Which HVAC system is best for your clients? It might be something different than your typical installations. The more flexible you can be, the better for your clients and your business. Let’s take a look at the four basic types of HVAC systems and an accessory that can boost other systems.
The best-known of all heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, the split system is called split because it has two systems in one – one to heat and another to cool. It consists of an air conditioner or heat pump outside, indoor components like a fan or evaporator coil and furnaces, air-circulating ducts, and a thermostat to control the temperature. Split systems aren’t terribly efficient, losing 20% of energy just in the ducts. These systems are also expensive to install and usually require components to be from the same manufacturer, reducing flexibility.
Hybrid Split System
The hybrid split system is constructed with ducts much like the split system, but offers flexibility in the source of power for HVAC by allowing consumers to switch between gas or oil power and electricity. This may become even more important with the rise in energy costs and consumers’ sensitivity to cost.
This HVAC system, referred to as packaged, combines everything for heating and cooling, including the compressor, condenser, and evaporator in a single unit. This space-saving option is most often set on the roof or near the foundation of a smaller home. It is usually reserved for warmer climates, since the heat system is not as powerful as other options, and the unit is exposed to the elements.
Variable Refrigerant Flow or Ductless Systems
Variable Refrigerant Flow, also called Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRF or VRV) or Ductless Systems offer energy savings and highly customizable temperature in different zones of the same building. More common in commercial buildings, multi-family dwellings and hotels, these systems are becoming more common in homes, especially at the high end of the market. They usually consist of an interior wall-mounted unit connected via a small hole to an inverter-driven compressor outside. They are very quiet and, while the units are costly, save energy. They are also quick and easy to install, allow for a lot of flexibility, and provide excellent air quality, since each unit contains an air filter.
A non-electric ceiling fan, such as this model from Jeden, is a smart, energy- and money-saving accessory for other HVAC systems. The ceiling fan is an 8-blade extension that is hung under the multi-zone 4-way ceiling cassette of an air conditioning/heating unit or Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system. It operates without electricity, evenly diffusing air and heat from central air and heat conditioning systems and eliminating uneven distribution of air. The Jeden non-electric ceiling fan makes living and working environments more comfortable. The fan is energy-efficient, with zero carbon emissions produced. It reduces the time to reach the desired temperature in a room by up to 20 percent, reducing electricity bills from central air heating and cooling and resulting CO2 emissions by 20 percent as well.