Don’t buy a new home cooling system without exploring all of your options.
Having your home cooling system break during the summer can be a stressful, frustrating thing to go through. But, when you go to replace the unit, the number of different options available can add a layer of confusion to the whole process – there are so many systems to choose from!
With the help of this guide and your local heating and cooling contractor, you can be sure to get the right unit for your home. The first step is knowing what your options are and what they do. Here is a list of most of the home cooling system options available.
Window Air Conditioners. Let’s start off with the good old window air unit. These are more targeted, affordable cooling solutions – used when you want certain rooms cool and may not have the resources for a central air conditioning system. And, while they have benefits, they also have some drawbacks. These units may not be able to provide a whole-home cooling solution and still maintain its economical appeal.
Central Air Conditioners. When you think of a cooling system, a split-system central air conditioner is probably the first thing that comes to mind. These systems use ducts to deliver cool air to every room in your home. They can be paired with either an air handler or a furnace and can come in a range of efficiencies. They also come in packaged and split varieties. Remember, packaged units have all of their components outdoors – even the heating element. Split systems have both indoor and outdoor components.
Heat Pumps. Central air conditioners are great, BUT wouldn’t it be good if you had the option to heat your home using electricity as well? That’s where a heat pump comes in. It uses the same process that an air conditioner uses to cool your home, but is also able to reverse the process to provide heating. This is ideal for times when you need some heating power, but you don’t quite need the power of a gas furnace. These units are typically more efficient than other electric heating methods because they don’t have to create original heat; instead they use heat transfer. Heat pumps come in a range of efficiencies, and in packaged and split varieties.
Gas Packs. Those that need a packaged system (if you’re replacing a packaged unit, chances are you will choose another packaged unit) should look at their gas pack options. This all-in-one unit combines the power of an air conditioner and gas furnace in one – so electric cooling and gas heating power. They come in a range or efficiencies and sizes – perfect for most installations.
Dual-Fuel Systems. Now if you want the versatility of the heat pump/gas furnace pairing, a dual-fuel system is the way to go. It is able to provide electric cooling, electric heating and gas heating. This way you are always using the most efficient heating method for the weather conditions.
When you have a new HVAC system installed in your home, you also want to make sure that your contractor takes a look at your ductwork, does a Manual J load calculation and recommends the IAQ products that will suit your needs. Need a jumping off point? Start by hiring a local heating and cooling contractor. They can give you more advice on ideal system selection.
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