One of the greatest challenges faced by Northern Territory homeowners is the cost of running air-conditioning. At the height of an Australian summer, a typical home will see a sharp rise in energy costs due to prolonged use of air-conditioning to keep the property cool.
That is why more consideration is being given to air-conditioning options at the planning state of new builds and renovations. Making the right choice will benefit the homeowner in a number of ways. As well as affecting costs, the type of air-conditioning that you choose will play a large part in how effectively you can cool your home.
A ducted air-conditioning system is likely to cost more to install than a split system. However, there are some key benefits to this type of system for homeowners. The air-conditioning unit is installed in a location where it can’t be seen. On the inside of your property, the only visible indications of the system are the vents in each room.
With most ducted systems, air is cooled evenly throughout the property. Although there are benefits to zoned air-conditioning, leaving any room to stew in the heat for too long can have a detrimental effect on furniture, flooring, and other structures. There are also ducted air-conditioning systems which have zoning capabilities; however, you will invariably pay more for this added option.
Another benefit of ducted air-conditioning systems is that they are generally quieter than their split system counterparts. The noisiest component of the ducted air-conditioning system is normally outside the property. That means you are not constantly subjected to noisy mechanisms every time you want to cool your property.
Split systems which are installed on a room by room basis allow for a lot of flexibility. You can reduce costs in a number of ways through cost of installation and effective placement. For instance, you may only need a single unit to cool multiple open plan rooms. Through effective use of and taking advantage of airflow you will save on both installation and energy bills.
Most split air-conditioning systems offer greater flexibility when controlling which areas of the property are cooled. As well as giving you the option of not installing units in certain rooms, you can create zones to reduce electricity use and significantly lower your summer energy bills. As a result you will also produce a lower carbon footprint, which is definitely a benefit for eco-conscious homeowners.
Room by room systems are much easier to clean and maintain than ducted systems, too. Ducts typically pick up a lot of outside pollutants, such as smoke and allergens. Cleaning is rarely fully effective, while adding an extra cost which doesn’t exist with a split system. As split systems are individual units, each has its own filtration system built in.
Ultimately, you will need to consider the shape and orientation of your property, and how each system will fair in typical summer weather. Your builder can help you make the right choice by advising on airflow and other aspects of the property’s design and structure which will affect air-conditioning efficiency. Air-conditioning is a long term investment. The benefits should always outweigh the cost so choose wisely.
Remember, too, that the type of air-conditioning you choose will impact on your property value. There are arguments to be made in favor of both systems. However, the value that each adds to your home will depend on a number of factors, including locale, installation costs versus effective use, and the personal preferences of buyers in the local market.