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The Basics When HVAC Shopping

Purchasing a new HVAC unit is one of the largest home investments you’ll make. Gathering basic knowledge on terminology, system styles, brands, and pricing will ensure you get the most out of your purchase.

Central AC

Central air conditioners are typically installed as part of a “split system,” paired with a heat source like a furnace or boiler. They use refrigerant, compressors, and coils to cool the air that is distributed via ductwork through your home with the help of a fan/blower system.

Air Source Heat Pump

This system can provide both heating and cooling. They cost more upfront, but are extremely energy-efficient, saving you money in the long run. Air source heat pumps work by transferring heat, moving it outside in the summer, and inside in the winter. Like central AC, they also use refrigerant, compressors, coils, and distribute air via ductwork with the help of a fan/blower.

Geothermal Heat Pump

Geothermal heat pumps work similarly to air source heat pumps, but rely on the constant temperatures within the ground. They also use 25-50% less energy than conventional systems. These systems provide both air and heat, and can also be used to heat water and operate radiant heat flooring systems.

Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump

These systems work by shuttling heat. They are easier to install but cost more upfront. However, they are extremely efficient, making them a popular choice. Because they require no ducts and components connect via only small refrigerant lines, they are a great choice for small/historic homes, cooling garages, and new home additions.

72 Degrees can help you determine which of the units above is best for your home size, budget, and comfort needs. Call 515-965-7272 or email us at

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