How to Best Use Your Split System this Winter
Owners of reverse cycle air conditioning are perhaps the most suited to a sudden change in temperature. All that’s required to stay cool when the mercury drops is a slight adjustment on the thermostat.
Only split system reverse cycle units are this versatile but, in reality, the change isn’t necessarily that simple. Preparing a reverse cycle split system air conditioner for winter takes a little more care. Constant use over summer leads to dirty filters, while there’s always the chance of interior parts failing or malfunctioning.
Reverse cycle systems offer you climate control for all seasons, but you’ll know it soon enough if you decide to run a split system that wasn’t at its best. And if warmth and efficiency are what you’re after, there are some quick steps you can take to achieve it. Your split system will be warming up your home in no time this winter.
The Versatility of Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning
When it comes to keeping your home cosy during the winter months, a split system with reverse cycle air conditioning can be your best friend. What makes it so versatile? Let’s break it down.
Reverse cycle air conditioning is like a superhero for your home’s climate control needs. It not only provides cool air for your space in the summer but also heats it up efficiently during the chilly winter months. This dual functionality ensures you get year-round comfort without needing to invest in separate heating and cooling systems.
There are more than two parts to your split system’s versatility. It can even provide the ideal temperature during spring and autumn.
In Australia, we deal with the extremes of heat from November or December through to February, and our split system air conditioners are designed to deal with that. However, split systems are just as capable when the chill sets in.
The key to its versatility lies in its ability to reverse the refrigeration cycle. In colder months, it extracts heat from the outdoor air (even on cold days) and transfers it indoors, keeping your home warm and toasty. In the summer, it does the opposite, expelling heat outside to cool your living spaces.
Additionally, reverse cycle systems are energy-efficient, saving you money on your energy bills. You can also control the temperature room by room, providing customised comfort for your family.
So, when the winter chill sets in, remember that your split system with reverse cycle air conditioning is ready to keep you snug and cosy without breaking the bank. Keep reading for tips on how to use your split system air conditioner during the colder months.
Maintain Clean Filters
Maintaining clean air conditioning filters in split system air conditioners is arguably the most important task in winter. Not only will it ensure a home is heated efficiently, but it also offers health benefits.
Filters provide fresh, clean air. Although it’s not the main role, the air is purified as dust and debris are caught in the netting of a filter. Asthma and allergy sufferers benefit the most as it means there are fewer allergens floating around.
However, dirty or blocked filters impede the positives. Dust, bacteria, fur etc. can all be spread around, increasing the risk of allergic reactions. Paired with the drier, heated air that is created by a split system on a heat setting, and the body will feel the side effects.
Think drier skin, dry eyes, a runny nose, coughing, and more. It could all be linked to a blocked air conditioner filter. Hence why a simple clean with some warm soapy water could maintain a healthy home.
Also, throw in the fact that blocked filters force heaters to use more energy, and there’s every reason to keep it clean. With the change of season, or at least every three months, pull out the filters and give them a thorough rinse and dry.
Keep Doors and Windows Closed
One simple and costless way to keep any home warm in winter is by closing doors and windows. Shrink the space that has to be heated and the split system is combating less cold air.
By heating the rooms in use, energy is conserved and maximum benefit achieved. Now, this can be difficult in open plan rooms. As a result, also consider furniture layout. Position a lounge suite so that it can receive warm air while watching TV. There’s no point placing a couch on the other side of a room where the split system can’t reach.
Meanwhile, when the temperature picks up, take advantage. Open curtains to allow natural sunlight in and capture that heat before the sun sets. If it’s not too cold, open a window for a short while to allow for fresh air flow.
Don’t Set the Thermostat Too High
Some people love to fire up the heater and turn a house into a sauna. They want the thermostat at 25°C so the winter chill is nothing but a distant memory.
Don’t fall into that trap. The optimal range for heating is between 17-20°C, and in winter that will feel warm. It also keeps energy bills low. Every degree the thermostat goes up by equates to roughly 10% more energy used. Setting your heater to 22°C will add up considerably compared to 19°C.
Also, take a step back and be patient with heating. Cranking the temperature right up when you first wake up will force the heater to churn through more power. There’s no gradual rise as it’s being asked to pump out considerable heat.
In the northern hemisphere, most people rely on central heating, which many people also use here. But the winters are quite as harsh in Australia, so you’ll be surprised how effective reverse cycle split system air conditioners can be at lower temperatures.
Instead, if you have the option, use settings that will turn the heater on shortly before you wake up or get home. The split system will use less energy as it gradually increases the temperature, and can then maintain it easily.
Book a Split System Service
Using a split system that has clogged filters or a damaged motor goes against common sense. For the most efficient heating possible, you want a unit that is healthy and up to scratch.
Air conditioner and heater services should be booked once a year, ahead of peak seasonal changes. For example, a split system service around April or May is perfect for winter heating preparation. When December comes you’ll be ready for the heat.
This will allow your local heating technician the opportunity to inspect various split system elements. Key parts that often require servicing or cleaning include:
- Filters, grilles and/or louvres
- The outdoor unit (or condenser), including the compressor, heat exchanger, etc
- The indoor unit, including the fan, filters and coils
A split system service will also include thermostat testing, refrigerant leak detection and possibly air con regassing.
Organise a Split System Upgrade
Cleaning and maintenance can only do so much when it comes to an older reverse cycle split system air conditioner. Eventually, they hit a point where repairs cannot maximise efficiency. If the heat just never cuts through the chill, consider upgrading your split system.
The average life expectancy of a split system is typically about 20 years, give or take. After that amount of time, you can certainly expect a system to longer be at the forefront of heating technology, too.
Advancements in inverter technology and energy efficiency have even seen improvements of 30% on split systems from about 10 years ago. And with Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) to consider, if you want to feel toasty warm all winter long, contact Metropolitan Air Conditioning.
We can install, repair and service a range of major brands, including ActronAir, Braemar, Coolair, Mitsubishi Electric, Fujitsu, Lennox, Panasonic and many more. Metropolitan’s expertise is in not only split system air conditioners but all types of heating and cooling.
Our technicians have access to the latest split system models. You can enjoy the best of the best with fully licensed installation and maintenance services. Contact the heating and cooling experts at Metropolitan Air Conditioning today.
Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.