A reverse-cycle air conditioner can heat as well as cool – in fact, it’s one of the cheapest ways to heat your home in winter.
In cooling mode, a split-system air conditioner extracts heat from the indoor air and moves it outside, via the refrigerant gas in the pipes connecting the indoor and outdoor units. The outdoor unit releases the heat and pumps the cooled refrigerant back to the indoor unit where the cycle continues. In heating mode, the process is simply reversed, to extract heat energy from the outdoor air and sends it indoors (yes, even in cold weather there’s some heat energy in the outdoor air).
If you only need an air conditioner for cooling in summer (for instance, if you live in an area with mild winters or you already have another heating system), then a cooling-only air conditioner could be right for you. They’re generally cheaper than reverse-cycle models but usually have all the same features.
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