What Are HVAC Basics Every Homeowner Should Know?


HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Do you know what type of HVAC system you have? Or maybe, how old is your current HVAC system? When thinking about your current HVAC system, these are just a couple of basic questions you should be directing your attention to. However, if you’re curious and would like to understand more, Mount Washington Heating & Cooling has the sought-after answers! So let’s focus on what is going on within your home’s HVAC system.

What Are the Different Types of HVAC Systems?

There are four main varieties of HVAC systems: split systems, hybrid systems, duct-free systems, and packaged heating and air systems. Each of these HVAC units has pros and cons, and understanding these elements can better help you select the one that most suits your needs.

  • Split Systems: A split system is an HVAC system with indoor and outdoor units connected via copper tubing. A split system air conditioner distributes cooled air with precision while simultaneously helping to keep energy costs down and is an excellent accommodation for homes or rooms that can’t efficiently utilize window units. 
  • Hybrid Systems: A cost-effective alternative, a hybrid system, aka a dual-fuel system, enables you to pick between installing a heat pump or a gas furnace. A heat pump is an electric-powered option, while a furnace utilizes propane or natural gas to function. Hybrid systems offer long-term savings by significantly decreasing your monthly energy expenses.
  • Duct-Free Systems: Ductless heat pump or air conditioner typically comprises a wall-mounted indoor unit and an outside compressor. Unlike window units, ductless units need only a tiny hole in the wall, making them less susceptible to air leakage and security concerns. Plus, they’re visibly and audibly discreet while being incredibly energy-efficient! Traditional HVAC compressors shut off entirely, consuming a lot of energy during start-up. Ductless models are superior in how they speed up and slow down based on the system’s needs.
  • Packaged HVAC Systems:  A packaged HVAC unit incorporates everything associated with a central air system into one unit, installed outside the home. If your home has little indoor space or lacks any underground storage, then a packaged HVAC unit is the way to go.

How Old is Your HVAC System?

Your HVAC system’s “birth date” can generally be found on its nameplate. To locate the nameplate, refer to the outside cabinet of the air conditioning system. A metal plate should be attached to it, typically fixed to the backside of the cabinet; this contains the system’s technical descriptions. Once you locate the nameplate, it’s time to ask yourself, “Should I retire my current system?” The average life expectancy for a refrigerant-based air conditioner is between 10 to 15 years, with most warranties only covering 10 to 12 years. Once an AC is older than ten years old, replacement becomes the most cost-effective option. If your AC makes it to 15 years, it is time for a replacement, hands down!

If you are still unsure how old your system is or what system your home is even utilizing, call  Mount Washington Heating & Cooling today at (513) 655-5115, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here! We will gladly assess your system and advise you on whether or not it’s time for a change. Our team looks forward to helping direct you to find the option that best suits your heating and cooling needs.

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