If your home needs a new air conditioning system, you might be comparing different brands of central HVAC units. You should also compare different types of AC systems to find the ideal one for your climate, budget, and house. Here are three common options for new air conditioning systems and how they differ.
1. Split Systems Have Indoor And Outdoor Units
You may be most familiar with the split central air conditioning system. This has a unit that sits outside near your house on a concrete pad and a unit that's inside in your basement or other location that's out of the way.
The furnace is housed in the indoor unit along with evaporator coils used by the AC. The unit outside is just for the operation of the air conditioner. This type of split system uses ducts to spread the air through your home.
2. Packaged Systems Have An Outdoor Unit Only
Another option for a new air conditioning system is a packaged unit that sits outside near your house or on the roof. This unit contains the air conditioner parts and the furnace parts. The AC and furnace can both be powered by electricity or the furnace can be powered by gas. This type of system also needs ducts to circulate the cool air in your home.
The advantage of a packaged system is that the entire HVAC, except for the ducts, is outside. This is beneficial if you don't want to give up room in your house for a furnace. For instance, if you want to renovate your basement and turn it into an entertainment room or bed and bath, you may prefer having the furnace outside.
3. Heat Pump Systems Don't Need Ducts
A heat pump can cool and heat your house, but it's different from the other air conditioning systems in that a heat pump can be ductless. There is a unit with refrigerant that rests outside on a pad, on your roof, or even mounted on the wall, and there are one or more blowers installed inside the house. The blowers are usually mounted indoors on the walls, but they can also be put above the ceiling so they're out of sight.
This system is ideal if you don't have much space in your house to devote to a full-sized air handler or ducts. Another benefit of a heat pump air conditioning system is that you can control the temperature in rooms with a blower independently, and this helps you be more comfortable in your home without wasting electricity.