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What type of home cooling unit is most efficient?

BY Cook & Bathe

When it comes to cooling your house, how do you decide which option is going to be most efficient and cost-effective for your home? We look at the pros and cons of three main cooling systems.

Central Air Conditioning

When you have a Central Air Conditioning unit installed it’s designed to maintain the temperature of the entire house, essentially turning your house into a large scale refrigerator in summer. These systems use a refrigerant to cool the air that is pumped throughout the house or a heat pump to warm air in winter. Generally, central systems have one large ‘zone’ or multiple ‘zones’ depending on the size of your house and the quality of the system.

Central Air Conditioning systems can be very expensive to install if you are retrofitting to an existing house, as the ducts will need to be run throughout the roof or floor of the house. They can also cost a lot to run in terms of electricity, particularly if you are continually maintaining the temperature of the house throughout the year. While some systems may allow you to close vents and redirect the refrigerated air, systems generally run on one main thermostat.

Maintenance and upkeep can be quite expensive given that servicing is required quite regularly and filters will need to be replaced periodically, with the air in the home being constantly filtered. If filters aren’t cleaned regularly bacteria and mould can build up, potentially causing health issues. If the system fails and needs to be replaced there can be hefty costs involved, particularly in homes where the system is mounted inside the roof cavity.

Evaporative Cooling

An Evaporative Cooling System uses water-filled pads to help cool the air as it draws it in from outside. Since the system introduces additional air into the home it’s imperative to have doors and windows open so that the existing air can be pushed outside, creating a breeze-like effect inside the house. These systems tend to work better in dry, hot heat as they are designed to increase the humidity of the air - meaning that in humid heat they can often be ineffective. The nature of these systems also means that temperature control is generally limited.

Although the upfront investment can be significant, Evaporative systems can be relatively inexpensive to run when compared to central air conditioning since they generally only use a small fan and a water pump to cool the air. They do, however, need regular maintenance to ensure that the unit is clean and draining efficiently to avoid build-up of bacteria and mould which can cause respiratory issues.

Reverse Cycle Split System

Reverse Cycle Split Systems are generally easy to install in your home when compared with central air conditioning or evaporative cooling systems. There is no need for a complicated duct system, though a few holes in the wall and a space on the roof, wall or ground outside will be necessary. Although they work in a similar way to central air conditioning units, with a compressor located outside that uses a refrigerant to cool the air in the room, these systems are generally designed to cool just one room. This means that you may need a few of them throughout the house - depending on the size of your home.

Split systems can be very effective at managing the humidity of the room and are efficient at filtering the air, even in winter when you can also use the system to heat your home quickly and efficiently. It is also easy to manage the temperature of the different areas of your home, particularly bedrooms which can be difficult to regulate with other cooling systems. Some models offer wifi control of the system, meaning you can control your systems from the other end of the house or even your desk at work.

Maintenance of split systems is generally quite simple with many brands including filters that can be effectively cleaned in the home, rather than relying on professional servicing. Many of these systems have fantastic energy ratings meaning that you can cool or heat your home efficiently without racking up your bill or worrying excessively about your carbon footprint.

Cook & Bathe have a great selection of Rinnai Reserve Cycle Split Systems available, with various sizes to suit the larger and smaller rooms in your house. With strict quality assurance and testing procedures, Rinnai Split Systems are a worthwhile investment for your home. You’ll also be backed by a full 5-year replacement warranty. See the range of Rinnai Reverse Cycle Split Systems.