Understanding the Different Types of HVAC Systems

Need a new HVAC system? You have options. There are three main types of residential heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems: central, split, and window units.

A central HVAC system is the most common and efficient option for today’s modern homes. It consists of a single outdoor unit connected to an indoor unit by a network of ducts. The outdoor unit contains the compressor, condenser, and evaporator, while the indoor unit houses the furnace or air handler. This type of system is controlled by a thermostat and can heat and cool the entire home. You’ll find this in many homes up and down the Front Range. 

A split HVAC system is similar to a central system, but it uses multiple indoor and outdoor units. This allows for more precise temperature control in different areas of the home. For example, you could have one indoor unit in the living room and another in the bedroom, each with its own thermostat. This can be a good option for homes that don’t have the space or infrastructure for ductwork. It can also be an efficient way to add heating and cooling to additions. 

Understanding the Different Types of HVAC Systems

A window unit is a small, self-contained HVAC system installed in a window or through a wall. It is only capable of cooling a single room and is not as efficient as central or split systems. However, it is a relatively inexpensive option for homes without central HVAC or for supplementary cooling in a specific room.

There are also hybrid HVAC systems, which combine a central system with individual room controls. This allows you to set different temperatures in different parts of the home, while still taking advantage of the efficiency of a central system.

In addition to these types of HVAC systems, there are several fuel options to consider, including natural gas, propane, oil, and electricity. Natural gas and propane are the most common options for furnaces, while electricity is more commonly used for air handlers. You can speak with an HVAC technician about the best choice for your situation if you’re building, adding an addition, or changing out your entire HVAC system. Sometimes the best option may surprise you. 

Whatever unit you decide to install, the most important aspect is to choose an HVAC system that is correctly sized for your home. An undersized system will struggle to keep up with demand and may not provide sufficient heating or cooling, while an oversized system will waste energy and money. A professional HVAC contractor can help you determine the appropriate size for your home.

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