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The Pipeline

By Dan Weltman

What Are the Common Types of HVAC Systems in New Jersey?

With a modern HVAC system, you can control your home’s temperature and humidity with the utmost precision. You can personalize and optimize your air throughout different areas of your home. That means you’ll be free to cool and heat the rooms you use regularly optimally. 

Purchasing an HVAC system in New Jersey and anywhere really is a significant investment for any homeowner. Finding one with the correct features and capacity is crucial to give you precisely what you want from your HVAC system.

Continue reading Weltman Home Services’s guide on the main kinds of HVAC systems in New Jersey.

What is an HVAC System?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; this term refers to the system responsible for moving and regulating cooled and heated air throughout commercial and residential buildings, including schools, homes, and offices.

There are different types of HVAC systems, and each type can control humidity levels to improve the air quality by capturing spores, virus-sized particles, and bacteria.

HVACs consist of three basic components:

  • Heating
  • Ventilation
  • Cooling

HVAC systems absorb heat from the outside with a heat pump, which distributes the heated air inside.  An air conditioning system absorbs heat from the environment and moves it to the outdoor unit. Next, the warm refrigerant gas is then transported to the compressor to remove the ambient heat and transform it into liquid form. The liquid refrigerant is then transported through a condenser and evaporator coil. The liquid refrigerant then turns into cool air filtered through the air ducts and vents.

What Are the Most Common Types of HVAC Systems?

Many different types of HVAC systems provide both cooling and heating and have units that provide either cooling or heating. Here are the most popular HVAC systems that get installed:

HVAC Systems

Every home cooling and heating system usually fits in one of four types of HVAC systems. You will receive help from your HVAC contractor to determine which specific combination of units will function best for your budget, the size of your home, and the climate in your area. 

People often refer to HVAC systems, such as ductless AC units, heat pumps, furnaces, boilers, and central air conditioners.

Central Heating and Cooling: Electric, Gas

Central cooling and heating systems are units that contain both air and heating in one system. This HVAC type is typically installed on a multi-story home’s top floor in space for storage or the attic. It is very energy efficient and can produce heating and cooling with one unit. Some units use electric and gas heat output to be energy efficient and powerful when necessary.

Split System

The split system is the most popular HVAC system. There are two central systems, one responsible for heating your home and the other for cooling your home.

There’s typically one indoor unit, such as the furnace, which is usually in the basement, garage, attic, utility closet, etc., and one outdoor unit like a central air conditioner traditionally located on a flat cement foundation outside.

The furnace/AC split system is a prevalent choice and is also referred to as a forced air system because blower fans circulate air through the ducts. Untreated air is absorbed and treated and spread back into the environment.

The heat pump split system absorbs heat that gets filtered through the air handler and then goes through the ducts. The heat pump works to distribute cold air in warm climates.

Mini-split System

An outdoor unit has a condenser and a compressor with a ductless mini-split system. There’s an indoor air handler mounted inside the room to provide cool air. This system is best for small spaces such as workshops or garages. These are not useful for complete home applications.

Heat Pump: Air Source, Geothermal, Gas, or Oil

A heat pump gathers cold air from outside over a refrigerant to generate warm air. The heat then gets drawn into the coolant, heating the coils. Once the air draws over the heated coils, it reaches the desired temperature and blows heat throughout your home.

Air Source

An air source heat pump transfers absorbed heat from outside into an indoor space. Heat pumps function much like a refrigerator by absorbing heat and transferring it to another apparatus. 

Geothermal

Geothermal heat pumps circulate water throughout underground pipes so that they can utilize the stable temperature in the earth to orchestrate cooling when it is warm and heating when it’s cold.  When heating, the coolant efficiently collects heat from the ground instead of from the surrounding cold air. When cooling, the heat returns to the ground to create the ideal temperature. 

Gas

A GAHP, or gas absorption heat pump, uses sustainable energy in a chemical process facilitated by thermal energy. 

