Heating with a reverse cycle air conditioner - Tim's story – AEF | Australian Energy Foundation

Heating with a reverse cycle air conditioner – Tim’s story

In November 2014, Tim Forcey and his partner, local Sandringham residents (and Australian Energy Foundation’s energy assessor and all-electric home advocate), installed two split system reverse cycle air conditioners to heat and cool their 100 year old weatherboard home. 

We spoke to Tim to discuss their experience.

Why Tim decided to install split system air conditioners

“We installed the air conditioners mainly in preparation for those hot summers to come,” Tim says. 

“The models that we purchased were reverse cycle air conditioners so could be used for both summer and heating. I knew about the theory of using reverse cyle air conditioners for heating (I’m an industrial chemical engineer), so I couldn’t resist testing them out for myself that following winter.” 

The process

“Overall, we found the transition from our ducted gas heating was fairly easy. We used them the exact same way as the ducted gas (mainly heating the home in the morning and evening) and found they made our home just as warm.The models that we bought can bring humidity into the living space which feels really nice in winter. I like to call this our trip to Queensland!” 


“A big benefit is that we’ve reduced our bills. We used to spend around $500 per year on gas heating and now with the efficient air conditioners we spend around $150 per year – so less than a third of the cost.” 

“We also just recently expanded our solar PV system to a 6kW system so are planning on heating more during the day when the PV system is generating power. This should hopefully give us even more savings.” 

“Overall, we’ve been really happy with our new aircons and would not go back to gas. In fact, we’ve also recently upgraded our gas hot water system to a hot water heat pump – so we now just use 5% of what we previously used. Next on the list is switching the gas cooktop to induction!”


To learn more about efficient heating, read our guide or get a quote for your home.