New options for home HVAC

A Wi-Fi thermostat allows homeowners to use Wi-Fi to communicate with the unit if they are away from home at work or on vacation. If the Wi-Fi is disabled, the thermostat can be operated like a traditional one.

Above, a high-wall air handler unit, which contains a fan, is installed inside the home. Below, a compressor or condensing unit is installed outside of the home. Copper refrigerant lines connect the two units through holes that are drilled and run through the wall.

In the past few years, options for home heating and cooling have come a long way thanks to new technologies. 

Two of the most popular options are Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats and ductless air conditioners.


Wi-Fi thermostats

Jim Manos, sales representative at Kath Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical, says Wi-Fi thermostats are fairly new innovations that let you control your home’s temperature via your smartphone.

“Not only is it a thermostat that you can put on any piece of equipment, now there’s Wi-Fi thermostats that are designed and engineered to the exact type of furnaces you have,” Manos says.

These thermostats give homeowners the convenience of checking on the temperature inside their house when they are away. Some thermostats even have the ability to email homeowners with updates or if there are issues with the furnace. They can also be set up to email HVAC contractors if a furnace or air conditioner is malfunctioning. 

With a Wi-Fi thermostat homeowners do not actually need to be connected to Wi-Fi when they are operating it at home. The only reason Wi-Fi is needed is to communicate with the thermostat via the homeowner’s phone or iPad from a remote location. Wi-Fi does not control the furnace, Manos says.

The Wi-Fi function on the thermostat can be disabled, and this would make the thermostat work the same as a traditional thermostat.

Homeowners can also track their energy consumption of their furnace with their Wi-Fi thermostats.

A Wi-Fi-connected thermostat generally costs a couple hundred dollars more than a traditional thermostat.


Mini ductless air conditioners

Mini ductless air conditioners are perfect for houses that have hot-water heating systems and don’t have ductwork.

“It’s a really good option. People love it,” Manos says.

This air conditioning option can be operated by a remote. Plus, the units are quiet and work efficiently.

These units are becoming more popular as people renovate older homes with radiator heating and want to add air conditioning.

The ductless units have an indoor component that is mounted high up in a room near the ceiling that uses a fan to blow cool air. Outside of the home is a compressor unit. Everything goes through the wall, out the back to where the outside unit sits.

Up to three high, wall air-handler units can be connected to one outdoor compressor unit.

“Three per one is the best fit. If you want to do multiple, you can have three-per-one on one side of the house, and three-per-one on the other side,” Manos says.

Mini ductless air conditioners do not require tearing open walls to install ductwork, saving homeowners time and money.

These units also cost less than traditional, whole-house air conditioners. 


Both of these new HVAC options are energy-efficient and provide convenience and comfort for homeowners. For more information, talk with your local heating and air conditioning company.


Hannah Burlingame can be reached at 651-748-7824 or

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