What Kind of HVAC System Do I Have?

The house seems to be getting uncomfortable, you walk to the thermostat and there seems to be a problem. Time to “call Baggett”! What type of system do you have they ask? … I have no idea!

It is not at all uncommon for a homeowner to be unaware of the type of HVAC system they have, we get that question often.  So what types of systems are most commonly found in homes in Clarksville, TN and how do I know what I have?  


The most common types of systems found in Clarksville are either:

  • Electric Heat Pumps – these all electric systems use the process of refrigeration to transfer heat from the inside, out or vice versa depending on the outdoor conditions. It’s actually an air conditioner that can operate in reverse and provide energy efficient heating in the winter.
  • Conventional: Electric Air Conditioners and Gas Furnaces – Electric air conditioners remove heat from the indoors in warm months.  They are commonly matched with a gas furnace to provide heating in the winter.

Both of these types of systems exist in different application types as well, packaged systems or split systems.

  • Packaged System – is just as the name implies, a complete heating and cooling system packaged together in one piece of equipment located on the outside of the home. Traditionally used in commercial applications, our region is a bit unique using them residentially.  Crawlspaces and sometimes basements are a good fit for a packaged system and are common in the area.
  • Split System – The most traditional application across the country is also as its name implies, split.  There is an indoor piece of equipment and an outdoor piece of equipment.  The indoor piece is commonly found in the basement, attic,  garage or a closet.

How do I know which I have? Here are a few questions that should help you figure that out:

  • Do I pay a gas bill?
  • If you pay a gas bill and it is normally less in the summer and more in the winter, you likely heat with natural gas.
  • If you live outside the city limits and you buy propane throughout the year, you likely heat with propane gas.
  • If you do not pay a gas bill and your electric bill goes up in the winter months, you likely have an electric heat pump.

You can also look for a few things around the home to decipher what type of system you have:

  • A gas meter, if you have a natural gas meter located outside your home and you heat with gas there will be gas piping that leads to either the outdoor packaged unit or the indoor gas furnace.
  • If the outdoor unit operates in the winter and you occasionally see it frost up, defrost and make an unusual noise, that is the defrost cycle of an electric heat pump. (link to blog about defrost cycle???)

It is worth adding that some houses with more than one system can have more than one type.  It’s very common (especially in the city limits) for a two story home to have a conventional system on the main floor and an electric heat pump on the upper floor.

If you are selling your home and need this information, please consider scheduling Baggett’s Residential Real Estate Inspection and we can tell you everything you need to know about your HVAC system(s), including what they are before you sell.  And if you are new to the home, and are unaware of the type of system you have we would recommend joining our Preferred Customer Maintenance Club.

Baggett Heating & Cooling has been serving the Clarksville/Montgomery County area for over 40 years. Contact us by phone, text, or email.