Your Guide to Home HVAC Systems

Of all of the helpful appliances we have in our homes, our HVAC systems are among the most important. A cohesive heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) solution keeps your home comfortable and livable year-round. While these systems are crucial, homeowners are no strangers to the issues that can sometimes arrive when it comes to an  HVAC unit.

Knowing the type of HVAC system your home uses is the first step in troubleshooting potential issues with your system and understanding the ins and outs of your home’s HVAC solution. Read more to learn about different HVAC systems and how they impact your home.

1. Split Gas HVAC System

A split gas HVAC system heats homes using natural gas and electricity, ensuring you’re cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and satisfied all year. These systems come in different components, meaning you’ll have several options to make your HVAC solution fit your needs.

2. Split HVAC System

Split HVAC systems are among the most common heating and cooling solutions types. These systems are split into two primary units: one meant for heating and the other for cooling. The temperature on this system is controlled using a traditional thermostat. A split HVAC system has indoor and outdoor units, with the outdoor cooling system providing comfort during hotter months.

While the cooling component in a split HVAC system is stored outdoors, the heating component is kept indoors, most often in a closet, basement, or other storage area. It is gas-powered and pushes heat through your home’s ductwork.

3. Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are energy-efficient heating options and work by moving heat rather than generating heat energy from a fuel source. These pumps ensure an energy-efficient heating experience and move cool air throughout the building during summer.

There are a few types of heat pumps to consider if you’re interested in this efficient solution:

  • Air-source heat pumps: These heat pumps transfer heat between your home and the air outside, reducing electricity usage for heating by an estimated 50 percent compared to heating systems like furnaces and baseboard heaters.
  • Mini-split heat pumps: These are ductless systems used in homes without ducts.
  • Geothermal heat pumps: These pumps transfer heat between your home and a nearby water source or the ground. They have low operating costs but typically cost more for initial installation.
  • Absorption heat pumps: These are relatively new and work using heat or thermal energy. They can receive power from various heat sources, including steam solar-heated water, air, geothermal-heated water, or combustion of natural gas.


4. Ductless Split Systems

Also known as duct-free mini-split systems, a ductless split HVAC system provides year-round heating and cooling in individual rooms. This system uses an outdoor compressor and condenser, an indoor air-handling unit, a refrigerant, a heat pump, a thermostat, and power cables to operate.

These units have a built-in air handler and are composed to operate without ductwork, providing an essential solution for homes without this feature. Indoor and outdoor components are connected with copper tubing. These systems are notable because they offer ductless temperature control, reduce energy costs and consumption, and have flexible zoning capabilities.

5. Packaged Heat Pumps

A packaged heat pump is a packaged HVAC system containing evaporator coils and combining air conditioning, heating, and air handling for an energy-efficient HVAC unit. Packaged systems are smaller than traditional split systems, making them helpful for homes with less space.

A packaged system connects to your home’s supply and return ducts. This single-unit solution is accessible and maintainable, making it an effective solution for many homes. The system is typically kept in the attic or top-floor storage space.

6. Controls and Thermostats

HVAC controls and thermostats are essential to a cohesive and complete HVAC solution. Controls and thermostats are critical because they ensure that, as a homeowner, you can regulate the temperature in your home and monitor the energy consumed to heat or cool your home.

These controls and thermostats also monitor various environmental factors, such as humidity and outdoor temperature, to ensure your home is consistently comfortable. Temperature controls, including switches, valves, and dampers, help you maintain your desired temperature while moderating your consumption to keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient year-round.

7. Package Gas and Electric Systems

This type of packaged HVAC system, also known as a gas pack unit, involves an electric air conditioning system with gas heat. Packaged gas-electric systems include a furnace, evaporator coil, and air conditioner, giving you ample heating capabilities to help make your home more comfortable no matter the weather outside.

What to Consider With Your HVAC System

If you’re uncertain about which HVAC system is right for your home and your temperature control needs, consider the following:

  • Energy efficiency: Environmentally-conscious homeowners might consider certain HVAC systems over others depending on energy efficiency. If you want an eco-friendly solution, look for HVAC systems with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for cooling and Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) for heating.
  • Climate compatibility: Some HVAC systems suit specific climates better than others. For instance, duct-free mini-split systems are more effective in warmer climates, as their heating capabilities are less robust than their cooling abilities.
  • Size and capacity: Different HVAC units will take up different amounts of space, and depending on the size of your home, some systems are more suitable. Packaged heat pumps are often preferred for homes with less space, while traditional split systems take up more space inside and outside the home.
  • Maintenance requirements: Look for reliable systems and consider long-term maintenance costs as you approach HVAC installation.
  • Effective heating and cooling distribution: Seek professional assistance to find systems with ample heating and cooling distribution to ensure complete distribution throughout your home. This step is essential for central HVAC systems that use ducts, as improperly designed and sealed ductwork will cause uneven airflow.


Get Help With Your HVAC System

Homeowners seeking replacement, installation, repair, or maintenance for their HVAC system can look no further than Tennessee Mechanical Corporation. TMC is the top provider of all your HVAC system needs, providing the best residential and commercial heating and cooling services available no matter the make and model of your HVAC system.

Contact the experts at TMC today to plan your heating and cooling solution and ensure your home is comfortable year-round.