This HVAC guide for homeowners covers everything you need to know about buying and maintaining an HVAC system. Many different HVAC systems are available, but each requires maintenance and service to ensure they operate efficiently for their full life span.
Learn how to gain the most value from your HVAC system, including how to boost energy efficiency, increase cost savings and extend the life span of your unit.
Different types of HVAC systems have different features and benefits. Here are some of the most common types of HVAC systems for residential properties:
Split systems: These HVAC systems are split between two individual units — one used for cooling and the other for heating. Split systems are standard in many homes. They have an outdoor unit that cools the air and an indoor unit that typically uses natural gas to heat the house. This HVAC system has a traditional thermostat to help you keep your home at the desired temperature. Many split systems include humidifiers or air purifiers to ensure your home is comfortable, regardless of the weather.
Hybrid split systems: These systems are a more advanced version of split systems and have better energy efficiency due to a hybrid electric heater system. You can switch between gas power and electricity to decide how to cool or heat your home. Hybrid systems use traditional ducts and thermostats, which allows you to benefit from split systems but with an additional option to save energy and reduce utility bills.
Ductless mini-split systems: Ductless mini-split systems are a good solution in homes where traditional ducts can’t be used. These HVAC systems combine heating and cooling into a single unit. Individual units can be placed in specific rooms to help you control temperatures in a given space. Ductless mini-split systems are generally mounted on indoor walls and attached to an exterior compressor.
Packaged systems: Like the ductless mini-split system, packaged systems combine heating and cooling components into a single unit stored within the home. The compact size suits them to smaller homes or spaces and requires little maintenance to maintain efficiency.
Identifying Your Home’s HVAC System
If you’re unsure what type of HVAC system you currently have in your home, you can look for visual identifiers. For example, split and hybrid systems have an indoor and outdoor unit, and the indoor unit is often in a closet, attic or crawlspace. Ductless mini-split systems are generally mounted on walls and are indoors like packaged systems.
You can find the make, model, age and size dimensions on the manufacturer’s label, usually where your system connects to a power source. You can also use logos or labels to identify the make and model. Once you’ve identified your home’s current HVAC system, you can better choose the best system for your home, personal comfort and budget.
What You’ll Learn in This Guide
Whether you’re a first-time homeowner, are purchasing a new HVAC system for your house or want to know how to care for your current system, this guide can help. You’ll learn about the different types of HVAC systems, how to choose the best system for your home, tips to maintain and improve the energy efficiency of your system, and different HVAC services to schedule. Shipley Energy is here to help you with your new HVAC system and maintenance.
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