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What Is Reversible Air Conditioning?

What Is Reversible Air Conditioning?

Interior renovationsWhat Is Reversible Air Conditioning?

Have you ever heard of reversible air conditioning? While this term is often seen in articles about general air conditioning facts, few can explain its true meaning.

In order to fully explain what reversible air conditioning is as well as the advantages and disadvantages of this system, we’ve prepared the following article.

Everything You Need to Know About Reversible Air Conditioning

reversible air conditioner

Source: Canva

Basically, it’s important to know that a reversible air conditioner consists of a minimum of two units: one indoor and one outdoor. Each of these has a specific role: the indoor unit captures the heat and humid air in the house, releasing it outside (which produces cold air for air conditioning), while the outdoor unit captures the outdoor heat and sends it inside and thus, ensures the heating of the interior during winter. Note that outdoor molecules captured can be up to an approximate temperature of 5-7 degrees Celsius.

Secondly, note that a reversible air conditioning system with more than one indoor unit is referred to as a "multi-split" unit. In this case, several indoor units are linked to several outdoor units.

Advantages of a Reversible Air Conditioner

reversible ac

Source: Canva

Energy Saving

Of course, the main advantage of the reversible air conditioning system is its ability to perform two functions (heating and air conditioning). This is why this type of system offers valuable energy savings, a reversible air conditioner consuming only one kWh for each 3 kWh. It’s estimated that a reversible air conditioning unit can save between 30% and 50% in heating costs, which is interesting!

Swift Functioning

On another note, it’s important to emphasize the speed at which a reversible air conditioner works. These units only need a few minutes to heat or cool the interior of a home. This ensures that you don’t stay in an uncomfortable setting for too long, whether it be a warm or cold room.

Healthier Indoor Air

Overall, it should be noted that a reversible air conditioning system allows you to enjoy healthier air inside your home, regardless of whether it’s composed of one unit or more. 

Indeed, such a system allows the air to be filtered, which limits unpleasant odours as well as the presence of dust. Of course, it’s important to remember the importance of properly maintaining your air conditioning system so that the filters can perform their role effectively.

Are you looking for some tips to use your reversible air conditioning system to its fullest? Take a look at our article What to Do and What Not to Do When Using Your Air Conditioner.

Disadvantages of a Reversible Air Conditioner

reversible air conditioner

Source: Canva

Following this long list of advantages, one might tend to believe that this system is almost perfect! However, there are a few disadvantages that are essential to discuss.

To function properly, this system is dependent on temperature and weather conditions. Thus, if the outside temperature drops below 5 degrees Celsius, it’ll be necessary to use another heating system to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. This is why it’s primarily considered a source of additional heating, which isn’t sufficient in itself.

As for price points, it's important to know that this system performs both heating and cooling functions at the same time and that makes it a more expensive purchase.

Lastly, note that a reversible air conditioning system can be disruptive while operating. However, this varies depending on the system. This is why it’s essential to be well-informed at the time of purchase.

Installing a Reversible Air Conditioner

reversible AC

Source: Canva

Let's not forget to mention that a reversible air conditioner is relatively easy to install, although it’s often recommended that you hire a professional to take on this job. The delay in installing a reversible air conditioning system depends mainly on the area you want to cover. If you want your whole house to be heated/air-conditioned by the system, this installation will take between three and four days. For a contained system, you should allow between four and five days to put everything in place.

While most ducted systems (with an air circuit) only use one indoor unit, several units may be required to distribute the air in a house with extensive square footage or one featuring several stories. The longer setup time results from the need to conceal the entire system.

More concretely, note that the aeraulic system and the AC unit(s) must be installed inside a drop ceiling or attic if you want to conceal a unit. If you only have one unit providing heating and cooling, the whole house will be kept at the same temperature, which can be a disadvantage compared to the multi-split system.

As for the latter, it's beneficial for exactly that, to be able to adjust the temperature in each room. This is especially practical, as rooms that aren’t used as often can be kept at a lower temperature or slightly warmer in the summer.

Reversible Air Conditioner
- A multifunctional system - Cools and heats air quickly - It provides clean indoor air - Relatively easy installation
- Its functioning is weather dependent - Slightly steeper price tag - Can be disruptive

How much does a reversible air conditioning system cost?

The cost of installing a reversible air conditioning system can vary based on several factors, such as the following:

  • Size of area to be cooled

  • System selected

  • Installation complexity

  • Home- or building-specific characteristics

Normally, prices will range from a couple thousand bucks to several thousand dollars. It’s best to request quotes from various distributors and compare prices and services provided during your decision-making process.

Want to learn more about the cost of air conditioning systems? Check out our article The Cost of Air Conditioning Systems in 2024.

Daikin, Hitachi, Mitsubishi... What is the best AC unit brand?

Choosing the best reversible air conditioning system brand rests on several factors, most notably your specific needs, your budget, and your home’s or building’s specific characteristics. 

Some well-known reversible air conditioner brands include Daikin, Mitsubishi Electric, Panasonic, Toshiba, LG, Samsung, and Fujitsu. Some brands are known for the quality, the energy efficiency, and the reliability of their products. However, it’s best to reach out to a qualified trade professional to determine which brand and system is best suited to your specific needs.

Moreover, hire a certified installer to ensure the installation is done correctly and the reversible air conditioning system installed functions as efficiently as possible.

Reversible Air Conditioning: One Step Closer to Optimal Comfort

All said and done, reversible air conditioning is a versatile and effective solution to sustain thermal comfort year-round. With both heating and cooling functions, this system meets the ever-changing needs of dwellers based on seasons. Furthermore, its energy efficiency and cost-effective capacity allow homeowners to save on both air conditioning and heating costs, which is an appealing upside for the majority of households and businesses. 

However, as detailed in this article, to guarantee optimal efficiency and functioning, as well as long-term durability, you have to choose a quality model, have it professionally installed, and maintain the system regularly. By investing in a reversible air conditioning system, users aren’t solely improving their indoor comfort, they’re also actively reducing their environmental footprint by optimizing their energy consumption.

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Last modified 2024-04-12

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