Why An Air Conditioner Can Still Be Useful Even During The Colder Months
When the colder months of May, June, July, and August roll around, it can be tempting to completely push air conditioning out of your mind. After all, while it usually does not get too cold during these months, it rarely gets hot enough to warrant air conditioning. So, most people tune out air conditioning until spring and summer, when the cold goes away and the heat becomes unbearable. This is a mistake, as air conditioners can actually be quite useful during colder months (assuming you have the right type of air conditioner installed).
What type of air conditioner is useful during the colder months?
Most people have probably heard of a “reverse cycle air conditioner,” but if you have not, it is an air conditioner that can both cool and heat a home. How does it work? Well, a regular air conditioner works by sucking in hot air, running it through a compressor (which increases the pressure and the temperature of the air), the air is then run through a condenser which changes the air into a liquid, further lowering the temperature, finally it is run through an evaporator, which changes the liquid back into air, which is then blown out of the air conditioner by an internal fan. A reverse cycle air conditioner simply changes the process, the heat from the air is taken, run through the condenser, and blown into the home by the fan system. Hence why the process is referred to as “reverse cycle” air conditioning, the process has simply been reversed. Reverse cycle air conditioners are actually not that popular or useful in extremely cold winter climates (think Canada, or the Northern United States), however, they are very popular in milder cold climates (Australia). The reason being that in really cold climates, reverse cycle air conditioners struggle to adequately suck enough heat out of the air, this does not happen in more milder climates. Reverse cycle air conditioners are actually a great way to heat a home, in fact, they are more efficient than traditional forms of heating such as electric or natural gas. Plus, since one unit controls both heating and cooling, you will only need to pay for maintenance and upkeep on that one unit, which can help keep your costs down. So, if you are looking for a way to both cool your house in the warmer months, while keeping it comfortably warm in the colder months, then a reverse cycle air conditioner is a great investment. If you are interested you should call a local installer of choice, and see about getting a reverse cycle installed.
It should be noted, that if you do decide to get a reverse cycle air conditioner, you are going to have to choose between getting a ducted air conditioning system, or a split system. As you can probably tell, a ducted system requires the installation of ducts in your house, which then moves the cold or hot air throughout the entire house. A split system is one where the air conditioner consists of two separate units, one outside and one inside. Ducted systems are more expensive, but they are also much better at cooling or heating an entire house. If you are interested in more information, consult our air conditioning buying guide that we wrote in August.
Winter is actually a good time to invest in air conditioning
Believe it or not, winter is actually a very good time to start shopping for an air conditioning unit. Although you can usually get a cheap air conditioner during December (due to the abundance of Christmas sales), the cheapest time to start shopping for a new air conditioner is winter, when there is practically no demand for air conditioners. Now, you probably will never be able to secure a brand new, top of the line model for cheap, but you can get plenty of older, serviceable models for dirt cheap. However, just because the actual models are cheap, does not mean installation is necessarily going to be cheap. Many businesses will likely be busy installing heating systems, so finding someone to actually install the air conditioner may be more difficult and more expensive. So, the best bet is to purchase the air conditioning unit while it is cheap, and then sit on it until the weather gets warmer, and then find someone to install the air conditioning system for cheap. Air conditioners can usually be pretty expensive, more so if you go for a more advanced type of air conditioner (like a reverse cycle air conditioner), so doing this method is a great way to keep costs low.
You never know when you might need to cool down your house
Even during the colder months, your house can sometimes still get pretty hot, in cases like this, having an air conditioner is incredibly useful. For example, if you are using the oven a lot, your house is naturally going to get pretty hot, so being able to quickly flick on the air conditioner to cool things down is pretty helpful. Obviously, you will not get as much use out of your air conditioner during the colder months, but there are still plenty of situations where it can come in handy.
Your air conditioner cannot do it alone
If you plan on using your air conditioner to help heat your home during colder months, you should take other steps to ensure that your house remains as warm as possible. This means getting proper insulation installed, as well as making a habit of keeping doors and windows sealed as much as possible. These may seem like minor things, but a lot of heat gets lost by people not properly insulating their home, or people leaving the doors open for too long. Of course, this advice does not just apply to air conditioners, but every heating system. If you do not take steps to prevent heat loss, then any heating system is going to struggle to keep your house warm.