4 Types of HVAC Systems for Florida Homes
Your home HVAC system is the key to year-round comfort. The best type of climate control equipment for you depends on several factors, such as the climate where you live, what fuel source you prefer, and whether your home has ductwork. Explore the pros and cons of four different HVAC systems to determine what might work best for your Florida home.
1. Furnace (Air handler)/Air Conditioner Combo
This traditional combination is the most common type of home HVAC system in the US. It works by drawing in air from around the house via return ducts, heating or cooling it, and redistributing the conditioned air to each room via supply ducts. This operating style is known as forced-air heating and cooling. Furnaces can run on natural gas, electricity, oil, or propane, while air conditioners run on electricity.
- Affordable purchase and installation costs ensure a reasonable upfront investment.
- High efficiency ratings keep operating costs low over time.
- Choose from plenty of brands and features.
- Natural gas furnaces pose a risk of carbon monoxide and gas leaks.
- Natural gas furnaces require access to a gas line.
- Electric furnaces (Air Handlers) have notoriously high operating costs.
- Ductwork is required.
2. Air-Source Heat Pump
Heat pumps comprise the fastest-growing segment of the residential HVAC market. If electricity is the best or only fuel source available to you, a heat pump is a far more efficient way to heat your home than a Straight cool system only using heating elements to heat the home.
The equipment functions on the same principles as an air conditioner, moving heat with electricity and refrigerant rather than generating it from a fuel source. This allows for incredibly efficient performance, especially in places like Florida, where the winters are mild. Because of this, heat pumps are the most common home heating systems in the state. Heat pumps have a special part in them called a reversing valve. This valve allows the outdoor unit to heat and cool the home by reversing the flow of refrigerant. As a result, heat pumps double as efficient air conditioners in the summer.
- High efficiency ratings and Florida’s mild winters keep operating costs lower than electric (Air handlers)
- A single system provides both heating and cooling for year-round comfort.
- In heating mode, the air delivery temperature is lower than that of a furnace.
- Ductwork is required.
- In lower temperatures under 30 degrees the units will require its back up heat strip to maintain temperatures.
3. Ductless Mini-Split
The popularity of ductless mini-splits has grown substantially in recent years. These systems are a type of air-source heat pump and can therefore provide year-round heating and cooling. The difference is found in the air delivery system.
Ductless mini-splits feature an indoor, wall-mounted unit with a built-in air handler, eliminating the need for ductwork. Mini-splits can heat and cool a single room, such as an add-on or west-facing home office that’s difficult to keep comfortable. It’s also possible for a single outdoor unit to connect to multiple indoor air handlers for whole-house comfort.
- Amazing efficiency ratings allow for lower operating costs than furnaces and even many standard air-source heat pumps.
- Zoned heating and cooling capabilities are built into the system, letting you optimize the temperature in individual rooms.
- No ductwork is required, making mini-splits ideal for home additions and older houses without air ducts or attic space.
- There’s no risk of heating and cooling loss from leaky air ducts.
- Purchase and installation costs are often higher than central HVAC systems, assuming your home already has ductwork.
- Replacement parts may be harder to find, and repairs/diagnostics are more difficult often pushing repair costs higher than standard systems.
- Mini-split brand selection is more limited.
4. Ground-Source Heat Pump
Also known as geothermal heat pumps, these systems provide the most energy-efficient, environmentally friendly way to heat and cool a building. Like air-source heat pumps, geothermal models move heat with electricity and refrigerant. The difference is these systems transfer heat to and from the ground vs the air, which stays a much more consistent temperature year-round than the outdoor air. Ground temperature tend to stay around 74 degrees all year round where Florida air temps can swing 40-50 degrees in less than 24hrs. The outdoor air effects the efficiency of a system so the 74 degree ground temperatures make for quicker more efficient heat transfer than a 80 plus degree day.
Installation can be complex sometimes involves burying a matrix of water-filled pipes, called a closed loop, near the house. Local zoning ordinances and state and federal laws dictate whether this heating and cooling system can be installed in certain places. They also can use a well to source the water that is then pumped into a lake or feeds the sprinklers for the yard after its used to cool or heat the home. This is known as an open loop system and is the most common in Florida.
- Ground-source heat pumps are a favorite among homeowners committed to renewable energy.
- Operating costs normally are lower than any other home HVAC system.
- The underground portion has an impressive lifespan of 25 to 50 years.
- Expect higher purchase and installation costs than any other HVAC system.
- Repair costs can get high if the underground loop requires service.
- Ductwork is required.
- A well and or water pump is required to operate
Schedule HVAC Services in Orlando or Orange City, FL
When you’re ready to enhance home comfort, turn to Certified Climate Control for top-notch HVAC services in Central Florida. We treat our customers the way we’d like to be treated, delivering award-winning service backed by an A+ rating with the BBB and a long list of satisfied customers.
Whether you need your existing home HVAC system serviced or want to upgrade to something new, we can help! Our team installs, repairs, and maintains today’s most popular HVAC products, including air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, and ductless mini-splits. To schedule services, please contact us at (407) 888-0678 if you live in Orange or Seminole County, or reach out at (386) 675-6963 if you’re a Volusia County resident.