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How to use your air conditioner to heat your home?

Reverse cycle air conditioning systems are designed to offer year-round comfort. However, once the weather starts to cool many Queensland residents don’t think of using their aircon to keep their home toasty warm.

How does a reverse cycle aircon both heat & cool?

In the winter the air conditioner reverses its cycle and instead of drawing the heat from inside and releasing it outside, the unit draws warmth from outside and uses it to heat the inside air.

What is the most energy-efficient temperature for your AC in winter?

What is the best temperature to keep your home warm but not drastically increase your power bill? Around 18 to 20℃ is the most energy-efficient temperature to set your thermostat at.

To help ensure your aircon remains reliable during those cold winter nights its important to get it professionally serviced at least twice a year. Once before the hot summer months (Sept/Oct), and again before winter hits (Apr/May).

Remember hot air rises so to maximise the benefit from the aircon direct the airflow (louvres) towards the floor.

Gas heater vs electric heater vs aircon

Not sure whether it’s worth packing away your gas or electric heater for the winter? Let’s compare the costs involved in running the different types of home heating appliances.

  • A gas heater costs around 43c to 51c to run per hour.
  • Electric heaters cost around 50c - 60c per hour to operate.
  • Reverse cycle split system air conditioner is approx 13c - 36c per hour to heat your home.
  • A ducted air conditioner costs between $1.45 - $2.12 per hour to run.

As you can see the reverse cycle split system comes out on top in the low-cost heating comparison.

Gas or electric heaters will often struggle to heat a larger area or one with tiled floors which is where a reverse cycle unit comes in very handy. This advantage makes it an ideal solution for open plan living areas or large rooms.

Bonus air filtration

While gas or electric heaters only heat the air in your room a split system or ducted aircon can also filter the air, ensuring your family breathes clean fresh air all year. Some ducted systems also have a fresh air option which draws air in from outside.

Need aircon for heating?
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Choose an energy-efficient aircon

When choosing an air conditioner to install make sure you look at the power usage in the heating mode to ensure the unit is cost-effective throughout the seasons.

Boosting your aircon with the ceiling fan

Use your ceiling fan to boost the aircon heating by switching from ‘Summer’ mode to ‘Winter’ mode. This reverses the direction of the blades and gently redistributes the warmed air which collects near the ceiling out around the sides of the room. We recommend only using the low setting on your fan during winter.

An added bonus is ceiling fans are very economical to use (only around 2c-5c per hour) so won’t add much to your power bill and can in fact reduce your overall heating costs as it recirculates the warmed air, reducing the workload on the air conditioning system.

Take advantage of the great benefits of using your reverse cycle air conditioning system to keep your home warm this winter.

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