What is a Reverse Cycle Split System?

What is a Reverse Cycle Split System?

Reverse Cycle Split Systems (also known as reverse cycle heat pumps) operate on the vapour compression refrigeration cycle.

This means that an electrical input is used by to compress refrigerant until it is hot enough to heat air.

Reverse cycle air conditioners don't take air from inside and transfer it outside, rather heat is absorbed from the outside air and transferring inside via the refrigeration process, which operates exactly the same way it allows the air conditioner to cool the air, only in reverse (hence the name 'Reverse Cycle').

As heat is created through the process of refrigeration, no expensive heating elements are used, no fossil fuels are burnt for heat and the electrical source can come from batteries, solar or an electrical grid.

Subzero heating

As heat in present in all elements (until absolute zero is reached at −273.15°C), reverse cycle air conditioners can absorb, accumulate and transfer heat efficiently and effectively, even at sub zero temperatures, making them excellent options for consumers wanting to be energy sufficient with solar and batteries, people wanting to pay less for heating, people wanting to get off gas and people living in remote locations.

Low Cost

The cost of manufacturing a 'reverse cycle' split system VS a 'cooling only' split system is almost exactly the same. As the refrigeration process is the same (but in reverse) all that is required is the installation of a 4 way valve instead of a 3 way valve during the final stages of production. For this reason, the difference in price between 'cooling only' and 'reverse cycle' systems are negligible. This is also the reason why all manufacturers product Multi-Split Systems as reverse cycle heat pumps by default.

High efficiency

As a thermodynamic Law, it is mechanically easier to add heat to an space than it is to remove it - so you will note that when reading an energy label, all split system air conditioners have a higher efficiency in heating (called 'Coefficient of performance') than cooling efficiency (which is called 'Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio'). In fact, nothing comes close to the coefficient of performance ratings of reverse cycle split systems when comparing the coefficiency of heaters.

Zero Emissions

Reverse cycle heat pumps are not only more energy efficient, safer and do not produce any toxic emissions, they do not rely on harvesting and burning fossil fuels to create heat.

  • Reverse Cycle split systems can be run on renewable energy, such as solar and batteries, reducing significant operational costs.

  • No mining, fracking, refining, transporting or burning of fossil fuels such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas or Methane are required.

  • Split systems do not carry any risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning - which is a tasteless, odourless gas which kills humans and animals.

Further Reading

As more people move towards renewable energy (such as solar, geothermal, wind and batteries) heat pumps are increasingly popular because they not only cool effectively, but are supremely efficient heaters. If you're interested in learning more, please click on the following links:

  1. 'My Efficient Electric Home' Facebook group, with 15K+ members

  2. Melbourne Energy Institute: Switching off gas. 'An examination of declining gas demand in Eastern Australia'.
  3. renew.org.au - 'Getting off Gas'

  4. renew.org.au - home page. Independent, enabling and advocating sustainable living since 1980.

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At EZYAIR, we always endeavour to provide our customers with the most interesting and relevant information to help them to make the right decision. If you would like more information, please let us know:

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