Common Types of HVAC Systems and How They Operate in Homes

Finding the perfect Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system can be a hassle. There are so many factors to consider. We’ve broken down the essential types and features for you.

If you’re on the hunt for an AC unit but you’re unsure which HVAC system would be the best fit for you, then this piece is for you. There are many different types of AC units, but we are going to look at the two types you will find in most single-family homes: ducted and ductless HVAC units, and their many variants.  And, if you still don’t know what to choose after reading this article, you can call your trusted HVAC contractor to get the best air conditioner unit.

Different HVAC Systems: Ducted HVAC Systems

This system uses ducts, usually installed behind walls and ceilings, to distribute heated and cooled air from a furnace or heat pump. These types of HVAC units work best in homes that: already have ducts, need better airflow, and are located in humid environments.

  • Heating and Cooling Split System

These are the most popular types of HVAC assembly systems commonly found in residential houses. They consist of two components: the gas-powered heating component is usually in the basement while the cooling unit is located outside. This system uses one thermostat.

  • Hybrid Split System

Hybrid split systems have an electrical heater that can use gas and electricity to heat and cool a home, making it more energy efficient than a traditional HVAC system.

  • Zoned System

Zoned HVAC systems are the most flexible of all ducted types of HVAC units. They allow homeowners to control the temperature in different rooms and floors through automatic duct dampers. These types of HVAC systems for commercial buildings and residential homes are highly energy efficient. Zoned systems require two or more cooling and heating units.

  • Packaged Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

Packaged systems are a great alternative to conventional HVAC systems that require two or more units. Unlike the other ducted systems, packaged systems use one unit to provide central heating to the whole house. However, this type of HVAC system is best suited for small homes that lack extra storage space.

What Are the Different Types of HVAC Systems? (Ductless HVAC Systems)


A ductless system is an all air system HVAC system that doesn’t use ducts to circulate warm and cool air in a residential house or building. They are also called mini ductless split systems. These types of commercial HVAC systems are portable and distribute conditioned air more evenly.

  • Duct-Free Mini Split Systems

These types of commercial HVAC systems can be installed in individual rooms. The duct-free mini-split system uses a heat pump, thermostat, and a copper tube to connect the indoor and outdoor components. 

This is your typical HVAC system if you’re looking for easy installation, cost-effectiveness, and energy efficiency.

  • Hydronic Heating

The main difference between other types of HVAC systems and a hydronic system is that the latter uses liquid instead of condensed gas to condition air inside a room. This system uses a boiler to heat water. The heated water is then passed through pipes located under the floor.

Water is a better heat conductor than air, which is why hydronic heating provides more energy-efficient heat.

  • Portable Spot Cooler

Unlike other types of HVAC units, the spot cooler is not designed for heating; instead, it cools the air by using cold pressurized gas. After cooling the air, the liquid refrigerant flows to the condenser while the cool air is blown through AC tubes. 

These HVAC systems are much safer and healthier because they reduce the risk of a fire. Spot coolers are also one of the best types of HVAC systems for those who want to be more eco-conscious.

  • Portable Heat Pump

Portable heat pumps are more convenient than other types of heating and air conditioning systems. This system offers the features of spot coolers with the added advantage of also working as a heating system. The heat pump works similar to that of other conventional HVAC systems; it draws in warm air, passes it through a condensing coil, and distributes it to warm homes

Get the Best Types of HVAC Systems with the Help of a Trusted HVAC Specialist 

Blue Valley Heating and Cooling has 30+ years of experience providing homes with reliable, long-lasting air conditioning and ventilation systems. Our team of highly trained specialists can help you sort through different HVAC refrigerant types to find the one that will work best for your home. 

Contact us today, and we’ll be there as soon as possible.


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