Oil

In homes with a heat pump and boiler combo, you may encounter oil as the heat source instead of the more common sources above. 

Air Conditioning Systems

Air conditioning systems are critical during the summer when you need to be able to control the temperature to prevent it from getting unbearably warm. They are a part of the HVAC system that controls cooling, though every HVAC system doesn’t have an air conditioning component. The air conditioner expels warm air from inside the home while cooling hot air from outside and blowing it into the house.

Air Conditioning

A fan inside the air conditioning unit brings in air and draws it over the evaporator coils. Since these coils contain refrigerant, it cools the air by pulling heat and humidity from it.  The air then gets transported to the air handler, and a blower will carry it to the air ducts. While the cool air moves through the ducts, all toxic gasses from this process get expelled via the flue. 

Heating Systems

Image of heating tech working on a customer's furnaceA heating system is a structure that can maintain temperatures at comfortable levels in a home, school, office, or any other space. It’s usually part of an HVAC system, and it can be the central heating system or distribute the air via ducts or grills.

Furnace: Gas, Electric, or Oil Gas

A furnace can use gas to heat a home by drawing air in through the air ducts and then forcing it into the furnace. While the furnace operates, the heat exchanger reaches the designed temperature because the combustion chamber heats it. The air goes through the exchanger while warm and gets blown back into the motor via the air ducts and back through the home. 

Electric

An electric furnace is like a hair dryer in operation. It pulls air into the machine via a heat exchanger. After it gets into the device, specific parts heat the air, which gets pushed out into your home. 

Oil

Oil furnaces pump the oil from a reservoir into a chamber after going through a filter. It gets turned into a mist and sprayed onto the burner.  The burner gets ignited, and the flame will warm the air exchanger, which also warms the air and distributes it throughout the home. 

Boiler: Gas or Oil 

The boiler is part of the heating system connected to the radiators and pipes in your home. It transports heated water through the home after warming it with the chosen heat source over the heat exchanger. 

For an oil furnace, a tank for oil storage at your home with an oil furnace. 

With a gas furnace, there’s a gas line connected to your home that likely provides heat to everyone else in your community. It gets pumped into your house as you need it and is the central source of heat for the boiler. 

HVAC System Common Terms

Learning a few of the commonly used HVAC system terms is essential if you’ll be getting a new system installed soon. Here’s a list of the various components that contribute to an effective HVAC system:

  • Thermostat: The thermostat is the control center for the complete HVAC system. It powers the cooling and heating devices by turning them off and on, and you can use it to regulate airflow to the chosen temperature.
  • Central Air Conditioners: An air conditioner blows cool air through the home via connected ducts or a circuit. A coolant goes between the evaporator coils and condenser, cooling the air that passes over the coil. The motor and fan from the blower assembly then circulate this conditioned air around the home.
  • Furnace: There are multiple types of furnaces, with the two most common being electric and gas-powered. Most furnaces come with a blower, which is necessary to distribute heat in the home.
  • Heat Pump: Heat pumps can deliver hot and cold air. The heat pump transfers heat from inside to outside in the summer to cool the home and extracts heat from the ground or air outside in the winter.
  • Air Return: The air return is where your ventilation system starts. The primary purpose is to pull the air, in conjunction with contaminants and pollutants, from the surrounding area and force it through filters. It gets heated or cooled and helps balance the airflow and air quality. 
  • Exhaust Outlets: Exhaust outlets, such as a vent stack or a chimney flue, remove gas and heat from the environment. 
  • Ducts: Ducts are necessary to distribute cooled and heated air into your chosen indoor space. 
  • Compressor: The compressor is a component of the outside air conditioning unit that helps transform the heated refrigerant gas into a liquid. Pressure in the compressor removes heat from the gas, which is a critical part of the cooling process.
  • Evaporator Coil: A liquid coolant/refrigerant goes through the evaporator coil, which helps convert this liquid into cold air, which blows into the desired space.