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What heating/cooling do you have?


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#1 lunargirl

Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:51 PM

Especially those in Melbourne!

We're in the process of renovating our house - single storey old place with 3/4 bedrooms, one living space.
At the moment we have a gas heater in the loungeroom which is great in winter... for the loungeroom.

We're tossing up between getting split systems, ducted heating/evap cooling, ducted heating/refrig cooling... etc etc.

What do you have, and are you happy with it?

#2 starsg

Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:56 PM


I'm in Melbourne & we have evap cooling ducted into the ceilings, it's amazing! you don't get that really crisp cold of A/c but it just feels like there is a nice cool breeze through the house and it gets the temp right down. very happy with it and I also like that you don't see any ugly a/c units inside or sticking out of the house. it's great for airing the house out too, it really moves the air around quite strongly.

#3 BJBubbles

Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:00 PM

We're in Melbourne and we have ducted gas heating and evaporative cooling.  The heating works really well - love it!  The evaporative cooling works pretty well, but I don't like the humidity it creates.  If I had my choice like you do, I would happily put in ducted gas heating and refrigerated cooling.

Only issue is it's either on or off - the whole house.  So if you can get zones etc it would be even better!

Otherwise I'd do split systems.... that way you can control it in the rooms you want it on at the time...

#4 rosie28

Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:19 PM

I'm in Melbourne in a three storey house, and we have split systems- they're great, we can heat or cool just one area, the costs are pretty low and we find we don't need them on for long, even upstairs on a very hot day like today, we'll just pop it on for an hour when we go to bed.

#5 LookMumNoHands

Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:23 PM

We are in Melbourne, and have evap cooling. It sucks a*se, to put it mildly. Today we've had it on all day, and it's still too warm inside. I've currently got my feet in a bucket of cold water  sad.gif .

My mum also has evap cooling. The other week, when we had a high 30's day, she did a food shop in the morning and turned the cooling on before she left. When she got home, she was carrying some shopping bags into the kitchen and slipped on the floor and ended up with a broken arm in 2 places. The floor was so wet from the evap cooling and humidity  sad.gif .

#6 Z-girls rock

Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:29 PM

hhhmm I am in Sydney with a 2 story. not sure if this is helpful. Although I think Sydney weather and Melbourne weather are almost the same these days. (4 seasons in one day more often then not).

we have a gas heater in the lounge - love it. for the bedrooms we have a couple of oil heaters (electric) but I wish we had ducted gas.
For cooling we have ceiling fans.

they both work really well. Primarily because when we did our reno we worked on passive heating and cooling. (thermal mass, insulation, window placement etc) and our house really works well now to remain a nice temperature.
If you are doing a reno I think this is the most important thing. get this right and whatever you install will be more effective.

#7 melaine

Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:31 PM

QUOTE (LookMumNoHands @ 03/01/2013, 06:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We are in Melbourne, and have evap cooling. It sucks a*se, to put it mildly. Today we've had it on all day, and it's still too warm inside. I've currently got my feet in a bucket of cold water  sad.gif .

My mum also has evap cooling. The other week, when we had a high 30's day, she did a food shop in the morning and turned the cooling on before she left. When she got home, she was carrying some shopping bags into the kitchen and slipped on the floor and ended up with a broken arm in 2 places. The floor was so wet from the evap cooling and humidity  sad.gif .



Are you leaving all doors and windows open? This is the fourth place I've lived with evap cooling in Victoria and I've never had that much problem with humidity.

You can feel it's humid on a hot and humid day, but it still cools the place down. I DID think our house just didn't get too hot (we have a big verandah on one side which helps) but our cooling broke for Christmas and I'm noticing that is is MUCH hotter without it (and still very humid inside today!).

Anyway, OP - we have a 3 bedroom brick house in Melbourne and hav ducted heating and ducted evap cooling. We are happy with both - both systems are ancient and have minimal controls so I imagine new systems would be even better.

