Alternative Types of HVAC System

Alternative Heating and Cooling Systems

​Most people in the area use traditional centralized heating and air conditioning systems to keep their homes comfortable. A furnace generates hot air and an AC cold air—both in a centralized location—which is then blown through the ducts in the house with a fan. They’re inexpensive, comparatively simple, and easy to operate, which is what makes them so popular.

They’re not the only means of keeping a home comfortable, however, and in some cases, an alternative system might work better. Older houses may not be able to support the ducts necessary for a centralized system, while larger homes may struggle to feel as warm or as cool as they should with a centralized system. If your home can’t support a centralized system or has experienced recurring problems with its effectiveness, you might want to consider other options. We’ve laid out a few below for you to consider.​


Heat pumps use the principles of air conditioning–circulating refrigerant through a series of valves and coils that first release hot air and then cool the air for distribution into the home–to serve as a heater as well as an air conditioner. They work well for homes that don’t have a structural problem with centralized HVAC systems but could use a little help with monthly heating costs.

Because heat pumps use refrigerant to generate heat, they don’t need to spend as much fuel to warm the home, and they work especially well in climates like ours that have mild winters. In some cases, they need help on the coldest nights, which is why dual-fuel systems exist: adding a small furnace to the heat pump in order to provide that extra bit of heating power.


Ductless systems adopt a decentralized approach to heating and cooling. Instead of a single unit covering the entire house, the system installs multiple smaller units throughout the house, each one tasked with covering a single room or section. This allows for comprehensive heating and air conditioning without relying on ducts.

It also provides precise control over the temperature in each section of the house. Not only can you raise and lower the temperature in each section independently of the rest of the house–letting individual family members set the temperature to their taste–but it lets you turn off the heat or cooling to parts of the home you aren’t using while still running the HVAC system in parts of the home you are.


Geothermal systems use tubes full of liquid buried under the earth to provide heating and cooling power. Once you dig below about ten feet or so, the temperature of the earth remains in a stable range no matter what the weather’s topside is. Geothermal systems take advantage of this. The set-up cost is high since the tubes need to be buried beneath the property, but over time, they can save a household a considerable amount of money.


Electric baseboard heating is one of the most popular alternative heating solutions. It provides your home with heat via a baseboard electric heater. This system is responsible for controlling the temperature in your home by dispersing heat into your individual rooms. Electric baseboard heating doesn’t work by blowing out air, which could be a great benefit when it comes to avoiding allergens, dust, and pet dander. Each heating unit utilizes electric coils that work similarly to the way that heating coils work inside a toaster.


Another great alternative heating solution is solar heating. Solar air heating utilized solar thermal technology to obtain and use heat. It’s most common in commercial and industrial buildings, as it can help to save money on utility costs. This type of alternative heating solution utilizes a wall-mounted system, that allows it to capture large amounts of solar radiation during the winter season. Perforate solar collector panels are installed a couple of inches away, which creates an air cavity. This allows the newly heated air to make its way into the building via ducts connected to the HVAC intake.


Painting your roof could help to cool your home. If you live in a hot climate, a dark-colored roof will increase the heat that is absorbed by your roof and distributed throughout your home. A light-colored roof can help cool your home during the hot summer months by absorbing less heat from the sun. If your roof is black, or another dark color, painting your roof white could be a great idea for the summer months.

If any of these HVAC systems sound like a good match for installation in your Round Rock, TX home, call Intelligent Air Services today at (512) 675-6997!