Are there different types of HVAC units?

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HVAC manufacturers have engineered several different kinds of HVAC systems that people can choose from depending on their local weather conditions and preferences. There are climates in the U.S. range from the subarctic climate in Alaska to the hot, arid conditions in the desert southwest. There are humid climates in between as well as those that are dry, from warm to cold.

The main kinds of HVAC systems include:

• Air conditioners.
• Heat pumps.
• Gas furnaces.
• Radiant heating systems.

Air Conditioners

All central air conditioners require ductwork to distribute cooled air. They include two copper coils, one that contains the chilled refrigerant and the other that removes the heat from your home that the refrigerant absorbs, called the condensing coil. They use one fan to circulate the air the evaporator coil cools and another to blow off the heat in the condensing coil that the evaporator coil absorbs.

Most air conditioners have two separate components. The indoor air handler contains the blower fan and the evaporator coil. An outdoor condenser contains the condensing coil and the compressor, which alters the refrigerant pressure and circulates it through the system.

Heat Pumps

A heat pump is nothing more than an air conditioning system that contains a reversing valve. The valve switches the flow of heat from summer to winter. During hot weather, the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the evaporator coil and sends it outside to the condensing coil. In the cold months, the process reverses. The condensing coil absorbs the heat from the outdoor air and brings it inside.

Heat pumps work well in just about every climate except Alaska and the northern tier states. They’re the most energy efficient of all HVAC systems since they can extract or supply at least three times more heat or cooling energy than they use.


Forced-air furnaces use natural gas, propane, or oil as fuels. They are the most common kind of heating system in the U.S. Like air conditioners and heat pumps, they blow heated air through the ductwork to warm the home. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, safe and relatively durable.

Radiant Systems

Radiant heating systems are the oldest ways of heating homes. They use a boiler to heat liquids that circulate through tubing placed in walls, floors or ceilings. They provide comfortable, long-lasting heat for homes in cold climates. They’re especially good for people with airborne allergies since they do not blow air.

If you’d like professional help choosing the best HVAC system for your home, contact us today at 408-295-2182.

Hiring a mechanical engineer for building retrofits, rebuilds, additions, or enhancements is the quickest and surest way to obtain the ideal facilities for supporting your operations. Are you ready to make your workplace more modern, efficient, or compliant? If so, we can help.

Call us today at 408-295-2182.


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