Modern HVAC systems offer many options to improve your home's efficiency and comfort. The days are long gone when capacity was the only concern when selecting a furnace or an air conditioner. Nowadays, you can choose from numerous systems options with unique pros and cons, all of which can potentially impact the design of your home's HVAC system.
If you know there's an HVAC replacement in your near future, now is the perfect time to begin considering alternative options and planning for potential upgrades. While no single article can describe every high-tech HVAC option available, this guide will cover three interesting choices that may be worth discussing with your installation contractor.
1. Central Heat Pump Systems
Heat pumps are one of the more exciting high-tech options for HVAC upgrades. While heat pumps aren't a new technology, they're rapidly gaining more favor in the US and thus becoming more practical for many households. These systems come in ground-source and air-source versions, but this article will only discuss the more straightforward air-source systems.
An air-source heat pump is effectively a reversible air conditioner. Heat pump systems can provide heating and cooling in one unit, and they can do both with incredible efficiency. While heat pumps may not be suitable for the coldest environments, their high efficiency makes them an excellent option for many parts of the country.
2. Variable-Speed Air Conditioners
A standard home central air conditioner works in a single stage. In other words, the air conditioner always cools at the same temperature. This design allows the system to run for relatively brief periods with high output and then turn off until needed again. While relatively effective, this design is inefficient and may lead to less-than-optimal temperatures.
A variable-speed air conditioner works more like the air conditioning system in your car. Instead of operating at one speed, it can vary its fan speed and the output from the compressor. As a result, the system will run for longer at lower power, maintaining a more even and consistent temperature while using less energy.
3. Whole-Home Dehumidifiers
If you live in a particularly warm and damp climate, you probably know it's hard for air conditioners to keep up. Even worse, you may need an undersized air conditioner to deal with the excessive humidity. Since air conditioners can only remove humidity while running, a system that's too powerful will cool your home quickly and shut down before it removes sufficient moisture from the air.
A whole-home dehumidifier is one potential solution to this problem. These systems will remove humidity from the air without requiring your air conditioner to operate, allowing you to keep your home more comfortable all year round. As a bonus, you'll likely save money on air conditioning energy costs since lower humidity levels can often make higher temperatures feel subjectively more comfortable.
For more information, contact an HVAC company near you.