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Heating and cooling
When it comes to home heating and cooling, one of the most important things you can do is choose the most appropriate system to suit your home. The good news is that there is a system to suit you, your home, and your budget.
To help you make the right decision we have outlined exactly what each heating and cooling system has to offer, their advantages and suitability.
You can also visit an ActewAGL Energy Shop to obtain advice on a heating system to best suit your needs.
Area: whole house
Application: an efficient form of heating and air conditioning
A reverse-cycle system is one of the best ways to heat and cool your home with electricity. They use as little as 1/3 of the electricity to heat your home to the desired temperature, compared to standard electric heating.
A reverse-cycle airconditioner, or "heat pump", extracts heat from the outside air and transfers it into your home. This process is reversed in summer to cool your home. They are the most energy efficient electric system to run and will add value to your home.
Ducted systems regulate temperatures throughout a house using a series of ducts in the floor or ceiling. The compressor unit is located outside the house. These systems can be zoned allowing heating and cooling only in those parts of the house that are occupied.
Area: single room, open plan design
Application: units should be used when heating/cooling one room, multi-split systems allow more than one room to be heated/cooled (twin heads). As with ducted reverse cycle systems, they are efficient.
A reverse cycle system is one of the best ways to heat and cool your home with electricity. They use as little as 1/3 of the electricity to heat your home to the desired temperature, compared to standard electric heating.
A reverse cycle airconditioner, or "heat pump", extracts heat from the outside air and transfers it into your home. This process is reversed in summer to cool your home. They are the most energy efficient electric system to run and will add value to your home.
A split system separates the compressor, located outside the house, from the console section and fan inside the house. Insulated pipes and electric wiring connect these units. The console unit can be either wall-mounted or floor-mounted and suit a range of heating requirements, from single rooms to open-plan designs.
Area: all rooms
In-slab heating warms the floor and slowly releases the heat throughout the day and night. The floor becomes the heat source, evenly distributing warmth throughout the house. In-slab heating must be installed during construction. Insulated cables are attached to the steel reinforcement of the slab before the concrete is poured.
Heating at off-peak tariffs saves money. The slab warms overnight and releases the stored heat throughout the day and night. The entire slab or zoned areas can be heated. Slab heating is clean, silent, distributes heat uniformly and incorporates thermostat controls.
The "dos and don’ts" of electric slab heating
Radiant heaters, like the sun, heat people, objects and surfaces within the room, which in turn, heat the air. There are several types of radiant heaters:
As direct radiant heat performs better at lower temperatures than conventional forced air heating, lower thermostat settings can be used.
Convection, or space heaters, gradually heat the air in a room from the ground up. As the warm air rises it circulates throughout the room, evenly distributing heat. These heaters are quiet, have enclosed elements, built-in thermostats, and timers allowing you to heat your home as required. Convection heaters can be plugged directly into a power point or wired in as a permanent fixture.
There are two types convection heating:
Evaporative coolers use the natural relationship between relative humidity, water and air temperature. Air from outside is drawn through the unit across water saturated filter pads by a large fan. As air passes through the filter pads evaporation occurs, causing the air's temperature to decrease. Once the air is cooled it is forced into the room and then exhausted via an open door or window.
Evaporative systems have controls that will vary the airflow by changing the fan speed. On days of high humidity the cooling effect will be significantly lower.
These types of systems are installed to cool larger areas or entire homes. The evaporative unit is installed on top of the roof. Air is moved through a network of insulated ducts to air outlets to each room in the building. These outlets, or registers, are large to allow the air to be freely discharged into each area. Because of the high air flow needed for evaporative cooling it is not possible to cool individual rooms. The cooler air then travels through the rooms to open doors or windows, where it is exhausted.
A central panel installed inside your home provides control over the system. Some units also have timers and comfort controls. Automatic adjustment of cooling and fan speeds provides the preselected comfort level.
Portable units are designed for much smaller areas such as bedrooms. They must be backed up to an open door or window to draw in outside air. Portable units are fitted with a water gauge and only have basic controls.