When you’re putting in a system to heat and cool your home, you can select from among several arrangements. HVAC systems come in distinctly different styles to suit different types of homes, climates, and homeowners. Below are the five most common types of HVAC systems you should consider for a new home
Traditional Split System
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The most familiar HVAC system arrangement is one featuring separate heating and air conditioning systems that share your home’s ductwork and thermostat.
Typically, this arrangement involves an outdoor air conditioning unit and a furnace housed in a basement or ventilated closet. Usually, a single thermostat controls both systems, letting you switch between them as needed. The split system is popular because of its cost-effective installation and ability to heat and cool the house.
Hybrid Heat Split System
Some systems include a heat pump that uses electricity to enhance both the air conditioner and the gas furnace for heating your home.
Except for the heat pump, this type of system is otherwise similar to the traditional split system. The heat pump makes this system a more energy-efficient operating system than a traditional system. While a hybrid heat split system is more expensive to install, it saves money on fuel consumption over time. This kind of system is popular with homeowners who want a more eco-friendly HVAC system alternative or lower utility bills every month, but don’t want to sacrifice comfort.
Geothermal Heat Pump
A geothermal heat pump uses a network of underground pipes filled with water to take advantage of the constant temperature of the earth. Most heat pumps transfer heat to and from the outside air, but since air temperatures fluctuate with the seasons, a geothermal pump is more efficient.
These systems must be installed during a home’s construction phase. Adding a geothermal pump later would require digging up the yard and existing landscaping.
Packaged units arrive ready to install, as a single unit with all the components you need to heat and cool your house. These systems might mount on a rooftop, in a window, or on a wall.
The space-saving units are well-suited to small homes and condos that don’t have space for a traditional split system or for homeowners who want to take advantage of zoned heating in larger homes. For a zoned effect, your contractor might install one self-contained packaged unit on each floor or in each area of a large house.
Ductless Heating and Cooling
Instead of using ductwork to conduct warm and cool air through the house, ductless systems use multiple indoor units with only a small conduit that connects each one to an outdoor unit. A ductless system lets you heat or cool only the room you’re using, often with a handheld remote control thermostat, and eliminates bulky ductwork that can leak, accumulate dust and allergens, harbor pests, and take up space in your closets and basements.
Discuss these options with an experienced professional HVAC technician to learn which HVAC system is best for your home. This decision will have comfort, budget, and energy consumption consequences that could last as long as your home itself.