People often assume that installing an HVAC system is as simple as having a furnace and ductwork put in. But this style of heating system — a standard forced air system — does not work so easily in every home. Sometimes, you and your HVAC team may run into one or more challenges. In some cases, the easiest way to address the challenge is to use a less-common, unique sort of heating system. Here's a look at some common challenges encountered and the types of heating systems often installed to accommodate them.
Challenge: You don't have enough wall space for air ducts.
Air ducts are big, wide metal tunnels. You need a decent amount of wall space for these ducts to fit behind the walls. New homes are built with this space, but some older homes were not. If your wall spaces are too small for ducts, then your contractor may recommend something called a "small duct" system. This type of system has small, tube-like ducts and air is blown through them at a high velocity. The ducts can be run through small holes in the walls. This type of system is expensive, but it's fairly easy to install.
Challenge: You have allergies that are aggravated by forced air.
Sometimes, the problem is with you, not the home. If you have serious allergies to pollen, mold spores, or dust mites, having the allergens disturbed by blowing air may cause you to start sneezing and wheezing. This is no way to live! In cases like this, an HVAC tech may recommend a boiler-style heater. The boiler holds and heats water, and it sends that water through a series of pipes to collecting units known as radiators. Heat radiates out of the radiator, and into the surrounding space.
Challenge: You only want to heat a certain area.
Maybe you live in a mild climate, and you barely need heat. You want to heat part of your home, but installing a huge furnace system seems like overkill. In this case, an HVAC contractor may recommend a ductless, mini-split system. These units are mounted through one wall. They are reversible and can heat or cool, depending on the selected setting. You can install one in one room, or multiple in several rooms.
There are certainly challenges that can arise in the HVAC world. Luckily, there are systems available that can address them. For more information on HVAC systems, contact a professional near you.