1. Split Systems
The standard split system is the most common HVAC system in Berks County, PA. It gets its name from the fact that it’s split between an outside component and an inside one. The outside component is usually the air conditioner’s condenser, evaporator coil and fan. The indoor unit is typically the furnace and the air ducts that distribute air. Alternatively, a heat pump can be used in place of a furnace in warmer climates. They’re the most affordable systems out there, and they have the greatest range of options for air quality. On the other hand, homes that don’t already have ductwork would need to have it installed for use.
2. Packaged Systems
These contain the entire HVAC system in a single outdoor unit. Typically, they’re air conditioners combined with heat pumps, but some can come with small gas furnaces or hybrid heat pump/furnace systems. They contain blowers that draw untreated air out and force cooled or heated air in. They’re quieter than traditional split systems and are better suited for smaller homes or commercial spaces. On the other hand, they are also less efficient than standard splits. They also have a shorter lifespan since all of the components are vulnerable to the elements.
3. Ductless Mini-split Systems
The main outdoor unit contains the air conditioner and the heat pump. There can be as many as four indoor units attached to the outdoor unit, and these indoor units are basically fans with thermostats that provide the ideal temperature to each room. They can also come with air purifiers and other improvements. A mini-split system is a good option if you live in a warmer climate and don’t have duct work. In a colder climate, however, HVAC experts don’t recommend these systems because they don’t allow for furnaces to keep you warm in frigid conditions.
4. Geothermal Systems
These relative newcomers are growing in popularity among those who are concerned about sustainable HVAC options. Water is circulated through pipes installed deep into the ground to collect heat in the winter and reduce it in the summer. Since the ground temperature becomes fairly stable once you dig deep enough, it’s a reliable source. They’re good options if you plan to live somewhere for at least 10 years, and the long-term cost is quite low. On the other hand, installation for a geothermal HVAC system can cost as much as five times that of a standard split system.