How Does Your Heating or Cooling System Work?

How Does Your Heating or Cooling System Work?

How does a system work?

Your dealer can tell you exactly how your equipment will work once installed, but these product demos and animations can help guide you with the decision-making process.

Comfort Sync™ thermostat

As the command center for your heating and cooling system. The communicating thermostat establishes a connection between all the different system components. That means each unit is being constantly monitored to optimize the overall system performance and deliver greater efficiency.

Air Conditioner

Before you sit down and make a purchase learn the difference between single- and two-stage operation, and the advantages each one has in terms of cooling performance and efficiency.

Heat Pump

In warmer climates, your dealer may recommend an electric heat pump, because it can keep you cool all summer and warm through the winter.


Learn the differences between a single-stage furnace, a two-stage furnace and a two-stage furnace with a variable speed blower. This way, you’ll know the advantages to each when you talk with your dealer.

Dual-Fuel Systems

When your dealer installs an electric heat pump and a gas furnace together, it creates a dual-fuel system. Depending on the weather outside, the system changes from electric to gas heat to maintain desired thermostat settings and maximize efficiency.


Ducts are located within the wall, floor or ceiling and are used to deliver heated or conditioned air through your home. Having the correct network of ducts is critical to system efficiency and performance.

What is a Heating or Cooling System?

What is a Heating or Cooling System?

What’s a system?

There are many different types of systems that can make your home, and your life, more comfortable. Here’s how everything works together.

When your Banner Elk Heating and Air dealer builds your system, they’ll help you choose from a variety of configurations based on your climate and your needs. A typical system includes an air conditioner or a heat pump outside, and a furnace or air handler inside, all controlled by a thermostat.

Your environment, your way, every day.

takes control to a whole new level. Every system is built from the best-performing heating, cooling and air quality equipment. So you get more in every way. More precise temperatures. More control. More healthy air. And more control over your energy costs, with air conditioners that are up to twice as efficient as conventional systems and gas furnaces that squeeze more heat out of every dollar.

Split System

The most common type of system. In this configuration, an indoor unit such as an air handler or furnace works in tandem with an outdoor unit that is either an air conditioner or heat pump. Together, they circulate cool air throughout your home in the summer, and warm air in the winter.

Dual-Fuel system

When a heat pump is paired with a gas furnace, it creates a system that can use either gas or electricity to keep you warm. Your system will automatically switch back and forth between the two for maximum energy efficiency.

Package units

A package unit is an entire home heating and cooling system in one. The furnace and either heat pump or air conditioner are contained in a single unit.

Repair or Replace?

Repair or Replace?

Is it time to repair or replace?

When is the right time to replace your heating and cooling system? While there is no hard-and-fast rule, there are some important considerations to keep in mind when making a decision.

Consider the 50% rule: When the cost of repairs approaches 50% of the value of your heating or cooling system, it’s generally time to replace the system.

Age of your system

  • Air conditioners and heat pumps have an average life expectancy of 10–12 years.
  • Furnaces have an average life expectancy of 15–20 years.

If your unit is nearing the average life expectancy, you’ll need to weigh the repair cost against the possibility that more repairs or replacement may be needed in the coming year.

Energy efficiency

  • Units that are approaching the end of their life expectancy will typically be much less energy efficient than newer equipment.
  • When replacing your outdoor unit (air conditioner or heat pump), your indoor unit (air handler or furnace) should also be replaced for maximum system efficiency.
  • Energy costs (gas, oil, electricity) have risen significantly in the last decade, and will likely continue to do so. Consider the energy consumption of your unit and your potential savings over its lifetime.
  • Choose ENERGY STAR® qualified equipment to maximize energy savings.

Research shows that water heating, home heating and air conditioning account for more than 50% of household energy use.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy statistics

Home improvements

If there have been upgrades made to your home that improve its insulation and energy efficiency (new windows, doors, insulation, roofing, sealing, etc.), then your current unit may actually be oversized or undersized for your needs. Your Banner Elk Heat and Air dealer can make sure your system is built and sized for peak performance.

System performance

Are you happy with your current system? Your old heating and cooling system can be responsible for things like poor indoor air quality, noise, temperature swings, and hot or cold spots throughout the house.

Newer systems have advanced technologies built in that precisely heat and cool your home, while keeping operating sounds, pollutants and energy costs at a minimum.