Choosing HVAC systems can be daunting. There are several parts, sizes, and types to choose from, so how can you tell which one is right for your home? In this article, you will learn about the common types of HVAC systems and their suitability.
Types of HVAC systems
The following are the most common HVAC systems:
Standard split systems
This system, with one part outside and another inside, is still the most common residential HVAC system. The system is configurable depending on climate needs.
Furnace and air conditioner: Most systems use gas furnaces and are highly efficient and cost-effective. The AC’s condensing unit is mounted outside. A crucial component of the system is the evaporator coil, which is usually fitted inside the furnace cabinet. It sucks in the heat and sends it outside through the refrigerant moving through the copper lines.
Air handler and heat pump: Heat pump split systems are popular in warmer regions. The system uses a heat pump for both cooling and heating. The heat pump is similar to the air conditioner only that its operation is reversible during cold weather.
Furnace and heat pump: Split systems with two heating sources are called hybrid heat or dual fuel systems. They are appropriate for cold climates. The heat pump delivers heat in moderate cold. When the temperature drops below freezing, the system shifts automatically to the gas furnace, and the heat pump stops working.
Split systems offer homeowners more options and are the most affordable HVAC system. New parts can be fitted with little or no adjustments to the existing ductwork. It also allows for optimized indoor climate control. The drawback is that conventional split systems need ductwork, and therefore, are unfeasible where installing ductwork is impossible or too expensive.
Ductless split systems
This system is made up of an outside air conditioner for cooling or a heat pump for heating and cooling. Furnaces are not available for ductless split systems. The indoor part contains a fan for dispelling air and can be mounted on the wall, ceiling or floor.
This system is ideal for a home or office with no previous ductwork. One outdoor unit can supply treated air to up to four indoor units, and each unit can have a thermostat for climate control. It is efficient and saves energy use and cost. They are, however, not recommended for freezing climates since the options are limited.
This system is produced with all the major components installed in a large cabinet. They are common in homes without a basement and are always mounted outdoors. The system has a blower to force air into the house and remove untreated air. The method of air treatment depends on the type: Gas/electric, heat pump, or hybrid.
Packaged systems are usually used when conventional split systems are impractical. They make less noise in the room, and they are generally limited, less efficient, and tend to wear out faster than other systems
Before choosing the right type of HVAC system for your home, consult a certified HVAC technician.