By Julie Curnow

Swapping Evaporative to Reverse Cycle Aircon

Many evaporative air conditioners in Perth are 15+ years old and getting to the end of their life. Air flow with evaporative air conditioning
As people research their replacement, we get a lot of calls about swapping evaporative to reverse cycle aircon.

Unfortunately you cannot simply remove the evaporative air conditioner and install a ducted reverse cycle unit to get heating and cooling.

It is more expensive swapping evaporative to reverse cycle aircon than it is to install new ducted reverse cycle aircon. This is because the existing evaprative system needs removing entirely and a full ducted reverse cycle system installing. You also need to arrange for the evaporative ceiling outlet holes to be plastered over, your ceilings repainted and cut metal roof sheets replaced or roof tiles replaced.

Why You Can’t Re-use Your Evaporative Ductwork & Outlets

Evaporative ducting is very wide as it needs to push a lot of air through your home. Ducted reverse cycle air con needs narrower ducting as airflow is around one quarter that of evaporative air conditioning.

With evaporative aircon the air needs to flow across the room and out an open window or external door. Airflow with ducted reverse cycle aircon
With ducted reverse cycle aircon the air needs to flow from close to an external wall across the room and through an open internal door to the return air grille (normally in the hallway).

If the evaporative outlets are re-used for a ducted reverse cycle system the air won’t flow across the room you want cooling or heating. Instead it will be cosy near your return air grille but nowhere else in your home. Beware, some unscrupulous installers will install ducted aircon onto your evaporative outlets. This is a false economy and will never cool or heat your home properly.


Other Heating and Cooling Options

It is cheaper to replace your evaporative air conditioning with another evaporative and add ducted gas heating or wall splits than it is swapping evaporative to reverse cycle aircon. It can cost as little as $2,600 to replace your evaporative air conditioner and you get the benefit of the low running cost of an evaporative air conditioner for summer cooling and having an efficient form of heating.

Unit location and air flow using ducted gas heatingDucted Gas Heating

Ducted gas heating heats your whole home yet costs about 60% of the cost of ducted reverse cycle aircon to buy. Its running cost is similar to ducted reverse cycle aircon. Alike ducted reverse cycle, it can be zoned so you only treat the areas of your home you are using. You need enough roof space to fit the ducted gas heater and a separate run of ducting. You need special ducted gas heating ceiling outlets installed. (Units can be installed under the home but it is not common in Perth as nearly all Perth homes are built on concrete pads).


Wall Split SystemsWall split system aircon diagram

If ducted gas heating is over your budget or you only want to heat one room then consider a wall split system. It is cheap to buy, long lasting, very efficient at heating and can be used for cooling on those super hot or humid days when your evaporative air conditioner struggles. (Just remember doors and windows need to be kept closed).


If you are unsure whether to repair or replace your existing evaporative air conditioner read our blog about it.


Whatever system you chose Air and Water Residential in Perth can help you. Our services include supplying and installing replacement evaporative air conditioning, ducted gas heating, wall split systems and swapping evaporative to reverse cycle aircon. Contact us now to arrange your free in home quote.

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