Types of HVAC Systems
HVAC systems are designed to provide comfort within a building. These systems regulate temperature, humidity, air quality, and airflow throughout a space. There are three main categories of HVAC systems: central air conditioning, ductless mini-split heat pumps, and window/wall units.
If you’re looking to buy or replace your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, it’s worthwhile to learn about the available options. HVAC systems are essential in maintaining a comfortable living environment inside your home. This way, you can pick the one that works best for you.
The best HVAC systems tend to have a lifespan of around 10-20 years, so making sure you choose wisely now could mean saving money on in-home energy costs over the next few years. Here’s how to do just that.
Knowing that the decision you make today can have a long-lasting impact on your home’s energy bills for such a long time into the future, it makes sense to take some time to get to know the different types of HAVC systems available today.
Types of Ducted HVAC Systems
A traditional forced air furnace typically includes a fan, blower, heat exchanger, filter, thermostat, and controls. A typical ducted HVAC unit consists of a blower, condenser, evaporator, and control box. In addition to the components listed above, a ducted HVAC system usually includes one or more registers, grilles, diffusers, dampers, and supply lines.
Heating and cooling split systems, also known as central air conditioning units, are the most popular type of HVAC system used in commercial and residential buildings.
They consist of two separate components: one for heating and another for cooling. A traditional thermostat controls the temperature for the entire building.
In most buildings with split systems, the heating unit is located inside a basement, utility closet, or other indoor storage space. In contrast, the outdoor cooler connects to the building’s ductwork through tubes.
The heater is powered by natural gas or electricity and pushes warm air through the building’s ductwork via an evaporator coil or fan.
On the other hand, the cooler uses compressor technology to pull cold air into the building and expel it through a fan.
Types of Split Systems
There are three main types of split systems: single zone, multi-zone, and variable speed.
Hybrid Split HVAC Systems
A hybrid split air conditioning system combines electricity and natural gas to provide heating and cooling throughout a home. This type of system uses a compressor and condenser coil similar to traditional systems but does not use a fan to move air around the house. Instead, it relies on a central blower to push warm or cool air into rooms.
The most significant advantage of this type of system is that it helps homeowners save money on their utility bills because it reduces the amount of electricity needed to keep the home comfortable. However, it is essential to note that even though the system is powered by electricity, some parts of the system run off natural gas. These include the furnace, the water heater, the humidifier, and the thermostat.
Packaged HVAC Systems
Packaged heating and cooling units are less common than split system units, but their smaller size makes them ideal for smaller buildings without additional storage space. In addition, because the heating and cooling components are contained within one unit, it is possible to locate the equipment on the roof, under the eaves, or even inside the walls.
The heating and cooling components are usually located on the roof, in an attic area, or near the building’s foundations. They connect directly to the building’s supply and return vents, often via a single hole in the exterior wall. This installation eliminates the need for extensive plumbing work and reduces the number of penetrations into the structure’s interior.
A packaged heating and cooling unit contain fewer parts than a split system, making maintenance more straightforward and convenient.
Zoned HVAC Systems
Technicians can zone duct systems in several different ways, and the most effective method often depends on the space of the building. HVAC zoning systems afford inhabitants greater control over the temperature inside separate rooms or areas in buildings. In larger houses, people might opt to install multiple HV AC systems to regulate the temperature on different floors. In contrast, smaller spaces may require building owners to install manual or automatic dampers to restrict airflow within specific zones.
Because each system is entirely independent, this type of zoning typically requires building owners to install two or more heating and cooling devices. Alternatively, partially closing a damper in a duct system restricts airflow to one area while pushing it towards another, allowing you to adjust each room to its desired temperature.
The compressor compresses the refrigerant gas into a liquid state and sends it through the condenser, where it gets cooled down and turns into a gaseous form. The gaseous refrigerant travels through the evaporator, where it absorbs the heat from the surrounding environment. Once the refrigerant leaves the evaporator, it returns to its original state.
Packaged systems are highly efficient and economical. However, they require regular maintenance and cleaning. Also, they are not as effective as a central AC system.
Boiler HVAC Systems
A cost-effective way to heat a home is to install a gas boiler/air conditioning system. Boilers are very efficient and reliable systems, while AC units are less expensive to operate than central air conditioners. They are also easier to maintain and repair.
Gas boilers are generally found in basements, where they’re used to heat hot water for showers and laundry. These systems are usually connected to a network of pipes and radiators running throughout the home. In addition to providing heat, some models provide space heating, and others even include a fan coil unit that provides heating and cooling.
While many people use gas boilers to heat their homes, several different gas boilers are available today. Some manufacturers offer models designed to work with existing ductwork, while others require custom installation.
Installation costs vary depending on how much work is required. Most contractors charge around $1,500-$2,500 for a typical installation. However, if you plan to add a second boiler, the price increases considerably. If you already have a furnace, the installation process is slightly different. You’ll need to replace the old furnace with a smaller model and connect it to the boiler. Installation costs range from $3,000 to $5,000.
Geothermal HVAC Systems
Geothermal energy uses the earth’s constant temperature to provide heating and cooling for buildings. A geothermal system consists of three parts: a well, a pump, and a heater/cooler. In most cases, a well is drilled into the ground. Then, it is filled with hot water or steam. This fluid circulates the building via a network of pipes.
The circulating fluid is used to heat or cool the building, depending on the season. During cold weather, the fluid is heated up again and pumped back underground to continue circulating. When there is no demand for heating or cooling, the fluid returns to the surface, where it is cooled down again.
Window AC Unit
Window air conditioning units are one of the cheapest ways to keep you comfortable during hot summer days. They provide effective cooling while being relatively easy to install yourself. However, many different window units exist, including fans and solar power. Here we look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of each type.
Fan Cooling and Heating
Fans are typically used in smaller spaces like bedrooms or bathrooms. These units do not require ductwork or wiring, making installation quick and straightforward. Fans work well for small spaces because they don’t take up much room. But fans aren’t great for larger areas. They don’t offer as much control over temperature as other options. For example, a fan unit might blow cold air into a living room, but it won’t help heat up the kitchen. Also, fans tend to make noise, which could bother people sleeping nearby.
Solar HVAC Systems
Solar air conditioners are designed to operate without electricity. They rely on the sun to generate energy, allowing them to run continuously. So, unlike fans or heat pumps, they don’t s come with timers or shut off automatically. Because they don’t have motors, they’re quieter than other models. In addition, they can be placed almost anywhere, such as on windowsills or rooftops. You can find solar air conditioner systems ranging from 5 to 15 tons.
To choose an HVAC system, you must consider several things, including building design, air quality, and energy efficiency. Depending on the size of your commercial building, some types of heating systems and air conditioner units work better in specific spaces. Local weather conditions can also dictate what type of HVAC system is best suited for your facility. Other factors to consider include your budget and how much of a return you hope to achieve over the life of the equipment.
Quality Home HVAC Is Here To Help
Quality Home HVAC proudly serves our customers throughout Denver, Colorado. Our technicians are trained to work with all makes and models of heating and cooling equipment, including central air conditioning systems, ductless mini-split heat pumps, window air conditioners, gas furnaces, electric baseboard heaters, radiant heat systems, and more! Whether you are looking to replace your current unit or want some routine maintenance performed on your current one, we have the expertise to ensure that your system operates efficiently and cost-effectively.
We offer free estimates for both residential and commercial HVAC installations. If you are interested in learning more about how our team can assist you, please call us at (970) 447-4151.
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