sits on your wall inside the home and cools or warms the inside air and has a blower that is responsible for circulating the air; and the outdoor unit which comprises of the condenser and the compressor.

The downside to splits systems is that you have a unit mounted on the wall in each room that isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing way to decorate a room! Over the years you might add more split systems to other rooms in the home which will result in multiple outdoor units located around the outside of your home.

So before rushing out to have a split system installed, consider how many rooms you may need to heat or cool in the future. Keep reading for a comparison between split and ducted air conditioners!

 

Window Air Conditioners

Also known as window rattlers in Australia as they are quite noisy. These are large rectangular box-like systems that are installed in the windows of your house or office. This type of air conditioner is only used for small portable buildings in Australia these days and rarely in residential homes.

 

Portable Air Conditioning Systems

As their name suggests, these are heating and cooling systems that can be moved and placed anywhere, great for renters. These units work like the window rattlers and need an exhaust duct to a window to expel the warm or cool air out. As it is an all-in-one type unit located in your home this means they can be noisy & often not the most energy-efficient choice.

 

Common Types of Heating Air Conditioner Systems in Brisbane

The two most common types of heating and cooling systems used here in Brisbane are ‘Split Systems’ and ‘Ducted Systems’. Both of these types of systems are reverse-cycle inverters and capable of both heating and cooling.

 

Split System Air Conditioners

 

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These systems offer a range of benefits such as having low upfront cost, quick to install and easy to clean. The outdoor unit is responsible for doing all the work to provide heating or cooling effect while the indoor unit, also called the ‘head unit’, is responsible for distributing that conditioned air around the room. Split system air conditioners are especially suitable for apartments, bedrooms, offices or even classrooms.

Installation time for a split system air conditioner is around 3 hours. The indoor unit gets mounted on your chosen wall; much like an LED TV, the technician then makes a small hole through the wall which allows him to run the interconnecting pipes and cabling to the outdoor condenser unit. The outdoor unit can be installed several meters away in a location where it would not disturb any neighbours when running at night.

Split systems often have an optional Wi-Fi adaptor which allows you to control your system remotely via a smartphone app. These units also offer fast cooling and heating as the indoor coil is located inside the conditioned space and are usually installed in closed rooms, hence, they are of great convenience to homeowners. Split air-conditioners are easy to maintain as well, as they only have a filter in their indoor unit which needs to be washed periodically and can be done by you the homeowner.

These split-air-conditioners offer excellent energy efficiency, and as they are only operated when the conditioned space is being used, you save more energy and hence more money on your energy bills. They come in various looks & designs so you can try to make them blend in as much as possible.

 

Ducted Air Conditioning Systems

 

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These systems are the most common type of heating & cooling solution in new builds or where there is a need to heat or cool multiple rooms at once.

Unlike a split system air conditioner which can be a little unsightly mounted on the wall of your room, a ducted indoor unit is hidden away in the roof cavity; the only thing you see in your room is a single grille which blends seamlessly into the ceiling with your lights & fans etc.

The air is drawn up through a return air grille and filter which is normally located in your hallway. The air is then warmed or cooled as it goes through the indoor unit before being delivered to each zone via insulated flexible ducts customised to suit the unique design of your home.

It is possible to install ducted air conditioning in both homes under construction & existing homes. Smarter Air are experts at existing homes, and in the case of a two-storey home, our team make use of wardrobes, cupboards & voids to drop ducts down to the lower levels.

The indoor unit is normally put into the roof via the return air grille or if that is not possible it can also be done by removing a roof sheet or tiles. The unit is then it is suspended over a daytime area of the home such as a living room so that you cannot hear the fan running at night time.

The outdoor unit is normally located away from bedrooms as best as possible and then placed on a pre-cast concrete slab, we suggest against the use of wall brackets for ducted systems to avoid potential vibrations through the walls of the home.

When it comes to controlling your system you can keep it simple with a basic unit controller and on/off zoning system or you can get a little smarter (pardon the pun) with a system such as MyAir which gives you an 8” wall-mounted tablet controller. MyAir also allows you to place wireless thermostats in each room & control the whole system from your smartphone so you can turn the heating or cooling system on before you leave work!

 

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The Bottom Line

If you are looking for a cheap way to cool one room and don’t mind the look of a split system on your wall, then a split system can be a cost-effective solution, just keep in mind your future plans so you don’t end up with a split system parking lot around your home.

The starting cost of a split system including installation is:

  • Bedrooms from $1250
  • Living from $1900

If you are looking for a solution to heat or cool many rooms of your home and you own your home then a ducted system is the ultimate in comfort plus has the added benefit of helping you sell your home faster when the time comes.

The average cost of a ducted system, including installation, is $8,500-$12,000 depending on the size of the home with the average Brisbane four bedroom, two living area home normally costing around $10,000.

 

For Heating Air Conditioner Installation, Contact Smarter Air

With 22 years of experience in the Brisbane air conditioning installation market, we have a broad overview of the market and a deep understanding of how to deliver you the best quality and value for money air conditioning system. Leave it to the professionals and get the best heating air conditioner solution when you contact Smarter Air.

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