When it comes to HVAC systems as homeowners, we may be clueless as to what it entails and what the potential and long-term costs it can have.
One of the most common air systems in the U.S. are central air conditioners. This system takes cool air and circulates it through a system of supply ducts and return registers. These ducts and registers can be found in many locations within the home:
- Openings in walls
- Openings in floors
- Grills in the ceilings
A benefit of using a central air conditioner is that it helps dehumidify the incoming air but with extreme humidity, you may have to invest in a dehumidifier to help lower the moisture in the air. However, most of Southern California is very unlikely to experience extreme humidity, levering some cost on that type of expense. There are also a few different types of air conditioners and systems available.
It is important to know that there is not one system that is better than the other. The right air system for you will all depend on the layout and structure of your home.
Split-system central air conditioner
A split-system is composed of 2 units, one is usually outside of the home and one inside the home connected to the furnace. The outside unit is known as the condensing unit and the inside unit is know as the evaporative coil. Both of these are connected together by a set of copper tubing known as a “line-set,” which transfers from one refrigerant to another. This system can be placed in various locations in the home such as closets, attics, garages, etc.
Packaged central air conditioner
If your air system has only one unit (that is typically on the roof), and
a piece of duct work
going into the roof, this type of system is known as a packaged central air conditioner. This unit has both aspects of a split system. This type of AC is usually preferred when there is a lack of space to fit a split system. This unit, in most cases, is on the roof which for homeowners if it is “out of sight, out of mind,” even better.
The Nest Thermostat goes beyond the simple temperature detection to make a real impact in your HVAC energy consumption. All thermostats let you set a desired temperature and monitor the current temperature. However, these thermostats rely on being adjusted to temperature and also make up for almost half of the energy bill for many homeowners. With Nest Thermostat, this lets you program certain temperatures for certain times of the day – letting you automatically lower the temperature when you’ll be out of the house. It is designed to learn behavior patterns and desired temperatures for specific days and times during the week; ultimately saving you money.
The heat pump extracts hot air from your home and dumps it outside in the summer, then pumps outdoor heat inside during the winter. Thanks to the function of a reversing valve in the outdoor unit, a heat pump can absorb heat energy from outside air, even in extremely cold temperatures, and transfer the heat into the home, where it releases the heat into the air. A heat pump can heat and cool, but an air conditioner cannot, which is the primary difference between the two HVAC systems.Heat pumps can be an efficient option, especially when combined with an existing gas furnace.