Are you looking for a new heating and cooling system that treats your whole home? One that provides more heat in the winter and cooler air in the summer? One that’s easy to install and also lowers your energy bills?
We want to tell you a little bit about High-Velocity Systems, how they work, and some of the pros and cons.
Thanks to this new technology, high-velocity systems deliver better work for less money than traditional units. Of course, they’re not perfect. There are a few potential drawbacks to consider before making an investment.
Fortunately, in most cases, any downsides to a high-velocity system are far outweighed by its benefits. After learning a little more about them you can decide if one is right for your home.
Here’s a look at what high-velocity systems are, how they work and the pros and cons of installing one.
How High-Velocity Systems Work
High-velocity systems work similarly to older HVAC systems. Hot or cool air comes from a heating or cooling source. That’s usually a heat pump or compressor outside the home.Then, it travels through the house and enters the rooms through vents.
But, the similarities end there. Instead of large ducts throughout your home, high-velocity systems use very skinny tubing. The tubing is just two inches in diameter, and flexible.
At the same time, the vents are much, much smaller. Most homes have vents at least six inches tall and around a foot wide. A high-velocity vent is usually round and just 5 inches around.
The hot or cool air then moves from the compressor or heat pump to a high-velocity air handler. This pushes the air through your with more pressure than duct-and-vent HVAC systems. Because of this, the air circulates very quickly through the area it’s treating once it comes through the vents.
This means the room gets to the temperature you want faster than with other systems. This makes for better climate control.
It also saves you money. Since it works quickly, the system doesn’t need to stay on as long. Therefore, it uses fewer resources, or energy, to run. And less the less energy it uses, the less you’re charged on your energy bills.
High-Velocity For Retrofitting & New Construction
Low monthly costs and increased efficiency make a high-velocity system attractive in a new home. If you choose high-velocity while planning your construction, it’s very easy to fit the system into your plans.
However, high-velocity is also very easily retrofitted into your existing home. Again, that’s thanks to the smaller, flexible components.
Recall that the tubing is only two inches in diameter. It can also bend to a certain degree. This means it’s small enough to fit in between studs in a wall or between ceiling rafters.
Therefore, you won’t need to do any major work to your home. Installers can easily work around existing studs and rafters. They can also snake the tubing inside the walls.
These factors keep installation costs low. You won’t pay to have people to tear away any plaster or drywall to install it. Similarly, there’s no need to rebuild and paint the walls afterward. And, of course, less construction means less stress on you and your family.
Drawbacks Of A High-Velocity System
Of course, there are a few drawbacks to consider to a high-velocity system. Depending on what’s important to you, however, these may not matter too much.
We mentioned that installation is easy and often less costly than traditional ductwork. This is true. But, it can be tricky to properly estimate the exact cost ahead of time.
Since installers don’t have to tear down the walls, they don’t know for sure what’s in there. Blockages or electrical wires, for instance, may be in unexpected places.
As a result, installers may have to take extra time to move around those obstacles. And, they’ll have to do so blind. Fortunately, a skilled installer can navigate just about any obstacle in the wall. But, it may just not be smooth sailing from start to finish.
Once it’s installed, there are a few things to consider. Remember, the high-velocity systems push air with much more force than other HVAC systems.In many cases, that strong surge can be uncomfortable if you’re too close to the vent. You can feel that blast of air much more significantly than with ducts.
Some systems are noisier than traditional HVAC. However, newer systems use muffling technology to reduce the noise.
Fortunately, it’s easy to place the small vents almost anywhere. Often, you can find a spot in each room that’s far away from where you or anyone else would be standing, sitting or laying. High up on a wall is an option, as is the ceiling.
Finally, it’s not very easy to combine a high-velocity system with “zoned “ HVAC.This is when different areas of the house are treated by separate units that can heat or cool at different temperatures from each other.
You can achieve some degree of zoned HVAC with high-velocity. But to do so, you’d have to purchase and install more than one air handler.
More Advantages Of A High-Velocity System.
For many homeowners, the “cons” of a high-velocity system are far outweighed by the “pro’s.” And, there are many advantages of high-velocity heating and cooling.
We’ve gone over a few of the big ones already: They’re easy to install thanks to the smaller, flexible components. They heat or cool a room faster than other methods. This means they cost less to operate month-to-month.
Finally, there are a few other benefits to high-velocity. First, the vents themselves don’t make a big visual impact in your home. They’re very small and can easily installed in out-of-the-way places.
Due to this, they blend into the room much better than large vents. And, if you already have vents, you won’t need to worry about adding new large vents or trying to retrofit the existing ones.
Finally, just one unit can handle an entire house. When it comes to cooling especially, this is a huge advantage in older homes.
Houses built before central air became popular in the 70s often aren’t equipped to handle a regular central a/c system. As result, many homeowners have been making do with multiple wall or window a/c units.
With high-velocity, you can finally get rid of those old, clunky units. One compressor and one air handler do the trick for the whole house. You can quickly and easily pipe it into any room without major work all throughout the house.
These benefits make high-velocity systems a huge draw. Even though a system may present a few small challenges, they are often easy to work around them. Then, you’ve got state-of-the-art, energy-efficient heating, and cooling — at a much lower price than your old ductwork, vents or window units.