#8 bjk76

Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:42 PM

We're in Melbourne and we have :

- a gas heater in the loungeroom - we love the radiant heat - lying on the floor in front of it in winter

- oil column heaters for the bedrooms - not ideal in terms of expense, but effective

- evaporative cooling - good for airing the house and good on a hot, dry day, as well as very cheap to run. Don't like the fact you can't really use it on a humid day.

- 2 split systems - one oldish one in the loungeroom which we use to cool the bedrooms if necessary (not exactly efficient!) and one new one (also a heater) in the kitchen area, which gets really hot in summer as that part of the house has a flat roof.

I really like having so many options for heating and cooling. Having decent insulation has also helped a lot.

#9 Wineandchocolate

Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:53 PM

We're in Melbourne, also a single story 3 bedroom, 1 study, 1 living area house.  We have ducted heating (in the floors), and air-conditioning in the main (ie. our) bedroom.  The kids' rooms have ceiling fans.  We also have an old Coonara in the living room which is quite effective in heating a large part of the house, but since having kids we don't use it much, partly because it's too much work getting wood, cleaning it, etc., and also because we tend to leave the door open so that it's more like an open fire; fine when it was just the two of us, but not something we want to do with young kids around.

If money allowed, I'd have air-con all through the house but our current arrangement is OK (given the kids don't seem to mind the hot weather and haven't yet complained about not having air-con in their bedrooms like we do wink.gif )

#10 Canberra Chick

Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:55 PM

In dry Canberra. We have ducted gas heating and ducted evaporative cooling. Might be a bit more humid in Melbourne for that sort of cooling to be effective? We love it, as you have to have all the doors and some windows open so it feels more of a natural way to do things ad you get fresh air.
I also love my ducted gas heating, especially in July and August!

#11 Reader

Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:00 PM

We're in Melbourne. In the 'old' part of the house, where the bedrooms and study are, we have the original ducted heating which works well. We never leave it on all night though, it's not necessary. In the bedrooms we have ceiling fans, which are fantastic.

In the new part of the house (kitchen and living area), we have a split system, which works really well for both heating and cooling.

I don't think air conditioning is necessary in bedrooms where we are - the ceiling fans are brilliant. The very, very hot nights are still a bit uncomfortable to start with, but we usually manage to get a decent night's sleep. Thankfully, there's only a couple of those nights a year.

Edited by Reader, 03 January 2013 - 06:02 PM.


#12 blueberrymuffin

Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:09 PM

We have a Fujitsu split system. It works for our little house along with ceiling fans, but if we had more space I would have preferred ducted.

#13 emski72

Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:10 PM

We've just gone down this path and researched the bejesus out of all options!

In the end we had evaporative cooling installed - Breezair.  There are a lot of benefits to evap - cheaper to run, not recycling old air, it also filters the air it brings in so better for allergies. If it is a good (newish) unit, it is also quieter for your neighbours. I can't even hear ours when I'm outside. You can also just have it on 'vent' so it's bringing in air from outside on days where is not outrageously hot outside and creates a breeze like a ceiling fan. A service for the unit costs approx $150 and if your OH is skilled there's not that much to it.  They also use minimal water (that was another concern for me - but they are quite efficient).  

Cons are that they don't work as well on humid days - but after much research on Whirlpool forums and the BOM site I found there were only really 3 days last year where the evap would not have been very effective - I can live with that for a more reasonable electricity bill.

You need to have sufficient windows/doors open approx 5-10 cms opposite the vents in order for it to work correctly - if your house is feeling damp inside then you don't have enough windows open. It certainly shouldn't be making the floor wet enough to slip on, but perhaps it's an older unit in the PP mums house? Sorry to hear about your mums fall though. Another trick to see that you have the right set up with evap is if your open window has screens a piece of paper should 'stick' to the screen with the force of the air pressure - if it's not then you have too many windows open.

