Evaporative Air Conditioning Vs Reverse Cycle Air Conditioning: Which Is Best?


Deciding to purchase a new or replacement air con system can seem simple until you are faced with multiple products, configurations and types. One of the biggest purchasing decisions to make is choosing between evaporative air conditioning and refrigerative reverse cycle air conditioning. Both systems have pros and cons for Perth homeowners.

The best way to tackle the problem is considering what you need from your air con system. In Perth, we can experience some extreme temperatures, requiring a versatile and robust system which will stand the test of time. Read about the strengths and weaknesses of both types of systems below to help make an informed decision:


The size of the area you need to heat or cool may dictate the type of system you choose. Larger areas can benefit from a reverse cycle system. Evaporative air conditioning units attempting to cool large areas may struggle. However, for smaller homes or offices, an evaporative system may provide adequate cooling at greater efficiency.


It’s true. Evaporative units may not be suitable for humid climates, as they are better at cooling in a dry heat. The systems produce moist air and humidity causes the air to remain damp, in turn increasing humidity within the home. It may also struggle in a higher heat. Refrigerative systems are more efficient at cooling but come at a higher operating cost. Perth heat can be dry, but we do occasionally experience humid days during summer storms. If you experience only few humid days a year, an evaporative cooler may be a viable and less costly option.


In many senses (no pun intended), evaporative systems can be a better choice for those who suffer allergies or sensitivities to dust. An evaporative system cools and circulates fresh air from outside, filtering out many allergens. Evaporative air conditioners draw air through a moistened pad, cooling it by evaporation. As a result, the air is moist, making people less susceptible to dry skin, nose and mouth.

Energy Efficiency

It’s well known that evaporative systems are an energy efficient choice compared to refrigerative reverse cycle air conditioning. Evaporative units are also less expensive at initial purchase. If choosing a refrigerative reverse cycle system, many are energy efficient in their operation. Choosing the right sized system, ducted or split, for your space and operating only when needed, are the best ways to be energy efficient.

Ready to Choose?

Making a choice between systems comes down to your individual requirements and what will best suit your environment. Some Perth homeowners prefer the robust and efficient refrigerative systems, whilst others prefer the environmentally friendly option of an evaporative unit.

If you would like to know more about the differences between our systems and make a selection, visit your local store or get in touch to speak with our knowledgeable team.