Whether you’re looking to install an HVAC system in a brand-new home or replace your old one, choosing the right system can be intimidating. With all the different types, parts, and units available, deciding which one is right for your home can be a challenge.

The Different Types of Standard HVAC Systems

HVAC systems come in many shapes and sizes. Each type is specialized and will perform different functions more effectively, whether it’s low energy costs, efficiency, better control, or lower maintenance. HVAC systems and units aren’t one-size-fits-all, and the proper system for your home depends as much on the size and layout of your home as your family’s lifestyle and long-term needs.

The Four Main Types of HVAC Systems

Standard Heating & Cooling Split

This is the most common type of HVAC system seen in Albertan homes. As the name suggests, there are two units, one for heating and one for cooling. The air conditioning unit is located outside and employs refrigerant, coils, and a fan to help cool your home. Meanwhile, your furnace unit (typically a gas furnace) will be located in your home, usually in the basement or another storage space.

The reason these systems are so common is because they are general and unspecific. Unlike the other systems on this list, a standard split system isn’t designed in particular for energy efficiency, control, or maintenance. Instead, it’s the most “one-size-fits-all” option out there. It’s typically affordable and effective, which is fine with many homeowners.

Ductless Mini-Split

These systems don’t involve ducts at all, as you may have guessed from the name. Instead, there are individual units installed in each ‘zone’ or room (there can be up to 4). For homes with no existing ductwork (such as historic homes), these are likely what you’ll find.

Ductless mini-split systems are great for energy conservation thanks to the ability to independently control separate zones. If you only want to heat or cool one zone at a time, you’ll be conserving energy by not using the units in the rest of your home. This also gives you better overall control of your system and allows you to personalize the temperature for various people or rooms.

Packaged Heating and Cooling System

Packaged systems come with everything in a single unit: evaporator, condenser, and compressor. This unit will be located outside, typically on the roof or near the foundation. These systems are particularly good for homes that don’t have much space; for example, a house with no basement. The ease of having everything in one unit means you won’t have to take up as much indoor space with an indoor unit.

Packaged systems are typically only used when the traditional split system isn’t an option. They tend to be far less efficient than other systems, making energy costs significantly higher. Additionally, a completely outdoor unit means that your system is likely to wear out faster, so they’re generally not used unless there is no other option.

Geothermal HVAC Systems

One of the newer additions to the HVAC industry, geothermal systems offer a high-efficiency, eco-friendly way to heat and cool your home. Geothermal systems transfer heat to or from the ground, nearly 30 feet below the surface.

The upfront cost of a geothermal system certainly isn’t low, with prices 2 to 5 times that of a standard split system. However, the high efficiency of these systems ensures that your energy bills will remain significantly lower than with other systems, so it’s up to you to decide if the trade-off is worth it.

Get HVAC Advice from the Professionals

Deciding on the perfect HVAC system for your home is no easy feat, with so many options and factors affecting your decision. Our HVAC professionals in Edmonton are here to help. With an extensive knowledge of various HVAC systems, our technicians can help you select and install the ideal system so you can stay comfortable and happy. Contact us or request your free quote today!