Owning an HVAC system is of vital importance, especially in parts of the country where the seasons can become extreme. However, if your home doesn’t already have an HVAC system, you’ll want to do some research before purchasing one. For example: did you know there are numerous kinds of HVAC systems out there? Well, you do now. Of course, that raises the question of which system you should buy. The answer is likely to differ depending on several factors—including the age of your building, the amount of space it contains, and the availability of heat & air repair technicians in your area who are qualified to work on the type of system you want. Fortunately, we’ve created a breakdown of the four major varieties here, along with examples of the spaces in which they are likely to function best.
Consider the Likely Costs of Heat & Air Repair
Before we get into the different systems available, it’s important to make a note about heat & air repair. You want to think about much more than the unit itself when you’re purchasing an HVAC system. You also want to think about how many people in your area are qualified to work on it if it experiences mechanical trouble or requires maintenance. Most technicians have more experience with one kind of system than another, so choose carefully. Once you’ve learned a bit about the various types of HVAC systems that exist, call the service technicians available in your area and make sure they can offer services suited to your unit.
That, of course, brings us to the different systems themselves, and the features that distinguish them from each other. Without any further ado, here are the four main types of HVAC system that most Americans will have to choose between:
- Packaged Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
A packaged heating and air conditioning system puts the air conditioner, heat pump, evaporator coil, and fan together in the same compact unit. It also includes a module that functions as a thermostat, so that you can control the temperature from the side of the unit itself. Some packaged systems may also include additional parts, such as air purifiers. These systems are wonderful for use in tight spaces without pre-existing infrastructure for ventilation. They don’t offer enough support for an entire home, but they can be extremely useful in stand-alone areas that can’t be cooled or heated effectively with other methods.
- Duct-Free Split HVAC Systems
An HVAC system without ducts can be convenient when you want to install a modern HVAC in an older home. Older homes often don’t have existing ductwork, and the costs of installing ducts in a home that doesn’t already have them can render a ducted system somewhat prohibitive. Duct-free split-system HVACs, on the other hand, offer effective heating and cooling capabilities without requiring ductwork, especially in individual rooms or smaller spaces. They typically house the heat pump and air conditioner in a relatively compact module, not unlike a packaged system. Where they differ is in the wires and tubes that run refrigerant back and forth to the outdoor unit.
- Hybrid Heat Split Systems
A hybrid heat split system is quite similar to a typical HVAC, with at least one important distinction. Unlike regular HVAC systems, a hybrid includes a heat pump to raise or lower the temperature of the refrigerant. Heat pumps are by and large more energy efficient than traditional HVACs, and can save owners money on their monthly utility bills. However, a hybrid system will still require ductwork to circulate treated air throughout the home or other building where it is installed.
- Standard HVAC Split Systems
Standard HVAC split systems are still the norm throughout most of the United States. They contain an air conditioner, a furnace, an outdoor unit, and a series of ducts to move the air around your building once it has been adjusted to the correct temperature. Standard HVAC systems also require a thermostat, which will typically be installed in a convenient, easy-to-reach area. A standard split system can be an excellent investment if you live in a home or building with existing ductwork, and enough space to house the various units it requires.
How to Go About Choosing Your System
Now that you’ve learned a little about the various kinds of systems, it’s time to start perusing the professionals in your local area who can offer HVAC service. Make sure you know of a reliable and licensed contractor who can perform repairs on the type of HVAC that you want to purchase so that you aren’t left without skilled or cost-effective maintenance options. Once you’ve done that, choosing should be easy. Enjoy your new HVAC system, and may it keep you in comfort no matter what the weather’s like outside.