While a reverse-cycle split system provides plenty of cold air to keep your home comfortable in hot weather, it also warms it during chilly times. This eliminates the need to use one appliance for summer and another for winter. So how can one unit do both jobs?
How They Work
Reverse-cycle heating works differently to a regular gas or portable electric heater. Rather than generating heat, these systems absorb heat from the air, before redistributing it. In heater mode, the system absorbs warmth from the outside air, which it releases inside. It does the opposite when cooling, removing heat from inside your home and discharging it outside. This process is efficient when compared to other electrical heating methods because of the focus on relocating rather than generating warmth.
The Role Of Refrigerant
So how exactly does this happen? Refrigerant is central to the whole process. It's pumped through a closed loop of coils that travel from the outdoor condenser unit to the indoor evaporative unit and then back again. Once you turn your heating or cooling on, the refrigerant is in constant motion, making continuous round trips through the coils.
If the system is in air conditioner mode, the indoor unit pulls air across the chilled pipes; the coolant absorbs the heat, leaving cold air to blow into the room. Then, as the now-warmed refrigerant circulates through the coils to the outside unit, fans blow air across the pipes, to release the heat from the coolant into the atmosphere. The entire cycle then begins over. In heating mode, everything reverses; the outside unit removes heat from the air, and the inside assembly releases it into rooms.
Cleaning And Purifying Your Home
Some modern split systems not only make your home comfortable, temperature-wise, but they also clean and purify the air as they go. Special units can remove dust and allergens from the air before or after it flows over the pipes, providing better indoor conditions for asthma and allergy sufferers. Some models can also absorb and deactivate bacteria and viruses to help lessen the spread of colds and flu or eliminate odours, keeping your entire home fresh and comfortable. You can also choose to either humidify or dehumidify the air, depending on your needs and local climate.
Energy wise, because reverse cycle heating systems move existing warmth around, they often consume less energy than other forms of electrical heating, particularly portable models. By providing controls that let you adjust the heat in different zones of the home, they allow you to use energy efficiently.
If you're looking for a new heating or AC system for your home, consider split systems to do both jobs.