Understanding Residential HVAC Systems


When it comes to heating and cooling your home, there are many options out there on the market to choose from. Whether you are buying a new home or upgrading your current system, or need maintenance and repairs on your existing unit, it's important to first understand the different types of HVAC systems for residential properties and decide what's best for your lifestyle and your budget.

Some factors to take into consideration before you choose a system:

  • Climate & Temperature Needs – Some systems work better in certain climates and other systems are optimized for both hot and cold weather.
  • Fuel Type – Depending on the fuel type in your home (gas, electric, oil) will determine the best system for your heating or cooling needs. There are options for units that can convert from different fuel types. You'll want to discuss this with your HVAC contractor.
  • Size – Consider both the size of the home and the size of the room(s) you want to heat or cool. If you're interested in heating and cooling only one room, some systems might be better suited to your needs.

Standard Split HVAC System

Standard or traditional split systems means that the unit handles both heating and cooling. The units are common in most homes (especially newer homes) and require ductwork to send hot or cool air to all parts of living spaces in homes. These systems are recognizable by the condenser and compressor unit for central air conditioning while the other part of the system, used for heating, is typically placed in the basement or a utility closet. A thermostat is usually on the main level of the home and can control both the heating and cooling. There are options for split HVAC systems to include air purifiers, UV lamps, humidifiers, and more. Talk to your HVAC technician for more information to find the best unit for your needs.

Hybrid HVAC System

Similar to traditional HVAC systems, these hybrid units are also found in many homes and require ductwork to send air to living spaces. Hybrid – or commonly referred to as heat pump systems – are generally more energy efficient because they use a heat pump to heat and cool refrigerant as desired. The difference between hybrid units from standard split systems is the type of energy that the unit uses. It can switch between electricity and gas power for savings in energy and fuel.

Ductless Mini Split System

Ductless mini split systems are perfect for spaces that are smaller or additions to existing systems. These units consist of two parts: one system that is in your home that connects to a unit outside. They're flexible and can be placed in many different rooms as they do not have extensive ductwork and installation is non-interruptive. Duct-free mini split units are perfect for maintaining temperature – heating and cooling – in individual spaces.

Packaged HVAC System

Packaged HVAC systems are designed for compact spaces that are too small for a larger units that require ductwork. These units include the main functions of larger HVAC systems, all rolled into one. A main example of a packaged HVAC system is a window air conditioning unit that contains the evaporator coil, condenser, fan & blower, heat pump, and thermostat all in a single, convenient unit. Packaged HVAC systems can be less expensive and are an easy way to heat and cool rooms in a more efficient way without invasive construction. However, the larger the home you have, the more units you might need to achieve desired temperatures.

Finding a Reliable HVAC Contractor Near You

Now that you are familiar with the types of HVAC systems, you need to find a reliable HVAC contractor for repairs, maintenance, and installation. The professionals at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Southeast Pennsylvania have many years of experience with all types of HVAC systems. We'll work with you to give you options and upfront pricing and solutions. Contact our experts today to get the right HVAC system for your needs and one that fits your budget.