How to Upgrade your Air Conditioner

There’s no going around it. Summer is incredibly hot here in Perth, and even throughout Western Australia. If your air conditioner battled to keep you cool this Summer, you may be thinking that it’s time to upgrade. But, where to start? Should you go for the same type of air conditioner, or change it? Which brand is best? Let us walk through some frequently asked questions (FAQs) when it comes to upgrading your air conditioning system.


“Can I upgrade from an evaporative to refrigerated ducted air conditioner?”

Yes, you can. This is what we call an evaporative changeover. Changing over from evaporative to reverse cycle refrigerated ducted air conditioning is a simple task that is often completed in 1 day. Evaporative air conditioning is a simple way of allowing outside air to flow into your home via ducting. Where it differs from refrigerated ducted air conditioning is that evaporative only supplies slightly conditioned outside air. Whereas, refrigerated air conditioners allow for this air to be conditioned through the refrigeration cycle so that is provides year-round comfort.

When upgrading from evaporative air conditioning to a refrigerated ducted system, the ducting cannot be re-used. It may look the same, feel the same and serve a similar purpose, but the actual diameter of the ducting is different for a refrigerated system. A refrigerated ducted air conditioner needs different sized diameter ducting to allow the conditioned air to pass through.

It can be a similar story for the outlets. After many years of use, the once glistening white ceiling outlets can turn a shade of yellow and become stained. We replace them at the same time you’re getting the new system installed.

“I just need more cool air in one room, can I add an outlet to my current ducted system?”

If you have an existing reverse cycle ducted system, in most cases you can add another outlet. This new outlet will need to be connected to an existing zone (if a zoned ducted system is installed). Alternatively, you can add a new additional zone to the system if your current air conditioner and controller allow it. Each sized air conditioner has different capacity, meaning adding an additional outlet could impact upon the existing performance of the system.

If you have a large ducted air conditioner with a zoning system, and you’re looking to add an outlet, there is a very good chance this would be possible. This can be completed in 1 day by Ford & Doonan. However, it will require a site inspection to ensure compatibility.Upgrade your Air Conditioner

“I want a unit upgrade to a larger capacity system, is this possible?”

It most definitely is! Upgrading an existing air conditioner to a larger system is often a simple task that can be performed in 1 or 2 days. Depending on the size of the air conditioner, the ducting and outlets may have to be replaced too. Removing the existing air conditioner may cause damage to the ducting in your ceiling. The last thing we want is an unsatisfied customer. If you’re interested in a unit upgrade for an existing reverse cycle ducted air conditioner, simply contact Ford & Doonan for a site inspection and quotation.

If you’re looking to install a larger split system, or upgrade from a single to a multi split system, this is also possible and can be completed in 1 or 2 days. When the old split system is removed, Ford & Doonan will also remove a lot of existing piping and replace with brand new equipment. The reason being is that we don’t want to allow for any water leaks to occur after the installation is complete.

“What if my air conditioner is included as part of my new home build, can I upgrade it?”

If you’re having an air conditioner installed as part of a new home build, then you’re already ahead of the rest! This is the perfect time to upgrade your air conditioner as it will mean both the builder and the air conditioning company can work together to ensure the best performance possible. During a new home build where Ford & Doonan supply the air conditioning, our Builders Direct department liaise directly with you, the client, throughout the entire air conditioning stage. Beginning with a face-to-face pre start consultation, through the installation process, Ford & Doonan are able to answer any questions you may have.

Performing a unit upgrade during the new home build stage allows you to fully customise your air conditioner to the way you’d like it.  Prefer Panasonic over Daikin? No worries! Looking to add thicker, more energy efficient gold ducting? That’s just one click away! Upgrading the air conditioner during a new home build is easy and stress free, and often more cost efficient too.

“What brand of air conditioner is best?”

This one is quite a hard one to answer. There is no one ‘single’ best brand of air conditioner, as there are many variables at play. Some being budget and amount of use. If you’re looking to air condition a single room in a home, then a Panasonic split system with nanoe™X technology is an excellent option. If you’re after an affordable whole home ducted air conditioner, then Samsung or Rinnai could be a good option. Ford & Doonan have had a long standard relationship with Daikin for over 25 years, and are now the largest Daikin dealer in Western Australia. If you’re looking for the ultimate whole home ducted air conditioner, it is hard to go past a Daikin ducted air conditioner.

However, it’s important to speak with one of our Design Consultants before purchasing your new system so that we can help you get the best air conditioner for your needs.

Take a moment to watch out video and avoid the ’10 Common Mistakes People Make when Buying Ducted Air Conditioning’

Can I just upgrade the controller?

Yes, that’s also possible too. In recent years, there has been immense innovation within the air conditioning space. In the past, controllers used to be simple, plain and dull with many buttons and tiny font. Now, they’re sleek and fully touchscreen. Additionally, some smart controllers even allow you to connect smart lights, smart speakers, garage doors and reticulation (just to name a few!). Perfect for those tech-heads or control freaks.

Upgrading the controller on an existing reverse cycle ducted system is possible in most cases. However, it depends on the current controller you have. Simply contact your local Ford & Doonan store on 1800 AIR CON (1800 247 266) to find out the compatibility. Or, email us a photo of your current controller to info@fordanddoonan.com.au.