How To Choose the Perfect HVAC System for Your Home


It’s no secret that the HVAC industry is massive. If you’ve ever had an air conditioning repairman show up at your home, chances are good that he was driving a van with a logo on the side that looked like it had been designed by an architect who didn’t know how to use Illustrator. Hundreds of companies are vying for your business and trying to convince you that they’re the best in town.

What’s even worse is that most of them aren’t lying. HVAC companies are a dime a dozen, and you can find one that’s right for your home. The trick is knowing what to look for when you’re shopping around. This guide will walk you through the process of choosing the perfect HVAC system for your home and help prevent any heartache down the road.

Forced air heating and cooling systems

Used with permission of Patterson Custom Homes, Brandon Architects and photographer Darlene Halaby

Forced air heating and cooling systems are the most common type of HVAC system in the United States. They provide heating and cooling, making them perfect for homes with multiple floors and many windows.

The forced air unit contains a compressor that compresses refrigerant gas (like Freon) into a liquid state. As this process occurs, heat is released and circulated throughout your home through ductwork. The ductwork carries the heated or cooled air to various rooms via registers located around your house’s walls. These registers connect directly to an inside wall where you can control their operation by opening or closing them manually—or sometimes remotely with a remote control device installed next to each register (depending on how sophisticated your system is).

This type of system won’t be appropriate if you live in an apartment with little natural ventilation; however, it will work well if there’s plenty of ventilation already built into your home, such as large windows throughout every room or high ceilings so that even bathroom sinks don’t get enough circulation from fans alone!

Steam and hot water systems

You may be wondering: what are steam and hot water systems? These types of HVAC units use something called a water heater to help heat your home. Your water heater is connected to the furnace in your home, which heats the water so it can spread throughout your house. The process begins with a cold-water coil that’s located on top of the furnace; this coil heats up when cold water passes through it and transfers heat from one side of the coil to another. This process occurs several times before finally being released into your home via hot air vents.

Steam and hot water systems are more efficient than their forced-air counterparts because they don’t require huge ducts or fans—only a few pipes need to be built into homes for these units to work effectively. But there’s one drawback: because steam and hot water systems consist mainly of pipes instead of large fan blades turning around inside an insulated box (like how forced-air systems work), they’re often pricier than traditional HVAC systems—especially when installed professionally by contractors who know what they’re doing!

Ductless mini-split units

View of living room from hall
Used with permission of Breeze Giannasio

Ductless mini-split units are a powerful and efficient way to cool small spaces in your home, making them a good choice if you want to cool a room without the hassle of running ductwork. These systems work by using an outdoor unit that takes in air, dehumidifies it, and then pumps it through tubing into an indoor unit located in your home. The indoor unit has an evaporator that cools the air before sending it back into the room you want to cool.

Mini-splits are more efficient than central AC systems because they move air directly from one location to another instead of circulating refrigerated liquid through coils within walls or ceilings. While this may seem like an insignificant detail, it makes all the difference when we look at energy efficiency ratings for mini-splits compared with central AC systems:

  • A 1-ton mini-split system is rated at 15 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), while a 14 SEER central system uses more energy than its rating suggests due to a lack of airflow control.
  • A 2-ton ductless mini-split system is rated at 21 SEER—more than 10% more efficient than its counterpart.

Room air conditioners

Designed bedroom with hair and double bed
Used with permission of Breeze Giannasio

If you’re looking for the most affordable, energy-efficient, and quiet HVAC system for your home, a room air conditioner is a perfect choice. Room air conditioners are also the most popular type of HVAC system: around 70% of homes in America have one.

Room air conditioners are so popular because they’re inexpensive to buy, easy to install yourself, and don’t require ductwork or an outside unit like central air does. They’re also highly efficient—you can save hundreds on your electricity bill over time by using one instead of an old AC that doesn’t work as well or cools unevenly throughout your house. “Older systems were built strong and lasted a long time. But, modern HVAC systems are built more innovative, so saving money and being comfortable is attainable,” says a popular HVAC Contractor near Sacramento, California area.


If you’re looking to buy an HVAC system, you should consider all the available options. There are many different types of heating and cooling systems that can be installed in your home. You should also consider what features are important to you when determining which system will work best for your needs.

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