Air Conditioning

Ducted Refrigerated vs Evaporative Air Conditioning

Figuring out how to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter is important when you’re building or renovating a house. Ducted air conditioning systems are the ideal way to supply refreshing, cool air to the entire home. But do you need an evaporative system or a refrigerative system?

Once you know the difference between ducted evaporative and ducted refrigerated air conditioning, you can choose the solution that works best for your household.

How Does Evaporative Air Con Work?

Ducted evaporative air conditioning relies on the natural process of evaporation to provide cool, refreshing air to every room in your home.

Hot air from outside your home passes over moistened filters inside the central unit. The water in the filters evaporates, making the air cooler before it is blown through the ducts into the rooms of your home.

Evaporative A/C feels like a fresh sea breeze. Stale, warm air is continually being replaced by fresh air which helps eliminate odours and germs. You should keep a door or window slightly open to let the warm, stale air escape when using an evaporative air conditioner.

How Does Refrigerated Air Con Work?

Refrigerated ducted air conditioning allows you to cool all the rooms in your home. If it is a reverse cycle system, you can also keep your entire home warm during winter.

Warm air from inside your home is drawn into the central unit. Heat (thermal energy) from the air is absorbed by the refrigerant and the cool, clean air is blown into your rooms via ducts.

For refrigerative A/C to work best, you should leave all the doors and windows closed.

Dry vs Humid Climates

Refrigerative air conditioning systems allow you to have precise temperature control, no matter what the climate conditions outside are.

On the other hand, evaporative air conditioning works best in hot, dry climates. If there is a lot of moisture in the air, the evaporation process is slowed down and it becomes harder to cool the air.

Energy Efficiency

Evaporative systems are much more energy efficient than ducted refrigerative air conditioning. That’s because the only electricity they require is for the fan and water pump.

Refrigerative systems require more electricity to run. However, systems that have zoning capabilities are much more efficient. Zoning lets you cool or heat just the rooms that are being used while switching off the air conditioning for unoccupied rooms.


Due to it’s small energy consumption, evaporative ducted air conditioning is much cheaper to run than refrigerative ducted air con. Evaporative A/C can cost as little as 10c per hour to run compared to $2-$5 per hour for refrigerative A/C.

Which System Is Right for You?

Ultimately, the best system comes down to personal preference. Refrigerative and evaporative ducted air conditioning both have their benefits and shortfalls.

If cost efficiency and lower energy consumption is a priority to you, evaporative air con may be the better choice. If you want reliable and effective heating and cooling all year round, you might prefer a refrigerative system.

For more information about air conditioning types, speak with your local air conditioning Baldivis, Mandurah specialists.