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What Are the Most Common Types of HVAC Systems for A Home?

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Are you building or renovating a home in South Carolina? If so, there are lots of things you need to consider. Your HVAC equipment is unlikely to be the most exciting part of the project but it’s one of the most important. There are a number of options available and you’ll need to choose the right one for your home and lifestyle. This article will highlight the most common systems on the market today. However, for personalized advice, consult an experienced local HVAC professional.

Traditional Split Systems

Standard split systems are the most popular residential HVAC solution. They have one component on the outside and one inside and they can be configured in a variety of ways to suit the climate. One common arrangement is a furnace and an air conditioner. Most systems have a gas furnace, but a few use oil. The air conditioner’s condensing unit goes outside and the evaporator coil is usually installed inside the furnace’s cabinet. The coil captures heat and sends it outside.

Another option is to have an air handler and a heat pump. These systems are more common in warmer areas that aren’t prone to freezing. The heat pump is responsible for both heating and cooling. It functions much like an air conditioner except that it can deliver warm air during cold weather. An air handler with a blower motor is used instead of a furnace.

There are also systems that feature a furnace and a heat pump. However, these aren’t common in South Carolina. Since these systems have two sources of heat, they are perfect for frigid climates. The heat pump provides heat when the weather is moderately cold while the furnace kicks in when the temperatures drop below freezing. Split systems are the most affordable option for new homes, and they can be easily replaced. 

Ductless Split Systems

These systems either have an outdoor air conditioner which is for cooling purposes only or a heat pump for both heating and cooling. It’s not possible to have a furnace when you have a ductless split system. There’s an indoor fan that sends out treated air and it can be placed on the ceiling, floor or wall.

Ductless split systems are great for homes that don’t have existing ductwork. One outside unit can deliver treated air to up four indoor units and each unit can be individually regulated. These systems can be quite energy efficient and they’re great for moderate climates. However, you don’t get the range of options you get with standard split systems.

Packaged Systems

Packaged units go outdoors. They feature all the major components in one big cabinet, and they are popular in homes without basements. They contain a blower that forces treated air into the home and take untreated air into the system. The air can be treated by gas or electric, a heat pump or a hybrid system. Packaged systems are only used when traditional split systems aren’t an option. They’re quieter than traditional systems because all the working parts are outside. However, they don’t offer lots of options and they are less efficient than standard and ductless systems. Packaged systems also tend to wear out faster than other systems since all the components are outdoors.

Geothermal HVAC Systems

These systems heat and cool using the earth’s temperatures. Water, often mixed with refrigerant, is distributed through pipes installed in water or the ground. The moderate temperatures of the earth allow for the dumping of heat during the warmer months and the collection of heat when it gets cold. These systems are highly efficient, but they can cost two to five times as much as other systems.

Let the Experts Help You Choose the Right HVAC System for Your Home

Most homeowners opt for traditional split systems. However, this may not be the best option for your house. For some homes, a ductless split system is more appropriate while others can only accommodate packaged systems. If you can afford it and you plan to stay in your home for more than a decade, a geothermal system may be ideal.

Reach out to the South Carolina HVAC professionals at C&L Services. Discuss the design of your home, your budget and your preferences with us and we’ll help you to make the best decision. We have a team of highly trained professionals who can handle everything from installation and maintenance to repairs. Contact us today to get a free estimate.


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