Can I Change My Old Evaporative Air Conditioner Over To Ducted Reverse Cycle?

“Can I change my old evaporative air conditioner over to ducted reverse cycle?”

It’s a question we get asked a lot, often followed by customers also asking if they can use their existing ducting and outlets. At Stinson Air and Solar we certainly have changed over hundreds of systems from ducted air conditioning and split system air conditioning through to reverse cycle systems, so in short, the answer is YES we can. With reverse cycle pricing falling in recent years and evaporative systems struggling in extreme heat and humidity, this is a very common job for us.

Can I use the existing ducting?

The answer here is NO we cannot use your existing ducting. The main reason for this is that ducted reverse cycle air conditioning uses smaller ducts than evaporative systems due to lower volumes of air being distributed, so we need to use the smaller ducts to still maintain the required velocities. Also, the ductwork is configured very differently with the branch ducts configured to suit the zoning system of a ducted reverse cycle system rather than the evaporative design of all outlets on at the same time. The ducted reverse cycle system also has return air ducting required to recirculate the air.

How about using the existing outlets?

To do the job correctly the answer is also NO, because of the fact that ducted reverse cycle recirculates, we generally locate outlets near the perimeter (eg between the lights and windows in a bedroom) so that the air can then draw back through the room on the way back to the return air.

With evaporative the air needs to escape through windows, vents or doors to the outside so those outlets (or diffusers) are located closer to the centre of the house (eg in a bedroom near the door) so that the air can travel from the interior to the exterior whilst conditioning the air – particularly prevalent in established homes.

Installing new outlets

The problem with having to install new outlets in these changeovers is the cost of patching the holes in the ceiling and then painting the ceilings. Our team of experts will sometimes install streamlined diffusers (the ones with the 4 squares) which helps direct the air to the other side of the room as required (and then it turns back on itself). Whilst this option tends to work well, we always aim to educate our customers on all options when going through the air conditioning installation process to assist with making the final decision on the best way forward.

Talk to us about installation options


In summary

  • YES — you can change your evaporative air conditioning system to a reverse cycle ducted system
  • YES — you can, but to do the job perfectly change those as well
  • NO —  you cannot use the same duct and when it come to outlets.

We hope this helps clear up some of the common questions around upgrading your current system.

Need our assistance?

If you are located in Perth or the South West, and are in need of a new ducted reverse cycle system, or require some advice regarding your existing air-conditioning unit, we welcome you to contact us today.