A split system simply means your heating solution has parts that reside both inside and outside your home. A split system typically consists of:
- Furnace―provides heating and the fan used year round to circulate air
- Evaporator coil―the indoor component of your outdoor cooling unit
- Air conditioner or heat pump―works in tandem with the evaporator coil
- Ducts―carry the conditioned air throughout your home
- Control or thermostat―your interface for controlling your system
- Optional air quality accessories―clean, humidify, and freshen air before it circulates throughout your home
Some split systems consist only of an outdoor unit―such as a heat pump or air conditioner―and an inside fan coil. If that’s the case, there’s usually another heat source in the home like baseboard heat or a boiler.
Hybrid Split Systems
It’s a smarter version of your standard split system, with an energy efficient twist: In addition to gas furnace heat, this system automatically figures out how to get the best efficiency by also using an electricity-fueled heat pump to provide warmth. Bonus―the heat pump functions in the place of an air conditioner too.
A heat pump with a variable-speed compressor matched to a furnace with a variable-speed blower motor can do an amazing job of pulling humidity out of the air in the summer to save money.
You may also pair your heat pump with a high-efficiency furnace. Despite the cold, you might be surprised by just how much mileage―not to mention cost-saving efficiency―you’ll get from a heat pump in the spring, fall and, yes, even winter months.
Air Source Heat Systems or Ductless Split Systems
An air source heat system or ductless split system doesn’t rely on air ducts to spread treated air in your home. Instead, this system is designed to heat or cool places that may lack duct work, in areas where the existing system doesn’t quite cut it. Ductless split systems include:
- Small outdoor air conditioner or heat pump unit
- A compact indoor wall unit
- Refrigerant tubing and wire connections―pass through a small hole from indoor to outdoor unit to connect the system.
- On unit or remote control―your interface for controlling your system,
Geothermal Heat Pump System
Traditional heat pumps do the same thing as air conditioners but in winter, they do it in reverse, drawing their heat energy from the outside air. Geothermal heat pumps don’t have to rely on the potentially wide temperature swings of outdoor air. They tap into the relatively consistent and more moderate temperatures of the earth instead. Using your yard, pond or well water, this ingenious technology enables you to enjoy higher energy efficiency inside your home—no matter how extreme the weather gets outside.
There are geothermal systems that can serve homes with ductwork or homes with radiant heat. The radiant heat versions are referred to as hydronic systems and some of those can also provide you with all your hot water needs.
A geothermal system can be used to provide all of your heating and cooling needs or you can pair it with a furnace for a dual fuel heating solution.