South Carolina homeowners are in a unique situation regarding their HVAC system, as it needs to be equally efficient in supplying both air conditioning and heat. The summers in South Carolina can get quite hot and humid, making a strong air conditioning system a necessity. However, nights in the winter can drop temperatures below freezing, so a strong heater is also a must-have for all South Carolina homeowners.
Choosing the best HVAC system is not always a simple task. Not every system is created equal. Fortunately, South Carolina homeowners have four types of HVAC systems to choose from, giving them the freedom to pick a system that fits their needs and location. Here’s a closer look at each of those four HVAC systems.
Package Heating and Air Conditioning System
This type of HVAC system is exactly what it sounds like: multiple climate control mechanisms in a single package. It’s physically a metal case or cabinet that includes heating, air conditioning, and even a dehumidifier to meet the diverse needs of South Carolina homeowners. There is both a gas furnace and heat pump that allows homeowners to make an easy switch between gas and electric heat based on what method is more affordable at the moment. Also, while this is a diverse system, it has a relatively small footprint. Most of the time, homeowners can fit indoors, although the roof is also an option for smaller homes without a great deal of space.
Heat and Air Conditioning Split System
This is the more traditional system that most homeowners should know about. There’s an indoor part of the system that includes a heater, fan, and air filter. There is ductwork in the floors that circulates the air, as well as a return air duct that sends cold air back into the unit so it can be heated by the gas furnace and blown back into the home. Meanwhile, the outdoor part of the system, which contains cooling fins, condenser coil, and the compressor, is connected to the indoor unit by a tube that conducts refrigerant. Unfortunately, while these systems were an upgrade from the use of radiators, they have become a little outdated. Plus, if they are not installed correctly or properly maintained, they can become far less efficient than more modern HVAC system, causing a rise in energy costs for homeowners.
Duct-Free Split Heating and Air Conditioning System
In contrast to older HVAC systems, this type of system, which is commonly called the mini-split system, is quite energy efficient. Again, there are two units, one indoors and one outside the home. One of the outdoor units can be connected to as many as 8 of the indoor units, all of which can have their own unique setting with regard to the level of heating or cooling desired by the homeowner. This mini-split system is ideal for homes without a system of ducts, including homes that have been renovated or have had rooms added years after the house was first built. More importantly, the entire system is easy to install and comes with the ENERGY STAR label, meaning lower energy bills for the homeowner.
Hybrid Heat Split System
One last HVAC system that’s also more modern is the hybrid heat split system. This system utilizes both an air-source heat pump and a gas furnace. During parts of the day when gas is more expensive, the heat pump is a good option to help keep costs down. Electric pumps can also be problematic when temperatures drop below freezing, at which point the gas furnace becomes the preferred option. This system provides both possibilities and comes with a thermostat that allows homeowners to adjust the temperature to their preference.