HVAC Systems: A Primer

The initials HVAC stand for heating,HVAC Systems: A Primer Articles ventilation and air conditioning. These systems are designed to create a comfortable temperature within a home or office building year round. Mechanical engineers design these units which are based on complex thermodynamics concepts as well as heat transferring and refrigeration. Several inventors are credited with developing these units, such as Willis Carrier and Reuben Trane. The names “Carrier” and “Trane” are still renowned names in the business. Having an HVAC system carrying either of these brand names equates to high quality.























These systems work together in order to provide efficiency. The same pathways and ductwork used for heat are also used to circulate cool air. Ventilation is mandatory for both of these temperature control systems as well. These are advanced air delivery distribution systems unlike old heating and cooling methods, which are single units in various rooms. These modern units are controlled with a thermometer with buttons to regulate temperatures. They may be powered by gas or electric energy.

Central heating is another name for this technology. Systems may have different mechanisms to provide warmth, including furnaces, pumps or boilers. If water is used, such as with the boiler method, hydronics is at play. Air is forced through ductwork to reach the desired locations within a building.
Ventilation is a critical component in functionality. This is achieved with an air handler. The environmental quality is affected in terms of dust, particles and humidity. Some rooms require even more attention to venting in order to eliminate condensation such as the bathroom or kitchen. Fans above stoves are required as are fans in bathrooms to address the excess condensation. Fans such as those hung on the ceiling will also help circulate and ventilate. Open windows or trickle vents can let the outside come in naturally.

Some climates are so toasty in the summer that an AC is mandatory. For other regions, AC is considered to be a luxury or unnecessary altogether. Refrigeration is available with this portion of an HVAC. In order to cool the room, heat is actually removed. Radiation, cooling and convection are involved in the refrigeration cycle. Coolants are used such as chemicals, water or ice. Central AC is common in modern architecture. For older homes or commercial buildings, other methods may be used. Evaporative coolers or window units are alternatives to the centrally located units.

All of these systems must be properly maintained in order for them to work efficiently. Filters must be changed on a monthly basis in order to alleviate the buildup of dust, debris and sediment. This is important for the health of the inhabitants within a building as well as longevity and efficiency of the HVAC unit. It’s wise to have a tune-up performed seasonally by a certified technician. This will ensure that the device is ready to do its job during the freezing weather of winter and the hot days of summer. Having a well maintained appliance will be a wise step for saving money since energy dollars will not be wasted on inefficiency.

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