The Different Types of HVAC Systems Explained: A Helpful Guide

Real Estate Agent with Real State Company

The HVAC system industry was estimated at around 130.5 billion USD in 2019 and is set to increase further. With these systems rising in popularity, you might be wondering about the different types of HVAC systems, in view to installing or upgrading a system in your home.

Keep reading to find out more about the main types.

Heating and Cooling Split Systems

This is probably the most common of the HVAC system types.

The system is made up of two units — for heating and cooling respectively. Both units comprise parts located both inside and outside your house, and each part has a role in ensuring your home keeps to your ideal temperature.

The split systems each have an air conditioner, a fan or evaporator, a furnace, air ducts, and a thermostat — it can be a combination of all of these components to meet the needs of your household. 

Hybrid System

These HVAC systems for homes are increasing in popularity. They have much in common with heating and cooling split systems, but there is a difference. Instead of using gas, you can switch to electricity to fuel the heat pump.

This can save both money and energy, so although it's not too different from the first system mentioned, it might be a better option for you in the long run — particularly if you're thinking of upgrading your HVAC system.

Duct-Free System

If your house doesn't have ducts, it makes sense that you'd go for one of the HVAC options which don't need them.

Containing a thermostat, heat pump and fan coil, they're similar to other HVAC system types, but they also use wires and tubing to connect the units together.

Each unit forming part of the system will be mounted onto the wall and connected to a compressor, and each indoor unit has its own thermostat so it's particularly useful if you like to control the temperature of each room individually.

Packaged Heating and Air System

Do you think a split system might be a bit too big for your home? You could try a packaged heating and air system instead.

As you might expect, everything comes in one unit — that's the thermostat, evaporator, fan coil, air conditioner, and heat pump.

However, they're often a lot more limited in terms of design than split systems, and generally don't stay in good condition for as long, due to their constant exposure to the elements. Despite these factors, they could still be a good fit for you if space is a concern.


If you're looking for something a little different, you might want to consider a geothermal system.

These use heat from underneath the ground, as the temperature here stays the same regardless of climate. Geothermal systems use a heat pump to take fluid around pipes underground to exchange heat, while if you want your home to be cooled, heat can be extracted from your home and released into the ground.

For an energy-efficient and affordable HVAC system, these are a great unconventional option.

Choosing Between the Types of HVAC Systems

These are the main types of HVAC systems. Heating and cooling split systems are the most common, but every system we've mentioned is worth your consideration. Which is right for your household?

For more hints and tips about how to make the best out of your house, check out some of our other posts.




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Danish Mehmood

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