Are you interested in ducted heating but not quite sure if it’s right for you? Maybe your existing system is playing up and you want answers!
If you have questions, we have you covered. Read on for everything you need to know about ducted heating, including answers to the top 18 questions!
Ducted heating is a highly effective central heating option for homes and businesses of all sizes. These systems typically consist of ducts that are installed in the roof or under the floor. These concealed ducts are accompanied by an internal or external furnace and a series of vents and grilles.
There is a wide range of options available, all of which are known for their energy efficiency, effective thermal comfort, and ability to heat your entire property.
Ducted heating can be powered by either electricity or gas.
Gas ducted heating is the more traditional and popular ducted option. It usually runs on natural gas but can also utilise LPG if your property isn’t connected to natural gas mains.
Reverse cycle air conditioning is the electrically powered form of ducted heating. With a ducted reverse cycle air conditioner, you can heat your home in winter and cool it in summer, providing whole-home comfort all year round.
Generally speaking, all ducted heating systems work the same. Hot air is generated, distributed throughout the ducts in your roof or floor, and sent out the vents and into your home. This process is repeated until the desired temperature is reached. However, there are a few differences in how a ducted gas heater works compared to a reverse cycle system.
Ducted gas heating draws in air from inside your home. This travels through the return air grille and over the heat exchanger. The air is heated via gas combustion and delivered throughout your home in the process described above.
Reverse cycle ducted heating systems don’t generate heat in the same way that gas systems or other electric systems do. Instead, they absorb heat energy from the outdoor air and transfer this indoors to heat the home. This process involves coils, heat pumps, and refrigerant, and it will work even if it’s really cold outside.
While these systems work slightly differently, the result is the same! Efficient and comfortable warm air is there to enjoy at the press of a button.
Ducted heaters have a great reputation for being energy-efficient, which helps to make them highly affordable. Let’s break down just how much you can expect to pay for a ducted heater.
Running costs for ducted heaters will vary depending on a range of factors. The size and efficiency of your system, the size of the space you are heating, and your gas and electricity prices will all help to shape your running costs. Home insulation, thermostat settings, and zoning settings will also play a role.
We recommend reviewing your gas and electricity prices regularly and shopping for a heating system with a minimum 4-star energy efficiency rating. Setting your heater between 18°C and 20°C also provides the perfect balance between affordability and comfort.
Some figures estimate just $0.25 per hour to heat the home with a ducted system!
Installing your heating system is a one-off cost, but it is also the most significant cost you will face. The national average for ducted heating installations ranges from $3500 to $9000. However, larger installations can easily exceed $10,000.
This will vary based on the size of the system, the brand you choose, and its energy star rating. The size of your property and your installation requirements will also affect the price. Ducted heaters can be installed at four different points, five points, six points, or more! The number of different points refers to the number of vents in rooms throughout your home.
For a personalised quote on ducted heating installation in Melbourne, chat to the team at Australian Climate Systems today.
Replacing a ducted heating unit usually just involves replacing the heater itself and leaving the ducts, vents, and grilles in place. This is known as a ducted heating changeover. This process is fast and affordable, and you should expect to pay only a fraction of the price of a new installation.
If, for some reason, you need to replace the ductwork and other elements of your system, you can expect to pay full installation costs and potentially more.
It can be difficult to put a price on servicing because the final cost will depend on what your system needs.
Ducted heating servicing is generally charged on an hourly basis, and you can expect most services to cost a few hundred dollars rather than thousands. More serious repairs will increase the price, and systems that haven’t been serviced regularly are likely to require more work.
If you want to reduce the price of servicing and repairs, we recommend arranging services before something goes wrong. Preventative ducted heating services and maintenance can save you a lot of money and hassle in the long term.
Split systems tend to be cheaper to install and run than ducted heaters, but things aren’t always that straightforward.
Split systems are designed to heat and cool a single room. To heat the entire home, you will need to install several split systems, each with its own indoor and outdoor unit. Alternatively, you can opt for a multi-split system, which runs several indoor units connected to a single outdoor unit. The more split systems you use, the greater your costs will be.
If you want to heat your whole house without any hassle, ducted heating might be better for you. Ducted heaters can warm your entire home, and if you have zoning, you can choose to only heat the zones you are using at any given time. This will save you money that would otherwise be wasted heating empty rooms.
As with all systems, the energy efficiency of your ducted heater or split system heating will play a large part in determining running costs.