Another thing that makes a big difference - you are better to 'over service' the area you have to cover rather than 'under service' in regard to the power of the unit you go for - eg don't skimp on a cheaper model, go for the more powerful one for the area you are trying to cover.

I really would recommend Evap - I've been out of the house today until 6pm so it's all been closed up (double brick in Melb) - I turned it on 1 bar at 8am today and when I got home it was 21.5 degrees inside an hour ago and it's currently dropping as I sit here (21 now). It's currently on 3 bars and I can barely hear it.

In the end I think it depends on what is important to you - do you want the air icy cold? If so go with ducted aircon or split.  

With heating we have ducted gas heating and I couldn't live without that - we also have an old wall gas heater in the lounge which is good when I want to stay up and DH wants to go to bed in winter (can't leave the heating on - it's too hot and you are not supposed to block more than 20% of vents as it's dangerous).

I hope this rambling helps you in some way!

#14 Soontobegran

Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:08 PM

QUOTE (LookMumNoHands @ 03/01/2013, 06:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We are in Melbourne, and have evap cooling. It sucks a*se, to put it mildly. Today we've had it on all day, and it's still too warm inside. I've currently got my feet in a bucket of cold water  sad.gif .

My mum also has evap cooling. The other week, when we had a high 30's day, she did a food shop in the morning and turned the cooling on before she left. When she got home, she was carrying some shopping bags into the kitchen and slipped on the floor and ended up with a broken arm in 2 places. The floor was so wet from the evap cooling and humidity  sad.gif .



I don't understand this LMNH? We have evap and it is wonderful except on days of really high humidity and then it gets a little sticky but never ever has it been slippery. There may have been 2 days last year when it was sticky.
Right now it is 34 outside and a lovely comfy 21 in here and there is a fresh cool breeze flowing through every room.
Do you have a window slightly ajar in each room that you are using? Maybe your unit needs servicing?
Ours is Brivas and I only have it running at 4 bars. I know it doesn't give the chill of the split systems but that is what I like. The house is cool throughout without being freezing and the running costs are halved. We had split sytem and ditched it.

I'd be getting it looked at with the weather on our way sad.gif

#15 josh2003

Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:41 PM

Also in Melb, and we're in the middle of a large extension at the moment, and we just had a zoned Daikin ducted reverse cycle system put in. I was a bit worried that we'd have to be working the system really hard because we have a really large open plan area, and a huge play room with cathedral ceiling, and both areas have uncovered windows everywhere (although they are double glazed timber).  The hottest day we've had so far has been 39 degrees, and we only had it on the lowest speed at 24 degrees, and you wouldn't even know it was hot outside.

The good thing about it is that it cools the house down so quickly that you don't have to worry about putting it on early or leaving it on when you go out.

For heating, we will use the ducted for the beginning of winter when it's only cold in the morning and on certain days, but we're putting hydronic heating panels in for the rest of the time. I work from home and I really feel the cold, so ducted heating costs a bomb to run all day long at my desired temperature! Plus, I really don't like the heat produced by ducted heating systems.

#16 ubermum

Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:43 PM

We have a split system. We only use it for heating because we figure we are freezing to death 9 months of the year where I live, melting in summer gives us fond memories for winter biggrin.gif

#17 erindiv

Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:47 PM

I'm in a rental in central Vic and have a split system which is position in an idiotic location so does FA. Luckily I have ducted heating for winter which is heavenly.

#18 Charli73

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

In Melbourne too in single storey 4 bed  brick veneer and we have ducted heating and evaporative cooling, both brivis.

I researched the cooling and we had a split system amd we took it out and put evaporative in as its cheaper to run,  i dont freak out if thekids leave the door open, fresh air not recycled and the water it uses we plumbed into the water tank for thegarden.
On hot days as long ss i have it onearly im actually too cold most ofthe time as we got a bigger system than was suggested and i can hardly hear it.  I think ifu findit leaves thd floor wet maybe you havent enough windows open?

