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What’s the Difference Between Heating with Aircon or Gas?

Author Rod Marchant-Smith | Peninsula Air Conditioning

Manly resident, Diane asks

“Now that winter is here and the weather is getting colder, we’re looking to heat our home. We’ve been told that gas heating is better than regular air conditioning? Is this true? Whats better for heating, regular air conditioning or gas? Is there a difference?”

There are benefits to choosing a reverse cycle air conditioning system to heat your home or workplace, instead of a gas heater. They are more efficient, and because the price of electricity has dropped relative to that of gas, are also more affordable.

The cost savings

Let’s look at how the conversions work. Both split system and ducted air conditioners use electricity to emit thermal energy, in the form of heat. If you pump one kilowatt of power into a very efficient model of a split system air conditioner, you’ll get five kilowatts of heat out – that’s an efficiency of 500%. With a gas heater, the best efficiency you can get is a bit less than 100%. Comparing them, you can see how gas heating is actually more expensive to run than air conditioning.

Gas is also less versatile. If you only want it installed in one room, the installation costs are very high. With a split system air conditioner, you can put it in a single room easily, and affordably. Note, New South Wales is the only state in Australia that allows gas bayonet fittings that are used for portable gas heaters. They’re not advisable to have in your home. While they are burning gas to give you heat, they are also exposing you to fumes.

Comparing heat outputs

While some people have their minds set on gas because they prefer the heat it produces, in reality, there’s no difference. One bit of hot air is just like another bit of hot air. Neither gas nor electric heating does anything to the air, other than heat it.

Gas, however, does heat air up more quickly than an air conditioner. A gas heater heats air through a greater TD, which is the temperature difference. For example, if the room you are trying to heat is 15 degrees centigrade, and the air coming out of the vents is 55 degrees, there is a 40-degree difference. It needs to produce less air to heat the room and will do it quickly because when you turn gas on, the furnace comes on, and it begins to heat air immediately.

An air conditioner will take a couple of minutes to heat before it begins blowing any warm air. It needs to circulate the refrigerant first. And when it does do it, the temperature difference on an air conditioner is around about 12 degrees.

Your health and comfort

Another argument for gas that we often come across is that people think that air conditioning will cause their eyes to become dry. This isn’t possible. When an air conditioner is running on the heating cycle, it does nothing to the humidity of the air. When it’s running on the cooling cycle, it extracts moisture out of the air because that’s all part of feeling cool and comfortable in humid conditions. Some air conditioners have filters that purify and dehumidify the air, trapping particles, neutralising odours and deactivating bacteria and viruses. They, therefore, contribute positively to your health.

Some of the other benefits of HVAC heating are:

  • They are safer. There are no exposed elements.
  • They are flexible. Many reverse cycle air conditioners are equipped with thermostats so you can adjust the temperature and humidity of the room with ease, plus they cool the air too.
  • They are eco friendly. Air conditioners produce two-thirds less the amount of greenhouse gas emissions than gas heaters do.

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Looking for a system that can heat and cool your home or office efficiently and affordably? Give us a call and we will recommend a solution that best suits your needs. We service many locations across Sydney including Mona Vale, North Willoughby, Belrose, Newport, and more!

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