What is The Best Home Heating System?

With winter weather rolling round the corner for Melbourne residents again, now is the perfect time to reassess your home’s heating in order to find out whether you could do with a system upgrade. Confused about what might be the best heating system for your home? You’re not alone. The problem with upgrading is figuring out exactly which heating system may be best suited to both your home as well as its occupants.

There are many benefits to both property-wide ducted heating systems as well as more targeted reverse cycle systems. It’s important to note, however, that both of these different heating systems do come with their fair share of disadvantages or limitations, which may result in them not being the best fit for your home’s heating needs.

Thankfully, our team of HVAC specialists here at Jacob Refrigeration have taken it upon themselves to break down the advantages and limitations of both ducted heating and reverse cycle heating and cooling systems, so that you’ll be able to ascertain exactly which system may be best for your residential property.

Read on to equip yourself with all the knowledge you’ll need when finalising your home heating arrangements in time for this coming Melbourne winter.


Are Gas Ducted Systems the Best Home Heating System?


Gas ducted heating systems use a core central heating unit and a pre-installed ventilation system in order to efficiently provide heat to all the rooms or spaces in your home that have been fitted with a ducted heating grille. This means that if you’re installing your own ducted heating system, you can essentially have total control over which rooms or spaces in your home will actually be heated using the system. Gas ducted heating systems are also fitted with a thermostat, making controlling the heated temperature of your home a veritable breeze.

As your central heating unit is installed internally under the roof of your home, gas ducted heating systems tend to be a lot quieter than reverse cycle heating systems, with all noise produced by these systems being absorbed by the walls and insulation of your home.

By using insulated ducts, the hot air that’s produced by your home’s core central heating unit can stay hot as it travels through your home, making gas ducted heating a highly energy efficient heating system for larger residential properties in particular.

As gas ducted heating systems use fans to gather both external and internal air to be heated and then recirculated back into the home, your ducted heating system will effectively minimise your home’s risks of experiencing rapid heat loss through windows and other areas. Rapid heat loss is amongst the most common reasons for households overusing their heating system and racking up hefty utility bills.

In this sense, a well-insulated ducted heating system that is cleaned and serviced regularly can save you some serious money in the long term, alongside greatly reducing your household’s overall carbon footprint when compared to fitting each room in your home with its own reverse cycle heating system.


Whilst the majority of ducted heating installation jobs can take as little as a day or two, for some pre-existing properties with minimal ceiling access panels, installing a ducted heating system can be an arduous and expensive process akin to a home renovation project. If you live in an older property that lacks the infrastructure to support a central heating unit in its ceiling chamber, then this heating system may not be a suitable heating solution for your household.

Other limitations of ducted heating systems include the fact that these systems are easily susceptible to accruing dust due to their open ventilation and the incorporation of fans as a means of gathering air to be heated and recirculated.

Owners of ducted heating systems will need to invest in regular maintenance to ensure that their home’s heating stays as efficient and hygienic as possible. Poor maintenance of your ducted heating system can lead to an increase of allergens and other irritants in your home’s interior air, lowering your household’s overall air quality.

Having a single central thermostat to deliver a universal temperature across your home may not be ideal for families with varying heating preferences.

grey kitten sleeping on radiator

Are Reverse Cycle Heating Systems Best for Your Home?


Unlike property-wide ducted heating systems, reverse cycle heating systems are designed to heat singular rooms or spaces, with each reverse cycle heating system being fitted with either its own outdoor condensing unit or a shared unit across two to three separate split systems, however HVAC specialists generally recommend that each reverse cycle system maintains its own individual condensing unit.

Reverse cycle heating systems also come equipped with their own remote controls for individual temperature control. This means that every member of your household will be able to set their own thermostat, so to speak, and enjoy their preferred heating arrangements.

Reverse cycle heating installation can also be a lot simpler and cheaper for standalone homes with no shared walls, as installation solely consists of installing the indoor AC unit and connecting it through the wall to your outdoor condensing unit.


Whilst the upfront costs of reverse cycle heating systems are lower than the costs associated with gas ducted heating installation and maintenance, the service area of your reverse cycle heating system is going to be drastically smaller than that of a ducted heating system. This means that whilst smaller properties (i.e. 1-storey homes that are 1-2 bedrooms) may benefit from reverse cycle heating installation, larger properties may find themselves paying a lot more for their heating in the long term.

Any property with over 4 or 5 areas that require targeted heating, won’t be able to get away with using a single outdoor condensing unit for 4 or 5 separate split system heating units either, as this arrangement can easily lead to a condensing unit burning out well before the end of its useful life.

What this means is that larger properties will need to invest in potentially 4 or 5 condensing units if they’d like to run all their reverse cycle systems simultaneously. Doing so will naturally result in excessive noise pollution and a rapid increase in the energy consumption of your household’s overall heating system.

If you live in an area with high population density, investing in multiple outdoor condensing units may not be possible, due to residences sharing walls with neighbouring properties, or simply due to the amount of noise that’s produced by condensing units when heating a property.

What to consider when selecting your ideal home heating system

Generally speaking, your ideal home heating system should be one that adequately heats all the most high traffic areas of your home without drastically increasing your home’s carbon footprint and doubling your household’s utility costs over the cooler winter months.

In truth, there’s no bigger factor to consider than your household’s carbon footprint when it comes to choosing the right heating system for your home, as an energy efficient heating system is more likely to be a system that will stand the test of time.

If you’d like to find out more about the ducted heating and reverse cycle heating solutions offered here at Jacob Refrigeration or would like to receive a quote on any other HVAC project you’d like to secure for your home, simply send through an email query or call our friendly team of HVAC specialists at (03) 0543 8000.

Author: Jan Yakoob

Jan is the managing director of Jacob Refrigeration, a leading company with more than 35 years of experience in air conditioning and refrigeration installation. We continually exceed client expectations through quality, reliability and efficiency.