What is reverse cycle air conditioning?

Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning is a popular choice for Central Coast residents. The Central Coast has a unique climate with warm summers and cooler temperatures in the winter months.

There are many types of air conditioners. They are often described in terms like:

  • Split System
  • Multi-Split
  • Ducted
  • Invertor
  • Non-Invertor

Let’s run through what a reverse cycle air conditioner is and what it actually does.

young woman using remote to control air conditioner

Put simply, reverse cycle air conditioners are units that heat and cool. They are extremely popular because you can use the same machine all year round.

How do reverse cycle air conditioners work?

Reverse cycle air conditioners uses a refrigeration cycle to cool and a reverse refrigeration cycle to heat. This is obviously where the name originates. But how does this cycle work specifically? There are a few steps:

  1. In order to heat your home, the system extracts heat from the outside air. This is done even on cooler days and nights.
  2. The heat is drawn inside and passes through an external coil, which absorbs the heat via a refrigerant (cool liquid).
  3. Refrigerant is pumped into a condenser.
  4. During this process the refrigerant is condensed, heating it up.
  5. As a result, hot air is emitted. This air is pushed through the home using fans.
  6. After this process, the refrigerant is cooled down via the evaporator.
  7. The refrigerant is then pumped back into the condenser.
  8. The cycle repeats.

If you are cooling your home, the cycle is reverse, with the cold air being dispersed into your home. Great on hot summer days!

What are some advantages of Reverse Cycle Air Conditioners?

Energy efficient

In recent years, reverse cycle air conditioners have been improved to be more energy efficient. They are efficient for heating and cooling and accumulate lower energy costs over the long run.


Reverse Cycle Air Conditioners are a flexible option for heating and cooling homes. Their thermostats & inverters ensure that the ideal temperature is always present in your home.

Air Purifier

These systems trap airborne particles and bacteria that would otherwise be circulating throughout the home. With more people working from home, it’s important to have your system cleaned regularly. Check out our article on cleaning your air conditioner & getting your unit serviced.


Reverse Cycle Air Conditioners produce significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than electric heaters. Another great reason to choose these systems!

Should I choose ducted or a split system air conditioner?

Ducted and split system air conditioners are terms used to describe different types of reverse cycle air conditioners. Here’s an overview of each system to help you understand the difference:

  • Ducted System Air Conditioners are used to heat and cool entire homes. The indoor unit is placed in the roof and connected to the house through a series of ducts and vents. The air is distributed throughout the home via these ducts. Ducted systems are more expensive than split systems but offer a full home climate solution.
  • Split System Air Conditioners are used to cool single rooms and spaces, like bedrooms, lounges and home offices. The inside unit is usually wall-hung and discharges air directly to the specified area. Split systems are quickly installed and a more affordable solution for cooling or heating small areas of the home.

Choosing systems is dependent on your individual needs. It is always best to speak to an experienced air conditioning technician. They will take in your specific needs and offer suggestions on systems and specific brands.

If you would like to know more about reverse cycle air conditioners, or would like to install one in your home, call us on (02) 4396 9020. You can also fill out our contact form and one of our team members will get in touch to discuss. We service all of the Central Coast and surrounding areas.