Residential Air Conditioning Buying Guide

Australia’s climate can range from below zero to extreme heat. Thus, it is of great importance to know what type of air conditioning system that best suits your home. The main types of residential air conditioning systems on the market today include split systems, evaporative systems and ducted systems.

Here’s a detailed look at each of these systems:

split system

split system

Split System

As the name suggests, a split system consists of two main components located some distance apart. Specifically, it contains an outdoor condensing unit and an indoor air handling unit. The outdoor unit contains a compressor and a condenser coil, whereas the indoor unit contains the heat exchanger and expansion coil. The seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) for a typical split system ranges anywhere from 10 to 20. This means that a split system is one of the most energy efficient HVAC systems on the market today.

Pros and Cons

A split system is ideal for cooling a single room or a relatively small open-plan area (up to 60 square meters). Additionally, you should also choose this system if your home has a furnace but lacks an air conditioner system. In terms of advantages, this system works in any climate, does not require duct-work, cheaper to install and operate compared to ducted system under certain circumstances. However, it is more expensive to operate than an evaporative system and it is unsuitable for cooling the entire house due to cost implications.

Evaporative Air Conditioning

A residential evaporative air conditioning placed outside a home.

Evaporative System

An evaporative air conditioning system works by passing hot air over moist cooling pads. In other words, it leverages the power of evaporation to cool a given space.

Pros and Cons

This type of cooling system is generally extremely cost effective, less expensive to install and operate compared to ducted systems, provide uniform cooling and reverse cycle. On the other hand, an evaporative air conditioner is unsuitable for humid climate, uses a lot of water, requires a constant supply of fresh air, may increase humidity levels in a given space and requires regular maintenance.

Ducted Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning

Ducted Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning

Ducted Reverse Cycle System

Ducted Reverse Cycle System, also known as a heat pump, is a type of air conditioner that uses refrigeration cycle to cool an indoor environment and a reverse refrigeration cycle to heat an indoor environment. Since it can either heat or cool your indoor space, it is arguably the ultimate air conditioner. Similar to a split system, this system consists of an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. Additionally, it consists of duct-work that delivers hot or cold air where it is needed.

Pros and Cons

The main advantage of this system is its ability to heat or cool a home, meaning it is suitable in any weather. Its main disadvantage is that it is expensive to install and operate.


The best option for whole home comfort is a ducted reverse cycle air conditioner. Why? Because, despite the weather conditions outside, it can cool and heat the whole house with no risk of potential harm.

Contact Alpha Team today for all your residential conditioning needs. Alpha Team specialises in Australian designed, energy efficient ducted air conditioning systems by Actron Air.