Types of HVAC Systems
- Central Systems
Central systems are the most common type of HVAC system found in homes and businesses. These systems work by distributing heated or cooled air through ducts that connect to vents in each room. Central systems are known for their energy efficiency, versatility, and ability to heat/cool the entire home.
Ductless systems, also known as mini-split systems, are ideal for homes without ductwork. Instead of using one central unit and ducts to distribute air throughout the home, these systems use separate indoor units for each room. Ductless systems are known for their energy efficiency, flexibility, and individual temperature control.
Window units are the most affordable type of HVAC system. They are designed to sit on the windowsill and require no ductwork or installation. These systems are ideal for small spaces, such as individual rooms or apartments. However, they are not usually designed for large areas.
- Change your filter regularly– A dirty filter makes it tough for your HVAC system to pull in air, which reduces its efficiency and can eventually lead to system failures. Replace disposable filters at least every three months and reusable filters every six months or as needed.
- Check your thermostat regularly– Make sure the temperature displayed on the thermostat matches the actual temperature in the room. If it doesn’t, adjust your thermostat to the correct settings.
- Clear debris around outdoor units– Remove any debris, such as leaves and branches, from the outdoor unit airflow path
Common HVAC Problems and Solutions
- Poor Airflow:
Poor airflow can indicate issues such as dirty air filters, clogged air ducts, or malfunctioning fans. The solutions to these issues are to clean or replace air filters and determine whether there is any buildup in your HVAC system’s ductwork or to contact a professional.
Uneven Heating or Cooling:
Uneven heating or cooling can be caused by issues such as blocked vents, dirty filters, or inadequate insulation. The solutions to these problems are to inspect and clean the vents in your home, ensure that your filters are free of dirt and debris, and add additional insulation to your home.
High Energy Bills:
High energy bills can be caused by several issues, including inadequate insulation, low refrigerant levels, or inefficient equipment. Upgrading to energy-efficient equipment, such as furnaces or air conditioners, keeping insulation topped up, and ensuring you have the correct amount of refrigerant, are all solutions to these issues.
Increasing Energy Efficiency
- Get a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat adjusts your home’s temperature automatically, significantly reducing energy consumption.
Seal Air Leaks
Air sealing involves identifying and sealing leaks and cracks that allow air to escape from your home, ensuring that your HVAC system doesn’t work harder than it needs to maintain the desired temperature.
Upgrade Your Equipment
Upgrading your HVAC equipment to energy-efficient models, such as Energy Star-rated furnaces or air conditioners, can significantly reduce energy consumption.
Choosing the Right HVAC System
- How large is your home or building, and how many rooms need to be heated or cooled?
- What is your budget for purchasing or replacing an HVAC system?
- What types of HVAC systems are available, and what are their advantages and disadvantages?
- What is the efficiency rating of the HVAC systems you are considering?