Planning a New Cooling System? Know 4 Common Types

Planning a New Cooling System? Know 4 Common TypesAn air conditioning system is a major investment that is designed for comfort and add value to your home. It’s always wise to get the expert advice of a trusted HVAC contractor about any A/C installation you are planning. Learn about the four common types of cooling systems that will help you start the decision-making process:

Split Systems

These cooling systems – the most common variety of central A/C in the U.S. today – include both indoor and outdoor components. An indoor evaporator coil pulls heat and moisture from the interior air. Outdoors is a condensing unit with a coil that releases the captured heat. The refrigerant is moved through a pump that is referred to as a compressor. The compressor moves refrigerant between the evaporator and condensor coils. Split systems are most popular and economical option for homes with forced-air furnaces, since they can utilize a indoor blower from either a gas furnace or air handler and ductwork.

Heat Pumps

These units are identical as the A/C split system, only the heat pumps heats in the winter by having the ability to reverse the flow of refrigerant to the evaporator and condenser coils. All this flexibility is controlled by a heat pump thermostat. Air-source heat pumps are the most common type, and most often, they include supplemental heating because they can’t draw sufficient warmth from the winter air when temperatures drop below 30 degrees F . Geothermal heat pump systems cost more up-front, but because they pull heat from the ground, they’re effective at lower temperatures and normally wont require a supplemental heat source.

Packaged Units

These single units contain a compressor, condenser and evaporator. They’re situated outdoors, typically on a roof or adjacent to a home’s exterior wall. Electric heating coils or a gas furnace can be added to the unit, so no additional heating source is needed indoors. Attached ducting runs into the living space to pull out warmth and humidity, and return conditioned air.

Ductless Mini-Splits

These consist of an outside unit with a condenser and compressor, and one or more indoor air handlers that can each cool a single room or area. Refrigerant tubing joins the outdoor and indoor components. There’s no ductwork necessary, because each interior unit has its own blower. These can be installed in areas that ducting is not possible or is a challenge. Also a good choice for spot cooling smaller areas and lower operation cost.

If you’re considering an A/C installation and need help determining which type best suits your needs, contact us at Overland Park Heating & Cooling, Inc. We’ve served the Greater Kansas City area since 1983.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Chaiwat /