Our heating is great, i would look at hydronic if i was go ever upgrade but thats $$$.

We also insulated our timber floors and brick walls and that has made the heating and cooling both more effective .

#19 baddmammajamma

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

We are in Sydney and have ducted air/heat -- our system is zoned so that we can target certain parts of the house. Best money we've ever spent on our house!

In the very back of the house, where it was impossible to duct, we have wall units. They are crap compared to the ducted system.

I am actually surprised by the number of homes in this area (especially more expensive homes) that don't have central air and heating. Sydney gets very cool days in winter and some very hot days in summer -- maybe not as dramatic as some other parts of Australia, but still enough to make it very unpleasant at times.

I don't like to freeze or sweat in my own home.

#20 Chelli

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:06 PM

We have a Daikin split system which is perfect for us, especially with heating in winter. It heats the whole house comfortably. Initially we thought we'd need two due to the distance from the loungeroom to the bedrooms, but it won't be necessary.

Not sure about how well it cools in very hot places as I could count on one hand how many times we've had the airconditioner part turned on in the last 8 years. happy.gif

#21 noi'mnot

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:10 PM

We're in Melbourne, in a single story 3bed + 2living weatherboard house. Ducted (floor) gas heating is brilliant. Ducted (ceiling) evap cooling is brilliant.

I particularly dislike the feel of refrigerated cooling, and would prefer the more pleasant cool breeze of evap over the feeling of other cooling, even with 2-3 days per year where it doesn't work quite as well. We've found, though, that it still works but as PPs said it's just slightly sticky.

To the PP who finds it very damp (goodness your poor mum, I hope she's ok) maybe you should get your unit serviced? We've never experienced anything like this...

#22 Alpha_Chook

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:17 PM

We have a reverse cycle split system (Newcastle, NSW)...we mainly use it to take the humidity away, it is still an effective cooler but I hate humidity. We use it for heating in winter as well. In Eamons room we have a small convection heater to take the chill out of the air....he has asthma which flairs up if he gets too cold

#23 i-candi

Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:24 PM

We've only just installed refrigerative  air conditioning. We went with Fujitzu and have one compressor and four heads. The heads are in the bedrooms, I relented on getting aircon after living 4 years without it as the house was designed to handle the heat (lots of decks and lots of insulation) our house is actually too dark ! I'm getting old so need a good night sleep so agreed to aircon. We rarely use it, kids like to have it on an hour as they go to sleep.

My theory if it's a heatwave or it is so bad we can retire to bedrooms with iPads, books, toys. The spare room has a tv with a repeater for Foxtel so if we want we can all pile in there (it is actually two rooms on plan but they made it into one room) and watch TV. The spare room is DS study area so he can still do homework/study in the heat.


Winter we have a glorious wood fire.

Our ceiling fans go all year (in winter where the fire is fanning hot air in winter mode) and spring/summer moving air around.

Sydney semi rural.

#24 eilca

Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:36 PM

We have ducted and zoned reverse cycle.  It is coming up to 17 years old and I would love to be able to preset for timing etc.  But, touch wood, it is effective for its age.

#25 UpsyDaisy

Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

I live in your area and have a massive house (4 br, study, 3 living, media room etc.). I run a single spilt system air con. in the back media room. Due to the open plan, no doors (except bedrooms, bathrooms etc.) the cooling reaches all area's.

Personally, I would never choose from anything other than a split system, cheap to run too.

It was 40 degree's today and to be honest I had no idea no matter where I was in the house and it was only set on 20 degree's. Almost died when I went outside ohmy.gif ohmy.gif ohmy.gif

Winter - Ducted gas heating. Cheap. Works well - too well IMO. All the ducts in the bedrooms etc. are turned off and even so it only needs a few minutes, then it's turned off.

Edited by UpsyDaisy, 03 January 2013 - 09:44 PM.





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