Ducted reverse-cycle air conditioning buying guide

Want to cool and heat your whole house? Here's what you need to consider.
 
Learn more
 
 
 
 
 

01 .Introduction

reverse cycle air conditioner

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.

 
 

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Adam's opinion:

  • Member since: 24 Jun 14
  • 3 Comments
  • 0 Replies
+1
 
User Profile

2 MONTHS AGO | I bought the Russell Hobbs Steamgilde a couple of weeks ago on the back of this review. To my mind it's a good iron for the price - does what it says it does. There are only two drawbacks. The first is that it's a little heavy for my liking, though not excessively. The other is that there's a pinhole in the water reservoir cover which leads directly to the reservoir. I'm not sure why it's there, but if the iron gets moved around a lot (I tend to iron in a hurry) small amounts of water come out of the pinhole and it either drips down the iron when it's standing and pools on the ironing board, or ends up on the clothing.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Glenys's opinion:

  • Member since: 24 Nov 12
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
0
 
User Profile

1 MONTH AGO | What does ns mean under Drip Protection?
Philips PerfectCare Azur GC4912/30

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Jens's opinion:

  • Member since: 26 Aug 13
  • 3 Comments
  • 0 Replies
+1
 
User Profile

11 MONTHS AGO | Will there be an updated iron review soon? Thanks.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Kate's opinion:

  • Member since: 18 Jan 12
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
+2
 
User Profile

1 YEAR AGO | Unrelated to the test results of Choice recommending the Sunbeam iron, I purchased a Sunbeam Verve 68 Resilium iron last year but it has been the worst iron I have ever used. Similar to other comments posted here, I found the water leaked and spattered over clothes during use, leaving wet patches, so I am not pleased with this Sunbeam iron and intend to replace it - yet Sunbeam have had such a good reputation up until now. There is clearly a fault in its manufacture as other Choice members seem to have had the same problem of leakage and spattering. I will not purchase a Sunbeam iron again.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Eva D's opinion:

  • Member since: 25 Jun 13
  • 2 Comments
  • 0 Replies
0
 
User Profile

2 YEARS AGO | No mention on what any of these irons cost to run, is there?
Typically these are all 2400W irons, so if you use one just for one hour its 2.4KWH. Lets say you iron on average 10 hours a week, at typical peak electricity rates here in Victoria that will be $125 a quarter, $500 a year.
We have a Phillips GC4420, but it cost too much to use it during the week, so we only use it weekends and public holidays - off peak rates.
For little jobs during the week we have a small Sunbeam Pro Travel ($32). It only uses 600W and does a surprisingly good job. Even at 600W we still use it sparingly to keep costs down.
We know people who never iron anything, apart from small touchups, and others that spend every day ironing practically everything. We're somewhere in between, but it still costs way too much!
Also why we boil the kettle on the gas stove rather than use an electric.

 
 
 
 
 

 

Adam's opinion:

  • Member since: 24 Jun 14
  • 3 Comments
  • 0 Replies
+1
 
User Profile

2 MONTHS AGO | I bought the Russell Hobbs Steamgilde a couple of weeks ago on the back of this review. To my mind it's a good iron for the price - does what it says it does. There are only two drawbacks. The first is that it's a little heavy for my liking, though not excessively. The other is that there's a pinhole in the water reservoir cover which leads directly to the reservoir. I'm not sure why it's there, but if the iron gets moved around a lot (I tend to iron in a hurry) small amounts of water come out of the pinhole and it either drips down the iron when it's standing and pools on the ironing board, or ends up on the clothing.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Glenys's opinion:

  • Member since: 24 Nov 12
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
0
 
User Profile

1 MONTH AGO | What does ns mean under Drip Protection?
Philips PerfectCare Azur GC4912/30

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Jens's opinion:

  • Member since: 26 Aug 13
  • 3 Comments
  • 0 Replies
+1
 
User Profile

11 MONTHS AGO | Will there be an updated iron review soon? Thanks.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Kate's opinion:

  • Member since: 18 Jan 12
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
+2
 
User Profile

1 YEAR AGO | Unrelated to the test results of Choice recommending the Sunbeam iron, I purchased a Sunbeam Verve 68 Resilium iron last year but it has been the worst iron I have ever used. Similar to other comments posted here, I found the water leaked and spattered over clothes during use, leaving wet patches, so I am not pleased with this Sunbeam iron and intend to replace it - yet Sunbeam have had such a good reputation up until now. There is clearly a fault in its manufacture as other Choice members seem to have had the same problem of leakage and spattering. I will not purchase a Sunbeam iron again.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Eva D's opinion:

  • Member since: 25 Jun 13
  • 2 Comments
  • 0 Replies
0
 
User Profile

2 YEARS AGO | No mention on what any of these irons cost to run, is there?
Typically these are all 2400W irons, so if you use one just for one hour its 2.4KWH. Lets say you iron on average 10 hours a week, at typical peak electricity rates here in Victoria that will be $125 a quarter, $500 a year.
We have a Phillips GC4420, but it cost too much to use it during the week, so we only use it weekends and public holidays - off peak rates.
For little jobs during the week we have a small Sunbeam Pro Travel ($32). It only uses 600W and does a surprisingly good job. Even at 600W we still use it sparingly to keep costs down.
We know people who never iron anything, apart from small touchups, and others that spend every day ironing practically everything. We're somewhere in between, but it still costs way too much!
Also why we boil the kettle on the gas stove rather than use an electric.

