HVAC systems are of different types, parts, and sizes and they can be somewhat intimidating. This guide provides you with all the necessary information you need to know about the common types of HVAC systems.
There are four common types of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems:
1. Geothermal HVAC Systems
Geothermal HVAC systems are classified as central cooling and/or heating system which harnesses the moderate temperatures of the earth to facilitate cooling and heating. This system uses the earth as a heat sink in the summer and a heat source in the winter. The collection and shedding of heat is carried out by water containing refrigerant, circulating through pipes installed in the ground or water.
2. Ductless Split System
A ductless split system is a combination of an outdoor condensing unit and an indoor air handling unit. The outdoor unit handles cooling only and a heat pump an be used instead for heating and cooling. The indoor air handling unit can be fixed on ceilings, floors and walls and it disperses treated air using its fan. In ductless spilt systems, furnaces are of no use at all.
3. Standard Split Systems
This type of HVAC system remains the most utilized residential HVAC system. It consists of one indoor and outdoor component. Depending on your climatic demand, standard split systems can be configured in various ways:
• Furnace and Heat Pump: A HVAC split system that utilizes a furnace and heat pump as its sources of heat is referred to as a Hybrid Heat System or Dual Fuel System. This type of system is best suited for extremely cold climates. The heat pump is saddled with the responsibility of supplying heat in moderate cold. When temperatures levels drop past freezing threshold, heat pumps are no longer effective; an automatic switch then occurs to a gas furnace.
• Air Handler and Heat Pump: this type of system is relatively common in regions where freezing temperature levels are seldom experienced. Instead of the conventional furnace and air conditioner for heating and cooling respectively, a heat pump is employed for both functions. In place of a furnace, an air handler comprising of a blower motor is used.
• Furnace and Air Conditioner: about 95% of HVAC systems utilizes a gas furnace compared to those using an oil furnace. Gas furnaces are a better option for warm climates and a more economical choice during cold climate with an efficiency ranging from 80% – 95%. In this system, the condensing unit of the air conditioner is installed outside and the evaporator coil which is an important component of the system is installed inside the furnaces’ cabinet. The evaporator coil traps heat and forces it outside through the refrigerant flowing through copper lines.
4. Packaged HVAC systems
A packaged HVAC system is such that all of its major components are made available in one big cabinet. They are widely utilized in residential apartments without basements. These units are always setup outdoors and they consist of a blower used to move treated air into the residential space and likewise, collect untreated air from the environment into the system.