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Select the type of cooling system that you would like to have in your home. Below are four different types of systems with brief explanations as to how they work. To view the diagram in a larger size, you may click the image.
A split system is an outdoor unit combined with an indoor unit. A split system will have a condensor outside to raise the pressure of the refrigerant and move it along the refrigeration lines to the an air handler, which is typically located in an attic, closet, or crawl space under the house. Once the air is conditioned it is passed through ductwork and blown out of air vents located on the ceiling or floor.
A heating and cooling system contained in one outdoor unit and ducted from outside. Normally in residential applications the unit is placed on ground level and ducted in the crawl space, and for commercial applications the self contained unit is normally placed on the roof.
Ductless mini-split-system heat pumps (mini splits) make good retrofit add-ons to houses with "non-ducted" heating systems, such as hydronic (hot water heat), radiant panels, and space heaters (wood, kerosene, propane). They can also be a good choice for room additions, where extending or installing distribution ductwork is not feasible.
A geothermal heat pump or ground source heat pump (GSHP) is a central heating and/or cooling system that pumps heat to or from the ground. It uses the earth as a heat source (in the winter), or a heat sink (in the summer). This design takes advantage of the moderate temperatures in the ground to boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs of heating and cooling systems, and may be combined with solar heating to form a geosolar system with even greater efficiency.