 
 
 
 
 

 

Adam's opinion:

  • Member since: 24 Jun 14
  • 3 Comments
  • 0 Replies
+1
 
User Profile

2 MONTHS AGO | I bought the Russell Hobbs Steamgilde a couple of weeks ago on the back of this review. To my mind it's a good iron for the price - does what it says it does. There are only two drawbacks. The first is that it's a little heavy for my liking, though not excessively. The other is that there's a pinhole in the water reservoir cover which leads directly to the reservoir. I'm not sure why it's there, but if the iron gets moved around a lot (I tend to iron in a hurry) small amounts of water come out of the pinhole and it either drips down the iron when it's standing and pools on the ironing board, or ends up on the clothing.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Glenys's opinion:

  • Member since: 24 Nov 12
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
0
 
User Profile

1 MONTH AGO | What does ns mean under Drip Protection?
Philips PerfectCare Azur GC4912/30

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Jens's opinion:

  • Member since: 26 Aug 13
  • 3 Comments
  • 0 Replies
+1
 
User Profile

11 MONTHS AGO | Will there be an updated iron review soon? Thanks.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Kate's opinion:

  • Member since: 18 Jan 12
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
+2
 
User Profile

1 YEAR AGO | Unrelated to the test results of Choice recommending the Sunbeam iron, I purchased a Sunbeam Verve 68 Resilium iron last year but it has been the worst iron I have ever used. Similar to other comments posted here, I found the water leaked and spattered over clothes during use, leaving wet patches, so I am not pleased with this Sunbeam iron and intend to replace it - yet Sunbeam have had such a good reputation up until now. There is clearly a fault in its manufacture as other Choice members seem to have had the same problem of leakage and spattering. I will not purchase a Sunbeam iron again.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Eva D's opinion:

  • Member since: 25 Jun 13
  • 2 Comments
  • 0 Replies
0
 
User Profile

2 YEARS AGO | No mention on what any of these irons cost to run, is there?
Typically these are all 2400W irons, so if you use one just for one hour its 2.4KWH. Lets say you iron on average 10 hours a week, at typical peak electricity rates here in Victoria that will be $125 a quarter, $500 a year.
We have a Phillips GC4420, but it cost too much to use it during the week, so we only use it weekends and public holidays - off peak rates.
For little jobs during the week we have a small Sunbeam Pro Travel ($32). It only uses 600W and does a surprisingly good job. Even at 600W we still use it sparingly to keep costs down.
We know people who never iron anything, apart from small touchups, and others that spend every day ironing practically everything. We're somewhere in between, but it still costs way too much!
Also why we boil the kettle on the gas stove rather than use an electric.

 
 
 
 
 

 

Adam's opinion:

  • Member since: 24 Jun 14
  • 3 Comments
  • 0 Replies
+1
 
User Profile

2 MONTHS AGO | I bought the Russell Hobbs Steamgilde a couple of weeks ago on the back of this review. To my mind it's a good iron for the price - does what it says it does. There are only two drawbacks. The first is that it's a little heavy for my liking, though not excessively. The other is that there's a pinhole in the water reservoir cover which leads directly to the reservoir. I'm not sure why it's there, but if the iron gets moved around a lot (I tend to iron in a hurry) small amounts of water come out of the pinhole and it either drips down the iron when it's standing and pools on the ironing board, or ends up on the clothing.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Glenys's opinion:

  • Member since: 24 Nov 12
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
0
 
User Profile

1 MONTH AGO | What does ns mean under Drip Protection?
Philips PerfectCare Azur GC4912/30

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Jens's opinion:

  • Member since: 26 Aug 13
  • 3 Comments
  • 0 Replies
+1
 
User Profile

11 MONTHS AGO | Will there be an updated iron review soon? Thanks.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Kate's opinion:

  • Member since: 18 Jan 12
  • 1 Comments
  • 0 Replies
+2
 
User Profile

1 YEAR AGO | Unrelated to the test results of Choice recommending the Sunbeam iron, I purchased a Sunbeam Verve 68 Resilium iron last year but it has been the worst iron I have ever used. Similar to other comments posted here, I found the water leaked and spattered over clothes during use, leaving wet patches, so I am not pleased with this Sunbeam iron and intend to replace it - yet Sunbeam have had such a good reputation up until now. There is clearly a fault in its manufacture as other Choice members seem to have had the same problem of leakage and spattering. I will not purchase a Sunbeam iron again.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Eva D's opinion:

  • Member since: 25 Jun 13
  • 2 Comments
  • 0 Replies
0
 
User Profile

2 YEARS AGO | No mention on what any of these irons cost to run, is there?
Typically these are all 2400W irons, so if you use one just for one hour its 2.4KWH. Lets say you iron on average 10 hours a week, at typical peak electricity rates here in Victoria that will be $125 a quarter, $500 a year.
We have a Phillips GC4420, but it cost too much to use it during the week, so we only use it weekends and public holidays - off peak rates.
For little jobs during the week we have a small Sunbeam Pro Travel ($32). It only uses 600W and does a surprisingly good job. Even at 600W we still use it sparingly to keep costs down.
We know people who never iron anything, apart from small touchups, and others that spend every day ironing practically everything. We're somewhere in between, but it still costs way too much!
Also why we boil the kettle on the gas stove rather than use an electric.

 
 
 
 
 

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