If you want to install an air conditioning system that can provide heat and cool your home, you need to consider a reverse cycle air conditioning system. This type of air conditioning system involves cooling and heating a building with the same equipment — there's no need to install separate heating equipment because the cooling equipment doubles up as a heat pump on cold winter days.
So what types of reverse cycle air conditioners are there on the market?
Reverse cycle portable units
These air conditioners can be moved around between rooms or houses, hence the name. Most models consist of two units — an indoor unit and an outdoor unit linked together by refrigerant lines. Internal units can be placed anywhere within the room or house while external units are often hung on the wall just outside a window. Portable units are an ideal choice for people who are living in rented homes, move home on a regular basis, don't have the budget for a fixed option or are facing a situation where permanent installation isn't feasible.
Reverse cycle window units
Unlike reverse cycle portable units, these air conditioners have all their components packaged in a single unit and they are permanently hung on the window through an exterior wall. This means installation may require creating a hole in the wall. Because everything including the motor and fan is enclosed in a single unit, window units can be quite noisy when being operated. Window-type units are the least expensive reverse cycle air conditioners available for purchase.
Reverse cycle split units
These air conditioners are permanently-installed and they comprise a condenser unit located inside a room and a compressor unit located outdoors. These two units are connected together via piping, through which the refrigerant flows. As the compressor unit is located remotely, reverse cycle split units tend to be much quieter than their window-type counterparts.
Reverse cycle multi-split units
These air conditioners are pretty much the same as reverse cycle split units, but their external compressor is joined together with multiple internal condensers. These air conditioners are ideal for people that want to simultaneously cool or warm several rooms in a house.
Reverse cycle ducted units
Ducted units are made to centrally cool and heat several rooms or a whole house. They are a perfect choice for home owners with an open-layout house plans, or those that want to cool or heat all or most rooms within the house simultaneously. Compared to other types of reverse cycle air conditioners available on the market, they are generally more expensive to buy and operate.
Now that you're aware that not all reverse cycle air conditioners are created the same way, you should carefully assess your heating and cooling requirements so as to choose the right reverse cycle air conditioning unit for your home.