Air conditioners cool your home by compressing a gas called refrigerant (R-410A). When compressed, heat energy is extracted from the gas, and the gas condenses to a chilled liquid. The heat energy is dissipated into the outdoor air and the chilled liquid is pumped inside to the indoor coil (evaporator coil or air handler). The efficiency of an air conditioner is measured by a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER).
A heat pump works just like an air conditioner in the cooling season by compressing refrigerant, and then pumping the condensed, chilled liquid to the indoor coil. The primary difference is that in the winter, a heat pump can reverse the process and provide heat for your home. However, heat pumps are not designed to heat in frigid weather.
A gas furnace is one of the most common ways to heat a residential home. In areas in Hamilton county without natural gas, propane is used which can get pricey. A heat pump and gas furnace combination can save money. Modern furnaces feature variable speed fan motors and modulating flames for greater efficiency.
An air handler is used in the absence of a furnace. They are also called fan coils. When a furnace is used for heating, the fan motor in the furnace is also used in the summer for air conditioning. When using another heating source is used (such as geothermal) an air handler is used, which essentially is the combination of the indoor coil and the fan motor found in a furnace.
Indoor air quality products play a key role in the overall comfort and health of a home. For example, proper humidity can save on cooling and heating bills, because dry air in the winter feels colder, and humid air in the summer feels hot! IAQ products such as ventilators, UV lamps and air cleaners purify, protect and refresh air in the home.
Digital thermostats like the NEST® Learning Thermostat shown to the left have transformed indoor comfort control. Modern thermostats offer a myriad of options including 7-day programming, humidity control, smartphone access and more! The Carrier Infinity® Control allows for Carrier equipment to work together for increased heating and cooling efficiency.
Believe it or not, your air conditioner wouldn’t be able to provide one bit of cool air for your home if you didn’t have an indoor coil. An evaporator coil is the type of indoor coil you typically have if you use a furnace. They sit on top of the furnace, and contain the chilled refrigerant pumped from the air conditioner. Coil efficiency is maintained with a UV lamp.
A packaged system combines all of the components of a split system into a single foot print that is either mounted on the roof, or on a slab in the yard. Packaged systems are designed for homes with limited space inside, that do not have room for indoor equipment. Although they offer convenience, they do not typically have the same efficiency.
The days of heating and cooling a living space that doesn’t have ductwork are now a thing of the past. Ductless heating and air conditioning systems offer the same efficiency and quiet comfort as their big brothers. Many manufacturers make ductless systems including Mitsubishi, LG, Fujitsu and more. We haven’t tested and compared, but from the field is seems that Mitsubishi systems are reliable with great warranties.