5 Reasons Homeowners Switch to High-Velocity HVAC

Whether your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system is due for an upgrade or you’re looking to retrofit one into an older home, there are many options to consider—so many that you may be tempted to just stick with what you know. Before making a decision based solely on tradition and familiarity, however, consider the many benefits of newer options. Innovative technologies like high-velocity HVAC have overcome some of the biggest drawbacks of conventional ductwork and older air handlers, from their ugly appearance to their high operating costs. Hear from five homeowners who explain why they're happy they chose a high-velocity HVAC option offered by industry leader The Unico System.

This content has been brought to you by Unico. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

  1. No Hot or Cold Spots

    No Hot or Cold Spots

    "The system runs beautifully, and the house is always comfortable. We're as happy as ever."

    If you've ever lived with central air conditioning, you've probably had to deal with unpleasant hot and cold spots within rooms that should be, well, conditioned. Conventional systems push a high volume of cool air into the conditioned space from a few concentrated registers, resulting in turbulence that causes drafts and creates temperature fluctuations. High-velocity HVAC like that developed by The Unico System produces more consistent comfort by evenly distributing air through the process of aspiration: When high-velocity air enters your living spaces, it draws the ambient air into its stream to keep the environment at a completely uniform (read: draft-free) comfort level.


  2. Flexible Design

    Flexible Design

    "We just couldn't be happier with the level of comfort and the fact that we didn't have to make major changes to our original design."

    Whether you're building from scratch or updating an old home, the installation of a heating and cooling system can require design concessions to accommodate the bulky components of a conventional system. With a high-velocity system, such compromises become a thing of the past. At only a quarter the size of traditional ductwork, high-velocity ducts typically don't require the inclusion of soffits, dropped ceilings, and other intrusions to squeeze in ductwork. Instead, flexible round ducts like those used by The Unico System can easily slide behind your existing walls and floors, and between ceiling joists. As well, the compact air handlers from Unico take up just a third of the footprint required by traditional air handlers to put out the same level of air conditioning, so they, too, won't steal square footage from your living areas. Because the streamlined components eliminate much of the need for renovation, high-velocity HVAC is particularly attractive to owners of older, architecturally sensitive buildings.


  3. Superior Energy Efficiency

    Superior Energy Efficiency

    "It is remarkable the comfort those little vents give you. Even in the high humidity of St. Louis summers, our house is extremely comfortable."

    Total comfort can come at a high cost if not accompanied by the very best in energy efficiency. Leaks in conventional ductwork, for example, can compromise the overall efficiency of a traditional system by up to 25 percent as a result of air loss between the air handler and the living space. High-velocity HVAC products, like those developed by The Unico System, have mitigated these potential inefficiencies by sheathing their networks of flexible mini ducts in insulation. As a result, Unico ducts lose less than 5 percent of the treated air the system circulates—and homeowners get everything they pay for.

    On top of that, the Unico System’s high-tech air handlers also remove up to 30 percent more humidity from a room than other central-air systems, so the air feels cooler. Even better: When there is less humidity in the circulating air, homeowners can set the thermostat higher than they typically would and still achieve the same level of comfort. And as each thermostat degree represents an energy savings of 3 percent, a high-velocity system requires less energy (and less money) to run, even in the hottest of months.


  4. Design-Friendly Aesthetics

    Design-Friendly Aesthetics

    "We're so happy to have finally gotten rid of the window units."

    Other solutions for keeping comfortable can spoil the look of a home's interior with wall-mounted air handlers, window-hogging AC units, or large metal vents with ugly grillwork. The Unico System, however, keeps HVAC discreet, right down to its inconspicuous outlets. Homeowners will find it easy to design around these outlets, which are smaller than traditional registers and can be placed wherever they would be least noticeable in a room—on the ceiling, floor, or wall. Moreover, Unico System outlets come in a range of options to suit any style of decor. Choose from two designs—round outlets five inches across or slotted half-inch-by-eight-inch rectangles—in a wide variety of colors and materials, including unfinished wood that can be painted or stained to more seamlessly blend with your space.


  5. Quiet Operation

    Quiet Operation

    "We love that we never see or even hear the system. It's been fantastic."

    While one might think that a high-velocity rush of air would be disturbing, the system from Unico prove to be much more quiet than the turbulent traditional HVAC. The Unico System ensures quiet comfort through the same means that it provides superior energy efficiency: careful insulation. First, air handlers operate within a sheath of closed-cell, decibel-dampening insulation to muffle noise and vibration right at the source. The small ducts that travel from the handler are designed with nylon inner cores as well as exterior layers of sound-attenuating insulation, which makes for whisper-quiet distribution of conditioned air. Together, the silence of the mini ducts and the inconspicuous vent designs make the Unico System practically invisible.


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