Category - Air Conditioning
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Will Scholfield, Engineer

31 Jan : Updated 27 Feb ● 6 min read

HVAC system types: What are they & how do they work?

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, sometimes known quite simply as ‘climate control’. The main purpose of HVAC systems or climate control systems is to control the environmental conditions inside a home or property. There are many different HVAC system types, each working slightly differently to control a property’s temperature and conditions. Not only does the HVAC system design help to regulate temperature, but it also ensures optimum air cleanliness inside your environment.

What is a HVAC system? How can the range of HVAC system types be beneficial? In this guide, we’ll explain the different types of HVAC systems available as well as how each of them works.

The home HVAC system.

The HVAC system can be explained in its three areas; heating, ventilation and air conditioning.


HVAC systems include some components for heating up a property, increasing the temperatures inside to make more comfortable living conditions in the colder months of the year. The heating through a HVAC system is usually done through a central heating system. A boiler or heat pump is used to generate heat to the building.

The central heating system will pump the water through pipes and is released through radiators to raise the temperature of a room. However, properties can also be heated by distributing hot air to different rooms using an alternative process. Temperatures can be regulated using the central HVAC console, which will heat certain areas to specific temperatures.


The ventilation part of HVAC system components will guarantee that there is a constant stream of fresh air circulating the building. A HVAC control system ensures the air in a building is replaced with cleaner air from the outside by disposing of it through a ventilation exhaust unit.

Ventilation in the system improves the amount of oxygen inside a building and improves air quality. The in-built filtration system will ensure no fumes, moisture or harmful particles enter the flow of air being circulated, meaning you’ll be breathing in clean air consistently.

Air conditioning.

Air conditioning plays an important role. It’s a common misconception that AC systems purely cool the air inside a building, when in fact, there are many more positives. Not only is air conditioning used to lower the temperature of an environment to make it more bearable, but it also controls humidity, protecting the contents of a building, for example.

There are a range of different air conditioning systems available to suit your needs, depending on your requirements.

HVAC system types.

There are many different HVAC system types. Depending on your requirements, you may need one type of system over another type. It’s important to look into the main types before you make any decisions.

Heating and air conditioning split system.

This is a common style of HVAC system, with different components placed inside and outside of a property. Usually, the split system contains an air conditioner based outside of the property, with a fan/coil inside the property. It will also include ductwork; the way in which the air is carried to the different rooms of a property. These days, the split system design is much more energy efficient, ensuring the air is cleaned properly by using air purifiers and filters.

Hybrid split system.

Hybrids are similar to the heating and air conditioning split system but they do have their differences. Again, they are energy efficient, but because of the electric hybrid heating system, they are able to switch between gas and electric power when needed. This gives a property owner more flexibility and control when deciding on how to heat their homes and can reduce energy costs through its upgraded technology.

The Hybrid split system uses thermostats as well as the more traditional ductwork, but you also have more control when conserving energy and managing your bills.

Duct-free split system.

This system does come with high installation costs, but it also boasts a variety of benefits. As this type of system is duct-free, this means there is a need for individual units in each room.

Because of this, you’ll get much more control. They’re expensive to install and the units themselves will be visible in each room, but for larger properties, (such as business buildings or hotels) they are ideal and can pay for themselves in the long run.

A main benefit with the duct-free system is that there will be no energy wasted from unused rooms, keeping occupied rooms at the perfect temperature. It’s important to keep up with the cleaning and maintenance of these systems however, as repairs and replacing broken parts will be quite expensive.

The benefits of a HVAC system.

HVAC systems of all types do come with their benefits:

Improved results.

The different HVAC system types enable properties to have even more options for properly ventilating their environments. Fans and air filters improve the air quality and ensure the temperature inside is consistent and comfortable where it needs to be.

Energy efficiency.

Improving energy efficiency is the norm with more upgraded technologies. With new thermostats, the ability to control and monitor energy usage is higher and easier. By doing so, you’re not wasting energy in rooms that aren’t occupied, providing more precise and efficient results.


As you have much more flexibility with when and how you use the system, you’ll be able to save money in the process. Even though the installation costs can be very high, you’ll be able to see a return on investment. Having a HVAC system installed could even boost the value of a property if it was to go on the market for sale.

What to consider.

In the UK, HVAC systems are more common for larger buildings, such as business centres or hotels, for example. Because of the nature of the combined heating, ventilation and air conditioning functionalities, the cost of installation can be high.

HVAC system types – need more information?

Hopefully, our HVAC guide will have increased your knowledge of the different types available on the market. We know there is a lot to consider when looking for an air conditioning system, so our engineers are always at hand to answer any questions you may have.

No matter what your needs are, BOXT is here to help. If you have any questions about the different air conditioning systems available to you, you can talk to us via live chat or by using our ‘Find An A/C System’ tool. We can recommend the perfect system for your property by analysing the answers to a few simple questions.

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