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Pros and Cons of Different HVAC Systems

There are several different types of heating and cooling systems for residential and commercial use. Here’s a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular HVAC options.

Cooling Systems

About 90 percent of U.S. homes and businesses have air conditioning. Most contain one of these two systems.

Central Air

An increasingly popular option, central air has many things going for it. More efficient than room-based units, it provides consistent cooling at a set temperature. Because the A/C unit is outside, central air is also much quieter than other options. Last but not least, it does not require much maintenance. On the downside, central air can be expensive to install and costly to repair.

Ductless Air Conditioning

An attractive option for smaller residences, such as apartments and condos, ductless air conditioning is a cinch to install and typically uses less power than other air conditioners. But because it lacks power, ductless A/C does not provide the same level of consistency when compared with central air. It can also be expensive.

Heating Systems

Because cold weather can be dangerous, all homes and businesses in cold weather climates have HVAC units outfitted with some type of heating system. Most contain one of the following options.

Forced-Air Heating

The most popular home heating option, forced-air heating is inexpensive to install in homes with existing ductwork. It also warms up quickly and provides relatively consistent temperatures. With that said, it can be pricey to maintain and is not as quiet as other heating systems. These units also have a habit of spreading dust and debris through their vents, which can wreak havoc on allergy sufferers.

Radiant Heating

Often found in newer homes, radiant heating provides consistent heat distribution and accurate temperature control. It is also easy to zone, giving users the ability to completely control the hot air in different parts of the home. Radiant heating is, however, expensive to install and slow to heat.

Shoppers should consider their specific heating and/or cooling needs before selecting one of the aforementioned HVAC units.

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