Nowadays modern homes need to have an HVAC system. HVAC means Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, and these systems are designed to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. If you’re considering installing one of these systems, the next guide will help you choose the right type of HVAC system that better suits your needs.
We will talk about the basics of HVAC systems, highlight the differences of each type, go over the pros and cons of each one and provide you information on where to find unbiased reviews, so that you can make the best decision when purchasing your HVAC system.
An HVAC system is used to keep your home either cool or warm, depending on the weather. In addition to this, they usually come with a thermostat that allows the user to control the indoor temperature and an air filter to remove any impurity in the air, therefore keeping it clean. Some systems may also have a vent system, that allows for the heated or cooled air to better circulate throughout your home.
There are four basic types of HVAC systems:
They are the most common type of HVAC systems. They are split between a heating unit and a cooling unit. The heating unit is located inside and runs on gas/oil. The cooling unit is located outside and runs on electricity.
Hybrid split systems:
Also called hybrid systems, they are very similar to split systems. However, the fact that the user can switch between gas and electric power saves the homeowner money, lets him have more control and reduce energy usage.
Duct-free or mini-split systems:
The way these systems work is by installing individual HVAC units, each having its own indoor and outdoor component, in each room of the home. Because of this, there is no need for the use of ductwork.
Usually powered by electricity, packaged systems combine the heating and cooling capability in one single unit.
The installation of an HVAC system can be justified for many reasons. A lot of homes weren’t built with a central heating or cooling system. When comparing the HVAC systems with running space heaters and window AC units, we can conclude that HVAC systems can help the energy bills become much smaller. They also make controlling your home temperature much easier and more comfortable. You might need to consider to completely or partially replace your HVAC system if you already own one, due to energy efficiency.
The biggest concern when acquiring an HVAC system is its daily operation cost. Ductless HVAC systems are the most energy-efficient, therefore they have a lower impact on the energy bill.
The size of your home will also influence the type of system you should choose. When considering energy efficiency, split systems are recommended for larger homes and packaged systems for smaller homes. If you want to add an HVAC system to a space that isn’t often used, like a garage or a guest room, you should go with an individually controlled duct-free system.
The main con of installing an HVAC system is the initial cost. This cost will be dependent on the size of your home and if you have existing ductwork or not. If you already have a functional vent system, you should consider only replacing your existing system with a split or hybrid split system. The duct installation can cost up to $5,000, usually set their price at $35 up to $55 per foot.
In addition to the installation cost you will also have to plan the maintenance and eventually a replacement of your HVAC system. Duct-free systems are usually the ones that require the most maintenance. Even with regular maintenance HVAC systems need replacement after some years, lasting from 10 to 15 years.
The final con it’s the HVAC system’s physical appearance. Because most people are used to see ductwork and vents in homes, and because they are usually easy to hide, split HVAC systems are much more aesthetically pleasing. The only throwback is that you’ll have to find a place for your cooling unit, which can be sometimes hard to conceal to keep the house’s aesthetic. With duct-free systems, the indoor units must be mounted on the walls of each room which makes them almost impossible to camouflage.