The best system for you will ultimately be driven by what you need from your heating and cooling. Once you know your requirements, you can work with an expert to find the best option.
The most efficient ducted heater will always be one that you choose and use thoughtfully.
Make sure you choose a system with minimum 4-star efficiency and a programmable thermostat. Set your thermostat between 18°C and 20°C in winter and use zoning whenever you can.
Save energy by sealing gaps and ensuring your insulation is up to scratch. You can also take advantage of natural heat by opening your curtains during the day and closing them in the evening when the heater is running.
Ensure your heater is serviced regularly and repaired at the first sign of trouble. Keep an eye on your gas and electricity retailer and consider making a switch if your costs keep climbing!
You might be wondering if you can use the same ducts for heating and cooling, and the answer is yes!
Reverse cycle air conditioners already offer heating and cooling in one package, so if you have one of these systems, no further work is required.
If you have ducted gas heating, you might be able to add on refrigerated air conditioning that flows through the same ducts if they are the correct type and size. Many ducted heaters are compatible with add-on cooling, so enquire today to find out if your system is suitable.
You can quickly clean accessible heating ducts yourself using nothing more than a damp cloth and a vacuum cleaner. If you have filters in your registers or your return-air grille, these can usually be vacuumed or washed and dried quite easily too.
Click here to learn how to quickly clean your heating ducts. For more thorough duct cleaning and services that inspect and address your entire ductwork, contact a professional.
Many people are looking to make the switch from gas to electric, and this is definitely possible.
If you want to swap gas ducted heating for reverse cycle ducted heating, you might need to commit to significant renovation and installation work. This would be more of a replacement than a conversion, but it could be worth it in the long term if you are committed to an all-electric household, or you want to reap the benefits of reverse cycle heating and solar power.
Gas ducted heating units produce carbon monoxide as a by-product, and carbon monoxide leaks can be dangerous or even fatal. However, a ducted heater is only at risk of carbon monoxide leaks if it is faulty, damaged, or improperly installed.
A licensed technician can carry out carbon monoxide testing as part of your regular ducted heating service. If you are concerned about the condition of your gas heating, including damage, malfunction, or strange smells or noises, you should arrange prompt servicing and repairs.
You can also invest in a carbon monoxide detector, which you should test monthly.
Does your central heating unit make you sneeze or cough? Maybe you get watery eyes, a sore throat, headaches, or a feeling of dryness when the heater is on.
All of these symptoms and more can be caused by your heater, but most of the time, it is not just ducted heating that is making you feel sick.
In many cases, a build-up of dust, pollen, or other particulates will be the cause of your symptoms. They could be gathered in your ductwork or around the house. Thorough cleaning and upgrading to high-quality HEPA filters will help in this case.
Specific issues with your ducted heater can lead to the air feeling dry, as well as inconsistent air circulation throughout the home. Services and repairs can usually solve this, but if you have an older system, a ducted heating changeover or replacement may be required.
Finally, carbon monoxide sickness is a possibility. Carbon monoxide has no taste, smell, or colour. Symptoms can range from headaches to weakness and dizziness to confusion, chest pain, and vomiting.
Carbon monoxide sickness can be fatal, so it is essential to vacate the building or open doors and windows and seek immediate medical attention to address serious symptoms.
If your ducted heating isn’t working, there are several steps you can take.
You can check the power to your home and see if a circuit breaker has tripped. For gas systems, you can ensure the pilot light is still on and relight it if there are any problems. If the problem is with a remote control, check the batteries to make sure they are working.
Other steps to take include checking if your heating vents are open and taking a look at the condition of air filters. If necessary, filters can be replaced or cleaned.
Error messages can often be researched in your manual or online, and sometimes, switching the unit off and on again will even do the trick!
Common ducted heating problems include no air or blowing out cold air, as well as a system that won’t turn on, fans that won’t switch off, and strange smells and noises. The best way to deal with persistent ducted heating problems is to arrange professional ducted heating repairs.
Ducted heating maintenance should be carried out every 2-3 years, with more regular servicing for older, less reliable, and heavily used systems. In between scheduled services, you should call a heating and cooling technician if you have any issues with your system.
With more than 25 years of experience, Australian Climate Systems specialises in all the major ducted heating brands. We offer installation, maintenance, and repair services for gas ducted heaters and reverse cycle air conditioning systems. For all the assistance you need, request a quote online or call 03 9726 4444.