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How Much Does Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning Cost?

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You've decided you're not going to go through another hot summer without air conditioning and another winter without adequate heating. How much is your reverse cycle air conditioning going to cost? Depending on the system you choose, reverse cycle air conditioning can cost under $1,000 or over $10,000. Here's what you need to know.

Types of Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning Systems

All reverse cycle air conditioning systems are designed to both heat and cool a space. Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose between a variety of types of units. A portable air conditioner is the cheapest type, but will only be effective in a small area. Next up in price is the split system that draws air in from outdoors. A split system is wall or window-mounted and can be suitable for a large room or two adjoining rooms such as a living room/dining room. On the high end of the price scale is the ducted system for heating and cooling your entire home.

If you need to run your system constantly, consider looking into an inverter system. Inverter systems automatically speed up or slow down to maintain a constant temperature. This eliminates the need for you to turn your air conditioning off and on and inverter systems can have lower running costs when air conditioning is needed continually.

How Much Does Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning Cost?

The cost of any air conditioning system is directly related to its capacity. Choosing the right capacity is more important than choosing the lowest priced air conditioner. If you choose an air conditioner that doesn't have enough capacity, it may not provide effective heating and cooling and will not be as energy-efficient as a higher capacity system. Your air conditioning installer can help you choose the right capacity system for your house, but as a rough guide:

A 2.5 to 3.2 kilowatt (kW) system will suffice for a room of about 9m2 A 3.5-5.0kW is enough for 30m2 8.0 to 9.0 kilowatts is enough for a 55m2 area

An inexpensive portable system that costs around $500 may be all you need for a small space, For a larger area, split systems start at about $1000 to $1500 depending on their capacity and features. If you want heating and cooling for your entire home, consider a ducted system. While $5000 is the least you can expect to pay, on average, ducted reverse cycle air conditioning systems cost between $7000 and $15,000, including installation. Air conditioning installers can give you more accurate quotes.

When you compare your quotes, make sure the system's capacity is clearly indicated. Also look for features such as an inverter, temperature sensors or a zone system that isolates the rooms you want to heat or cool. Also look for an energy-efficient system. A more energy-efficient system will save you money in reduced power bills over the life of the system. A quality system will have a long warranty period and reputable installers will offer workmanship warranties.

Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces. This article was updated 21 July 2015 to reflect current market pricing.


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