Residential HVAC Systems: Do You Know What You Have?

Residential HVAC Systems: Do You Know What You Have?

Picture this:
So you've decided to schedule an air duct cleaning (smart decision!); and now you're looking for the best local air duct cleaning company for your residential hvac systems, and would like to know how much this service is going to cost. After extensive research, you choose AdvantaClean as your air duct cleaning service provider (another smart decision - you're on a roll!) and call to ask a few questions. A friendly customer service representative answers the phone, and in order to provide you with the most accurate quote possible, asks, "Can you please tell me what type of residential hvac systems you have in your home?"

Do you know the answer to that question? If not, here's a cheat sheet courtesy of the Florida Solar Energy Center to help you figure it out:

  • Cooling Only Split-System
    A split system is a combination of an indoor air handling unit and an outdoor condensing unit. The indoor air handling unit contains a supply air fan and an air-to-refrigerant heat exchanger (or cooling coil), and the expansion device. The outdoor condensing unit consists of a compressor and a condenser coil. Split-systems are typically found in residential or small commercial buildings. If heating is required, an alternate method of heating the interior of the building must be used, usually in the form of electric or gas heating.
  • Cooling Only Packaged-System
    A packaged system is a single unit combining all the components described in the split system. Since the unit is a package, it must be placed outside the building and indoor air is "ducted" from the building to the packaged system and back through an air distribution system. If heating is required, an alternate method of heating the interior of the building must be used, usually in the form of electric or gas heating.
  • Heat Pump
    Heat pumps are similar to cooling only systems with one exception. A special valve in the refrigeration piping allow the refrigeration cycle to be operated in reverse. A cooling only system cools the indoor air and rejects heat to the outdoors. A heat pump can also cool the indoor air, but when the valve is reversed, the indoor air is heated. A supplementary electric resistance heater may also be used to assist the heat pump at lower outdoor temperatures. In colder climates, heat pumps require a defrost period. During defrost times the electric heater is the only means of heating the interior of the building.

Additionally, NADCA-certified AdvantaClean experts point out the difference between a furnace and an air handler, which are common names for different types of residential hvac systems:

  • Air handler is a general term for the central fan unit and heat exchange components (heating and cooling) of the HVAC system.
  • Furnace refers to a heating component only - most commonly oil- or gas-fired - that uses a blower motor for forced air.

Our AdvantaClean experts also help answer the question of how many residential hvac systems you have in the home:

The number of condenser units outside the home (like in the picture above) is a great indicator, as is the number of thermostats in the home. To determine the location of the air handler(s), think back to when you had an HVAC service company out to your home and try to recall where they spent most of their time. In the attic? Crawlspace? Utility closet? Outside? This should be a good gauge of where the unit(s) is/are located.

Call 877-800-2382 to speak with a knowledgeable customer service representative and to schedule an air duct cleaning with AdvantaClean today!

More info? For information on how to locate your furnace or air handler, read our post: How to Locate Your Furnace.

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