When it comes to cooling down your family in the hot West Australian summer, air conditioning is as integral to Perth families as a long weekend down south. Getting it right the first time can save you a lot of sweaty nights spent struggling to sleep, but with so many products on the market, it can be hard to know which one to choose.
Most homes across Perth will have either an evaporative air conditioner or reverse-cycle system, but even narrowing it down to these two, which one is going to be the best choice for you? Follow us as we list out the pros and cons of each.
Evaporative vs reverse-cycle air conditioning: what’s the difference?
Reverse-cycle systems, sometimes referred to as split-system aircon or refrigerated air conditioning on, use a similar system as your fridge does. Refrigerated gases contained within the system take heat from the inside of your house before pumping it out through a system of coils found outside. The gases are then pumped back through the system, cooling air inside the home and starting the process again.
Evaporative coolers, on the other hand, are much simpler than refrigerated aircons. Using a system of pads that have been dampened by an internal water tank found inside the unit, evap aircons take the hot, dry air from outside and add moisture to it, then distribute the now-cooled air throughout the entire home via ducts in the roof.
Evaporative air conditioner pros and cons
- Evaporative coolers have much lower running costs. According to Sustainability Victoria, evaporative air conditioners cost 50% to 75% less than centralised split-system air conditioners.
- As well as using much less energy than other air conditioners, evaporative coolers don’t rely on dangerous gases such as Freon for cooling.
- Fresh, clean air is distributed throughout the house on a constant basis.
- Increased moisture content in the air can help to combat the dry heat that Perth is famous for.
- They work well in larger spaces and are best a cooling down whole houses or multi-story rooms.
- Evaporative coolers require a window or other outlet to be open to so inside air doesn’t get too wet and sticky.
- As evaporative aircons use a simple fan to blow air through moistened pads, temperature control is less precise than that of reverse-cycle aircons.
- Increased humidity may be a problem for some households.
- Best practice recommends covering the units during winter to block any cold draughts from coming in.
Reverse-cycle air conditioner pros and cons
- Reverse-cycle systems work no matter the weather outside.
- Most split-system air conditioners can be used for both cooling and heating when needed.
- Controlling indoor temperature can be much more precise with refrigerated air conditioners.
- Split-system air conditioners work best when individual units are used for cooling smaller rooms.
- Centralised split-system air conditioners consume much more energy and rack up higher running costs than evaporative systems.
- Doors and windows must be always closed to ensure best performance when using reverse-cycle aircons.
- Reverse-cycle systems are less suitable for cooling larger areas such as double-story rooms or open households.
Which one is best for your family?
While Perth’s hot, dry summers make evaporative cooling a much more viable option for keeping your household cool compared to other places in Australia, the answer is, of course, ‘it depends’. From the size of the available space to the layout of the household, many factors can influence which will be the ideal choice of cooling for your home.
Whether you’re in the market for a brand-new evaporative system for you and your family, have an air conditioner that doesn’t seem to be functioning at 100%, or just looking for advice on all things air conditioning, the friendly team at Ritz Plumbing and Electrical are here to help. Chat to one of our friendly representatives now by calling 13 74 89 or send an enquiry using our easy online contact form.