Home Heating and Cooling Upgrades Buyers Guide

Advice to support households to replace old gas, electric and wood-fire heating, or where there is no heating system, and install a new energy-efficient reverse-cycle air conditioner to be more comfortable at home all year round.

14 July 2021


Whether you are a property owner, renter or rental provider, upgrading from an inefficient heater in your property can provide greater thermal comfort, that is, being more comfortable with the temperature indoors, which in turn brings social, health and wellbeing benefits. An energy-efficient reverse-cycle air conditioner can provide heating and cooling for your home in one appliance, for year-round comfort.

To get the most out of a system it needs to be planned and installed properly. This guide explains factors to consider that will help you choose a well-designed system that will heat and cool your home in the most efficient way possible.

More efficient heating and cooling means that you can become more comfortable in your home while using less energy for the same benefit. A more modern, efficient reverse-cycle air conditioner also provides better environmental outcomes with fewer emissions than outdated systems.

Victoria’s climate means that we experience significant cold in winters and that heating is an important aspect of our homes. A warmer home can improve the experience of some health conditions. Heating our homes is the highest user of energy for most of us and costs us the most.

Staying cooler at home in hot weather can help you sleep better at night and be more comfortable during the day. Health conditions can be exacerbated by a sensitivity to heat while extreme heat can be dangerous to many.

This guide includes information, to help you plan the right system for your home. It will support you to learn about reverse-cycle air conditioners and the factors that you should consider before purchasing and using your system.

What is Thermal Comfort? The word thermal relates to heat or temperature, and so thermal comfort is simply a way of describing whether you feel too hot, or too cold in a space. Better heating and cooling in your home, can help to improve your level of thermal comfort.

Getting started

Read this guide to help you decide whether a reverse-cycle air conditioner will be the right choice for your home and learn what factors will influence a purchase of the best unit for your circumstances. Read through each section and visit our website to learn more about efficient heating and cooling.

The first step is knowing what size system to buy, and this guide explains how a Supplier will recommend the right size system for your home.

When shopping around for the recommended size system, consider the other factors explained in this document, like purchase cost, running costs and how much you will end up using the system.

We recommend that you do your own research into reverse-cycle air conditioner models, talk to friends and family with similar systems and seek independent advice.

You will also see references to other resources who can help your research, including CHOICE, and Sustainability Victoria, who have both supported the development of this guide.

What to consider before buying a system

  • Learn about reverse-cycle air conditioners
  • Find out what size system suits your household
  • Consider the costs and affordability of a new system
  • Learn how to run a reverse-cycle air conditioner efficiently
  • Learn more about energy efficiency benefits
  • Find an approved product
  • Contact an approved supplier