Understanding The Different Types Of HVAC Systems

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

If you are in the process of improving your home, now may be the time to take a look at your HVAC system. HVAC systems consume a large amount of power and are responsible for a significant portion of electrical usage by most households. If you are looking to enhance your home’s efficiency and save money on your electric bill, upgrading your heating and air conditioning can help.

Newer heating and air conditioning systems provide many services and come in many forms, including single stage and multi-stage varieties and zoned types. There are also humidity controlling devices available and many other options to choose from for retrofitting your HVAC system.

Heating systems

Heating systems come in three types: furnaces that heat air through ductwork, boilers which heat water for steam radiators, and forced water systems with baseboard radiators. The most popular heating system is the furnace.

When looking into a heating system, pay attention to the Energy Star rating. You will also want to pay attention to the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratings. Good heating systems can achieve efficiency ratings above 80 or 90 percent. There are even some all-electric furnaces with 95 to 100 percent efficiency ratings. However, these units could drive up your electricity bill and are not economical in all climates.

Air conditioning systems

Air conditioning units come in many different styles. In the colder climates, small portable window-AC units are popular. Families hang these units out during the summer and bring them inside during the winter. In the warmer climates, large central air or whole-house systems are used. Modern air conditioners use between 30 and 50 percent less energy than similar models produced in the 1970s.

When purchasing an air conditioning system, take note of the SEER number. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the system. You will also want to pay attention to the Energy Star rating and EER, which indicate how efficient the system operates at peak capacity.

Single and multi-stage HVAC systems

HVAC systems can either be single or multi-stage. Single stage systems are common in winter climates and humid areas. These machines need to operate at peak cooling and heating power for many months out of the year. Single stage units are designed to be rugged and to run at full strength for as long as possible.

Single stage HVAC systems keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but they run at high power even during mild weather. Multi-stage HVAC systems are useful because they allow you to take advantage of variable fan speeds to control the airflow. You can increase air flow during very harsh days and reduce it on milder days.

Zoned HVAC systems

Another innovation in heating and cooling efficiency can be found in zoned systems. These units enable HVAC systems to control which rooms are cooled and heated through a series of valves or dampers inside the ductwork. Zoned units allow you to cool and heat only the rooms that are occupied and save you a significant amount of money that would usually be wasted.

Humidity control

Dry air is a common problem in arid climates and homes that experience extreme winter seasons. HVAC systems in these areas often pull the moisture out of the air. Because of the drier air, many people experience bloody noses, dry skin, and other health conditions. To combat negative health effects, some HVAC systems come equipped with humidifiers, or dehumidifiers for climates that are too humid.

Retrofitting HVAC systems

If you are unable to purchase an entirely new HVAC system, don’t let that stop you from upgrading. There are plenty of retrofits you can apply to existing systems to save money. For example, you can add vent dampers to gas and oil fired boilers to help stop air loss. Also, if you have an older air conditioning system, you can replace the outdoor compressor with an updated model.

If you would like to learn more about HVAC systems, contact the experts at Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical, Inc. in Amarillo Texas today. We provide residential, commercial, and industrial services throughout the Texas Panhandle and Tri-State area, including Amarillo, Borger, Dumas, and Pampa. Call us today at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email for more information. You can also stop by our location at 404 S. Hayden St. in Amarillo, Texas for more information