Reverse-Cycle Air Conditioning Cost & Prices Guide

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Reverse-Cycle air conditioning is widely accepted as the most effective way of heating or cooling your home or office. The system is made up of two units, a condenser (which is normally outside the house) and a controller, positioned inside your roof if you’ve bought ducted, or mounted on your wall if you’ve bought a smaller system. If you need to cool down, the system uses the condenser unit outside to rapidly chill a series of gas-filled tubes. A fan then pushes warm air over the tubes, cooling it instantly, and then directs the chilled air into your house. The warm air from inside your house is pulled up into a return-air grille and taken outside. If heating is required, the system reverses the process – pushing warm air through the ceiling vents and pulling the cold air into the return-air grille. A benefit of Reverse-Cycle ducted air-conditioning is the ability to add “zones” to your system; this allows you to choose which rooms are cooled down and avoids unnecessarily cooling unused rooms.

Running Costs:

As the Reverse-Cycle system requires a compressor to run and a strong fan to move the air between the systems the running costs are a little higher than those of an Evaporative Cooler, but the tradeoff is effectiveness. While an Evaporative Cooler will reduce the ambient temperature by up to 8°, a Reverse-Cycle system allows you to choose a desired temperature as low as 16° and maintains that temperature for as long as required. For a large system cooling an entire house the cost to run ranges from $1.30 – $6.00* per hour, but if zoning is used that cost is reduced. Maintenance is basic and infrequent, with most systems only requiring the filter to be cleaned at regular intervals.

Unit Cost:

Given the diversity of houses and cooling requirements there are several different Reverse-Cycle systems on the market, and a large range of manufacturers. A smaller wall-mounted split-system unit, designed to cool individual rooms, can be as cheap as $900 – $1000 to purchase and install. As the size of the area to cool increases so does the cost of the unit. A mid-range wall-mounted split system, with the condenser mounted to the roof, will typically cost between $2,000 – $5,000, and a complex roof-mounted, ducted refrigerated system can cost closer to $15,000 fully installed.

Installation Cost:

Given the more complex nature of the Reverse-Cycle system, the cost to install can vary. Considerations when quoting installation include the mounting location of the control unit and condenser, the number of rooms to receive ducts, if the house is single or double story, and if there is a pre-existing system to remove and dispose of. The best way to accurately estimate the total cost of the system and installation is to call us and arrange your free quote.

*cost may vary from household to household

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