Climate and weather vary throughout the United States. As such, the HVAC needs of homeowners in various US regions vary, too. If you recently moved to the southern U.S. from another region, then you may not be overly familiar with how HVAC systems in this region are set up. In the southern U.S., it gets really hot, but winters are pretty mild. The region's approach to HVAC reflects this. Here are the most important things to know about this topic as a newcomer.
Not all homes have full-scale furnaces.
Some homes in the southern U.S. have furnaces simply because they're an affordable, simple way to heat a home. However, it does not get cold enough that a furnace is really necessary for heating. A home in the south can be adequately heated with a heat pump, which is a smaller unit that's mounted across a wall. Some larger homes may have two heat pumps, which can be independently controlled. Heat pumps are more energy efficient than furnaces, and they don't require ducts. So, if you're having heating installed in a new home, definitely consider a heat pump over a furnace.
Many air conditioners are swamp coolers.
In northern climates, heat and humidity often go hand-in-hand. So, most air conditioners in this region are designed to dehumidify as they cool. In the south, however, the heat is often a dry heat. As such, they use a different kind of air conditioner. Many AC units in the south are what's known as swamp coolers, or more formally, evaporative coolers. They cool the air by blowing it across a cold, damp surface. This adds some moisture to the air during the cooling process so your home does not feel so dry. Now, if your HVAC contractor recommends a new swamp cooler, you'll know what they are talking about.
AC repair services often operate on an emergency basis.
In many areas, HVAC companies don't consider a failed AC an emergency. But in the U.S. south where it can get very hot, you'll see HVAC contractors that offer emergency AC repair services. They know it can be dangerous to leave customers without AC for too long, and so they'll rush to service your unit on the same day.
Now that you know these basics about HVAC in the south, you're ready to heat and cool your home. Talk to a local HVAC contractor to learn more.