HVAC Equipment | HVAC Units
There is a wide array of equipment that pertain to home HVAC systems. In almost every case, the full system is made up of a matched set of individual HVAC components, to provide the best comfort solution to you. While choosing and installing a home HVAC system is not out of the realm of what a handyman can do, it is always recommended that you consult with a local contractor before you ever decide to do it yourself. We recommend Angies List for finding qualified contractors in your area, or you can check our HVAC Contractors directory, to see if HVAC Contractors near you have enrolled and been reviewed by our system administrators.
Common Types of Residential HVAC Systems
Depending on the design of your home, where you live in the Country, and several other factors for your specific needs, there are a few common types of HVAC systems found in residential use.
A Split System gets its common name, since there are more than one component that make up the system. In all split systems, you will have one or more pieces of the system located outside your home and the remainder of the components, located in a weatherproof area of the home like an attic, utility room, crawl space or basement. The units are joined with refrigerant tubing and electrical lines, to make them work together and provide comfort to your home.
- Split System Furnace with Air Conditioning
A typical split system, matches a heating source such as a Gas Furnace, Oil Furnace, or Air handlers with Electric Heat strips, with an Evaporator Coil and an outdoor Air Conditioner condensing unit for cooling purposes in the warmer months. If your home has a furnace or air handler inside a utility closet, basement, attic or crawl space, and a separate air conditioner outside your home, and the heating or cooling is dispersed through a series of ducts and vents to the individual rooms in your home, you probably have this type of unit.
- Split System Heat Pump and Air Handler
In areas where efficiency is a concern, or there is no natural gas available, it is very common to find Split System Heat Pumps. A typical split heat pump system matches an Air Handler with electric heating strips to an outdoor Heat Pump Condensing Unit. The air is delivered to the rooms in your home through a duct system of forced air, and you are likely to have supply vents on the walls, floors or ceilings.
- Split Hybrid System with Furnace and Heat Pump
A very efficient combination of the two split systems mentioned above, a Hybrid HVAC Split System makes use of two sources of heat for your home. A high efficiency Gas Furnace or Oil Furnace, is matched to an outdoor Heat Pump condensing unit and Evaporator Coil, thus giving you the ability to choose the most efficient type of heat for your area, based on the cost of the utility. Learn more at the Hybrid HVAC System page.
Packaged HVAC Units
Packaged Units in residential use, are much more common in the Southern regions of the country, from coast to coast. They are commonly installed on one side or the back of the home and in some cases, Package Units are installed on the roof. As the name implies, every key component of the HVAC system is built into one compact unit that connects directly to the homes' duct system. The only other component on the inside of the home with Package Units, is the thermostat.
- Gas Packaged Units – Gas Packs
Gas Package Units or Gas Packs, as they are commonly called, take advantage of Natural Gas (or liquid propane) for the source of heating the home. The internal components of the gas furnace and air handler are matched to a built in Air Conditioning and evaporator coil system, to cool the home in the summer months.
- Heat Pump Packaged Units
Just like the Gas Packs, Heat Pump Package Units are an all in one solution that use 100% electricity for the heating and cooling of your home. The Air Handler built into the matched to a built in Heat Pump system to provide both heating and cooling, and has a matching electric heat strip element, to assist when the heat demand is more than the system can handle on its own.
Hot Water Boilers or Hydronic Heating Systems
Boilers, which are more common in older homes, make use of a Hydronic or Hot Water system, that is delivered throughout the home in a series of piping and or radiators, to warm the areas via radiant heat. Some boilers are designed to heat the water into steam, others only heat the water to a preset temperature.
Home HVAC Accessories or Alternatives
Even though your home HVAC system is comprised of just 2-3 main components, there are several other items to enhance your comfort, clean the air in your home, or just provide more control over the system itself.
- Whole House Air Cleaners
Quickly becoming a very popular and low cost solution to reduce allergens and dust in your home, the higher quality Home Air Cleaners are designed to be installed directly into your duct system, and clean 100% of the air being cycled through your central HVAC unit. The technology in air cleaners has come a long way in recent years, and combined with several additional features in one unit, they can increase your indoor air quality in many ways!
- Programmable and Electronic Thermostats
Just like every other aspect of home heating and cooling, thermostats have come quite a long way with the more advanced technology available today! In the past, you set your thermostat and it was controlled by a mercury tube inside the device. In today's Programmable Thermostats, you have limitless ability to set the temperature in your home according to many different factors, thus allowing you to save considerably on energy costs!
- Whole House Humidifiers
In the past, it was very common to have small room humidifiers, or put a pot of hot water on the stove in the winter months, in order to evaporator the liquid and add to the humidity level in your home. In recent years, the addition of centrally installed humidifiers is quickly taking their place for whole house humidification!
- Gas Fireplace Logs
If you like the look of a glowing fireplace but don't care for the mess associated with burning wood, a set of Gas Logs may be the best choice for you. Available in both Natural Gas and Liquid Propane, Gas Logs have become one of the most requested luxury items in new homes today! In addition to the comforting appearance, the majority of Gas fireplace logs have the ability to run perfectly when the power is out, and can provide an additional and backup source of heat in an emergency!
- Portable Air Conditioners
Although not too common in homes with a central HVAC system, Portable Air Conditioners can help with spot cooling in small areas like garages and computer rooms, that you don't want to put a window unit into.