8 Common Types of HVAC Systems and How They Work No ratings yet.


HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. These systems work together to regulate temperature, remove excess moisture and pollutants, and provide adequate ventilation in a building. This helps create a comfortable environment for building occupants and can also improve air quality.

“Having a well-functioning HVAC system can improve the appeal of a property to potential buyers or tenants. It also enhances comfort and air quality for those using the building daily, potentially resulting in improved productivity and satisfaction. In addition, proper maintenance of an HVAC system can lead to energy savings. In short, a reliable HVAC system is a valuable asset for any property and can enhance its overall market value,” says Harrison Hamblin, inspector and real estate expert at Habitat Inspections—a premier real estate assistance website.

A reliable HVAC system tailored to the specific needs of a property can enhance its appeal to potential buyers or tenants and improve comfort for those using the building daily. Here are eight types of HVAC system and how it works.

1. Split-system HVAC

Split-system HVAC is a type of system with an outdoor unit, which houses the compressor and condenser, and an indoor unit, which contains the evaporator. The two teams are connected by refrigerant lines and work together to distribute cool or warm air throughout a building. This allows for separate temperature control in different areas or rooms of a building.

In residential settings, split systems are often preferred because they provide more flexibility and customisation with temperature control. For commercial buildings, split systems can also be a cost-effective option as they allow for separate temperature control in different areas of the building

2. Packaged HVAC Systems

Instead of separate indoor and outdoor units, all components are housed in one compact unit typically installed on the roof or outside a building.

These systems can be a practical option for smaller buildings or areas with limited space. They are also easier to install and maintain compared to other HVAC options.

3. Ductless Mini-Split Systems

Like a split-system HVAC, this system has indoor and outdoor units but does not require ductwork for air distribution. It is often used in buildings with limited space or for rooms requiring temperature control.

Ductless mini-split systems offer individual temperature control in different areas or rooms. They also have a smaller footprint and can be more energy efficient than traditional HVAC systems. Additionally, they do not require ductwork installation, making them a practical option for buildings with limited space or unique heating and cooling needs.

4. Variable Refrigerant Flow (VFR) Systems

This type of HVAC utilises multiple indoor units connected to a single outdoor unit, allowing for individual room temperature control and energy efficiency.

FR systems can provide heating and cooling as needed and allow for individual temperature control in different building areas. This can result in improved comfort and energy savings compared to other HVAC systems that may not have this level of flexibility. VFR systems are also quieter and less bulky than other options.

5. Geothermal Heat Pump

A geothermal heat pump is a type of HVAC system that uses the earth as a source of heat in the winter and a sink for excess heat in the summer. It circulates a liquid through underground pipes, transferring heat to or from the earth.

A geothermal heat pump is highly energy efficient and can significantly save heating and cooling costs. It also has a longer lifespan than traditional HVAC systems and requires less maintenance. In addition, it is less reliant on fossil fuels and can improve a property’s appeal to potential buyers or tenants interested in sustainability.

6. Absorption Heat Pumps

An absorption heat pump is an alternative HVAC system that uses a heat source, such as natural gas or solar energy, to drive the cooling process instead of traditional electricity.

This type of system can be more efficient and environmentally friendly. In terms of marketing, using an absorption heat pump in a building can enhance its appeal to potential buyers or tenants who prioritise energy efficiency and sustainability. In addition, it may result in lower energy bills for the property.

7. Chilled Water Systems

Chilled water systems use chilled water from a central plant to cool air in buildings with great cooling demands, such as hospitals or data centres. They use a central chiller to cool water and circulate through the building’s HVAC system to regulate temperature.

It is essential to highlight the potential energy savings and improved comfort these systems can provide for a property. Additionally, as they are common in more significant commercial buildings, investing in a chilled water system could enhance the appeal of a property to potential buyers or tenants in this market.

8. Hybrid Systems

Hybrid HVAC systems combine traditional heating and cooling methods with alternative energy sources, such as solar power. This can result in improved energy efficiency and potential cost savings. In addition, using alternative energy sources can enhance the sustainability of a property, making it more attractive than other HVAC systems for eco-conscious buyers or tenants.

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