Since 48% of a house's energy consumption is related to its air conditioning, choosing a reliable air conditioning system for the home is very necessary. So buying the right HVAC is a significant investment. In this article, we will guide you about common HVAC systems and the necessary tips for buying a suitable one.
What HVAC system should I buy?
Central air conditioning and fossil fuel furnace systems are still very prevalent. This type of HVAC system is also called forced air systems as a blower fan in the furnace distributes the air via the ducts. It draws untreated air into the system to warm, cool, or dehumidify, then exhausts the purified air through ducts.
They cost less than split heat pump systems, relatively less than mini-split heat pumps, and particularly less than geothermal heat pumps. Also, gas furnaces contain lower annual energy expenses than electric furnaces, and the operating costs of high-efficiency furnaces are more affordable than boilers. However, gas combustion may cause the danger of explosion and leakage of CO2, and their Ductwork is also necessary.
Standard heat pump and air handler split system
This sector is very much in demand for residential buildings. They are also referred to as air-source heat pumps to differentiate them from geothermal heat pumps, which collect heat from underground. Their advantage is that they have low equipment and operating costs. However, they have disadvantages such as low efficiency for heating in cold weather, drying the air, and spreading dust.
Mini split heat pump system
In recent years the popularity of mini-split heat pump systems has increased due to more competitive prices, improved efficiency, and the fact that many of them can create adequate heating in very cold temperatures. They have a low operating cost and unlike the systems mentioned above, they do not require Duct work. However, obtaining their parts for repair may be more difficult than parts for standard systems.
Boiler with radiant heat system and air conditioner
These types of systems are very popular in Europe. Radiant heat is the most pleasing heating system in the world. Combination boilers are prevalent as they can create heating water and domestic warm water. But they have disadvantages such as higher cost than standard heat pumps and mini-splits, expensive installation, and slow heating.
Geothermal heat pump system
Geothermal systems can distribute water in pipes underground, where it is heated in the winter and cooled in the summer. Geothermal systems can distribute water in pipes underground, where it is heated in the winter and cooled in the summer. Solar heat stored in the ground is used for heating. Geothermal heat pumps are also easy to cool in summer. These aspects make geothermal heat pump systems popular with homeowners engaged in utilizing renewable energy.
Electric furnace and air conditioner split system
It is recommended that electric furnaces be used in warm places where heating of the house is needed only for a limited period. They are big space heaters that have fans and pass heat via ductwork. Numerous of them can be installed in a split system with a central air conditioning system. Electric furnaces are cheap and unlike gas furnaces, they do not need ventilation. However, they consume more energy than the heat sources mentioned above.
Recommendations on how to select the right and most suitable HVAC system for your home
Here are some important tips for determining which HVAC system to choose for your home:
Replacement: If your existing system employs ductwork, your upfront expenses will be lower if the replacement system also utilizes ductwork. Substituting the radiation system or the split mini ductless system with the exact type also contains the lowest expenses. Adding the latest infrastructures like radiant systems or through-the-wall refrigerant lines and ductwork will cost much more than substituting what's already there.
New Construction: If you are making a new house, you have a neat HVAC slate to perform with.
Weather conditions: Undoubtedly, one of the most important points to consider when choosing an HVAC system is the weather conditions in that area. The amount of heat in summers and cold temperatures in winters makes a difference in choosing the most suitable air conditioning system for your home.
- Warm weather conditions: Your heat pump choices are efficient and dehumidify in an AC manner. If you need to stay indoors for a long time, it is better to install geothermal heating. For use for less than ten years, a standard split system or a mini-split heat pump is more suitable. Using a central air conditioner and a high-efficiency gas furnace can save you equipment costs, although the cost of heating will be higher. If you just need to heat your home for a few short cold periods, a furnace/AC combination is recommended. It is suggested to utilize the electric furnace only less than 15 days a year.
- Moderate weather conditions: The best choice is the combination of AC and gas furnace. It is recommended that you get estimations for an AC/gas furnace split system and a standard air/heat pump split system. By comparing the expense of the equipment with the annual operating expense, you will find out how many years less money is needed to pay for the higher expenses of the heat pump. This will help you find the right option. Geothermal is also a suitable choice here, but it takes longer to pay off the higher costs than in harsh weather.
- Cold weather conditions: In these conditions, choosing a traditional gas furnace with or without a central air conditioner is suitable. If you prefer a heat pump, regard a dual fuel system that warms all but the coldest climate with a heat pump.
Lifetime: High-efficiency equipment is expensive. In harsh weather, the payback duration for high-quality tools is shorter, so you recoup the additional equipment costs very fast and appreciate lower annual operating expenses. However, electric furnaces are not an appealing sell for energy-conscious house customers.
How eco-friendly you want it to be: Maybe you care about reducing carbon emissions so you can do your part to protect the earth, in which case selecting the most efficient air conditioning system within your budget is the suitable decision. A high-efficiency geothermal system powered by a solar energy system is a good option.
House size: A standard split system for medium to large houses can be the right and low-cost choice. For single-zone setups such as very small homes, additions, etc., the mini-split is best suited. When you start installing numerous indoor units, expenses add up fast.
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