HVAC systems are built into most modern homes, and can be divided into two categories: ducted or ductless. The right type of HVAC system for a home will depend on multiple factors, including climate, home square footage, homeowner preferences, and budget.
Ducted HVAC systems rely on ductwork to distribute air throughout a home. They typically require longer installation, but are more efficient than ductless systems.
- Split System
Split systems have two separate components: one for heating and one for cooling. A thermostat is used to regulate temperature and determine which system is turned on to meet the set temperature.
The gas-powered heating unit is typically housed in a basement or other indoor storage space and uses an evaporator or fan to push hot air through the ductwork. The cooling unit, on the other hand, is located outside and uses compressors, coils, and refrigerant to cool air.
- Hybrid Split System
This type of system has the same components as a split system, but may run on electric power — not just gas.
- Packaged Heating and Cooling
Compared to split systems, packaged heating and cooling HVAC systems are less expensive and easier to maintain. They are smaller in size and all of the components are contained within a single unit that is typically stored on a roof, in the attic, or near the building’s foundation.
- Zoned System
A zoned HVAC system can be set up in a few different ways, depending on the size of the building. Larger homes may have a separate system on each floor. Another option is to install manual or automatic dampers to control airflow in different parts of the home.
Ductless systems are typically used in smaller buildings or temporary work sites.
- Duct-Free Mini-Split
This type of HVAC system is powered by electricity and helps reduce energy costs and consumption over time thanks to their flexible zoning capabilities.
- Hydronic Heating
A boiler heats water and distributes heat throughout a building using a series of underground pipes.
- Portable Spot Cooler
These portable AC units draw in ambient air that is circulated over a closed-loop coil to remove humidity and pumped back out. Warm air is let out through a flexible exhaust tube.
- Portable Heat Pump
The heat pump draws in outside air, circulates it over a condenser coil, and releases warm air into a room.