Should Your Heating and Cooling Units Be Combined?

If you’ve been considering upgrading your current HVAC system, in most cases, it’ll be easier to combine heating and cooling systems rather than install each one as a separate unit. In this climate, it’s almost always more practical to use one unit that houses both.

The practice of separate units started before air conditioners were widely used in homes or in homes that used radiant heating systems rather than forced-air systems. In the latter case, ductwork wasn’t needed to distribute the heat produced by radiant heating systems. On the other hand, central air conditioners need ductwork to deliver the cooled air. It was more space- and cost-efficient to combine the heating and cooling systems, especially in moderate climates like ours.

Besides saving money and room, there are other reasons to combine heating and cooling systems, especially in this climate. They include:

  • Reduced lifetime costs. When you combine a furnace with an air conditioner, you’re going to save money even beyond the cost of shared ductwork. Combined, the two systems will use many of the same components, such as the blower motor and electrical components. This sharing also reduces the cost of having a central heating and cooling system in your home.
  • Simplified maintenance. Instead of having two systems to maintain, you’ll have just one, translating to lower costs for filters, professional maintenance visits and replacement parts.
  • Energy-efficient options. In this climate, the simplest — and often the most energy-efficient choice — for heating and cooling your home is a heat pump. These HVAC appliances use the same components for heating that they do for cooling. They do so with both high efficiency and safety.

A heat pump uses a small reversing valve inside the unit to switch from cooling to heating. Instead of using fuel for heat, it extracts the heat from the air to warm your home. It reverses in the summer and extracts heat from your home to cool it off, sending it outdoors.

To learn more about how to combine heating and cooling systems to enhance your comfort and savings, contact CCAC. We provide trusted HVAC services for Coastal Bend homeowners.

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    David Mathewst David Mathews is the owner of CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating. A Corpus Christi native... More »