Ducted reverse-cycle air-conditioning can be a very convenient way of cooling and heating your home.
However, before you spend thousands of dollars to have a system installed (and several hundred dollars a year to run it), consider other cooling and heating options.
Even if you decide on a central system, you may only need a cooling-only or heating-only model — depending on where you live.
Before you buy any cooling or heating system, first optimise the energy-efficiency of your home — for example by insulating the ceiling and walls, and draught-proofing windows and doors — and then calculate the capacity you need:
- If you want to cool or heat individual rooms in your home with separate appliances, you can use our cooling and heating capacity calculators.
- If you decide on installing a central cooling or heating system, the right size and design depend on a range of parameters and have to be determined by the supplier for your individual situation. Central systems shouldn't be bought "off-the-shelf".
These are also the reasons why we don't test ducted systems:
- The results would only be valid for the tested scenario (which could be very different from your house).
- A model that performs well in a test situation can still disappoint you if it's not designed according to your needs, or if it isn't installed properly.
Read about the different parts that make a ducted air conditioner, and what features to look for.
We'd like to thank Sustainability Victoria who supplied much of the information for this article.
For more information on Heating and cooling, see Household.