If you are building a new home, have you considered what type of air conditioning system you are after? There are many different air conditioning options available to you, and sometimes the choices available to you can be a little daunting. Below is a quick guide to the hvac systems available to you.
Ducted Reverse Cycle
Ducted reverse cycle (refrigerative) air conditioning systems, also known as central air conditioners, can both heat and cool your home and can be divided up into different zones of operation. The main disadvantage of these systems is that they can be costly to run and a little expensive upfront to purchase. They will offer the most comfort and control of any hvac system available though.
Ducted evaporative is cheaper than ducted reverse cycle air conditioning, but evaporative coolers only have the capacity to cool your home (not heat). They are about half the price of a ducted reverse cycle system, and cost as little to run as a single light globe. The main disadvantage as previously mentioned is that they can only cool. They will work at a reduced capacity in humid conditions, and they can bring moisture and mold into your home.
Ducted gas systems are often combined with evaporative cooler systems. Ducted gas systems use smaller separate ducts to heat a home. Sized correctly, these systems can heat your entire home. The disadvantage of these gas ducted heating systems is that obviously they can only heat, and the gas usage can be quite high which will cost you in running costs.
Wall splits (ductless) units work on the same principle as ducted reverse cycle in that they can usually both heat and cool. They are a single room air conditioner that sits on your wall. They are a cheap and easy option to air condition a single room. The main disadvantage of a wall split is it will only really air condition the room that it is actually located in. Also if you were to place a wall split in every room, it would most likely cost more than having a brisbane ducted air conditioning, plus you would have compressors scattered around the outside of your home.
Multi Split Systems
Multi split air conditioners have the same features, advantages and disadvantages as a wall split (ductless system). The main difference is that multi splits work by using multiple inside split units running off a single outdoor compressor unit. This is beneficial if you have multiple wall splits in your home as you can get away with just having a single outdoor unit servicing multiple indoor units. The main disadvantage with this system is that it can be quite costly to install, costing more than if you were to have separate wall splits each with their own outdoor unit.
These days, fireplaces are going out of fashion due to their high carbon dioxide output and the cost of fuel to use them. Also 90% of the heat of a fireplace is lost up the chimney, so fireplaces are an expensive and unnecessary option. Although fireplaces look nice, they should not be relied upon as a sole form of heating a home.
Gas heaters are a cheap way to warm a single room. The gas heater is usually connected to a bayonet located in the room. These gas fires can be flumed or unflumed. The main problem with unflumed heaters is the build up of potentially toxic gasses and fumes which has been known to cause health problems.
Window Air Conditioners
Window air conditioners or box air conditioners sit either in a window or through a wall. They are usually reverse cycle which means they can both heat and cool (but are sometimes cooling only). They are a cheap way of air conditioning a room. The problem with these systems is that they can be noisy, costly to run and look a little unsightly sticking into the room, and also outside your home.
Portable Air Conditioners
Many department stores sell portable air conditioners that simply plug into a power socket. Although these portable air conditioning systems are cheap, they offer very limited heating and cooling, and are usually costly to run.
With these tips in mind, you should have a good grasp of the air conditioning and hvac systems available to you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask your air conditioning contractors so you (and the contractor) can understand what system you are chasing.