If you live in the United States, then it’s very likely that you have come across the term “HVAC”, but what does it mean?
HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning; it’s an acronym for the industry and is used to describe the system installed into residential and commercial properties. Its primary aim is to provide comfortable temperatures and acceptable indoor air quality.
It’s all to do with the regulation of air flow, moving warm or cool air through a room depending on your needs. It’s also a way of controlling humidity as cooling mechanisms in HVAC units often remove condensation too!
Types of HVAC Systems
HVAC is predominantly defined by the technology employed to achieve the result of a comfortable living or working environment; heaters, air conditioning units, coolers, ventilating and ducting are used in different types of buildings and even in vehicles.
The products you choose for your property will highly depend on whether it’s for business, commercial or residential purposes as there are all sorts of considerations to take into account such as employee comfort, a refrigerated stock or size of the building.
Having ample heating is necessary to get the residents of a building through the long and cold winter months and this can vary depending on your geographical location. With that said the type of heating equipment you choose will both need to provide ample heat but not be excessive so that it costs you more than you need to run it.
There are many different choices when it comes to heating the home with a great variety of fuels, costs, and considerations which may or may not make a particular choice suitable for you.
Types of heating systems include:
Direct heat is the simplest form of heating you can get as it is just used to warm the immediate vicinity such as the room they’re in or the objects around the room. Wood burning stoves, pellet stoves, space heaters, propane heaters and gas and electric fireplaces are amongst the massive selection you have for practical home heating.
These are usually great value for money and energy efficient ways of heating because you are using a low input in order to heat a small area but some are better than others.
Central heating is a system that employs pipes that heat every room in the building via radiators or ducts which can usually be controlled individually.
The majority of households in the US use furnaces that utilize coal, natural gas or oil to work. The fuel is burned over a period of time and the warm air is then blown through ducts to heat the house.
Boilers can also be used. They heat water using natural gas that can then be pumped through a pipe system into the radiators in each room. The water is recycled as it is cooled when it is sent back to the boiler to be re-heated again. There are different types of boilers which have different pros and cons so it’s worth reading up on them when deciding on getting one.
Some people also use a heat pump which draws warm air from below ground through a pipe system and into the home to be distributed into each room typically via ducts. They can be amazing if you are in the right geographical location as they are low maintenance, energy efficient and can also cool your home in the warmer months.
There are some distinct ways in which you can ventilate your home. It’s important to allow fresh air flow into the home and to rid rooms of harmful waste gasses. There are certain things to consider when it comes to ventilation such as energy efficiency in relation to heat loss, moisture control and other factors such as outdoor temperature.
Types of ventilation systems include:
Exhaust Ventilation Systems
This type is a simple and inexpensive choice but best used in colder climates as it does not have the capabilities to control air moisture as well as other methods. It works by lowering the indoor air pressure to below the outdoor air pressure by extracting air and this causes air to seep in from outside.
Supply Ventilation Systems
Supply ventilation works by adding air to the building from the outside with a fan which increases the pressure, forcing the pre-existing air to leak out. They are also simple and affordable and are better for homes in warmer climates.
Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems
This type of system is somewhat more expensive than the others because they use more energy, can become quite complex in larger buildings and will need additional devices installed in cold climate locations to prevent components from freezing over.
Balanced Ventilation Systems
These systems dispose of and take in approximately equal quantities of air without pressurization or depressurization. Due to this it needs to be set up correctly with two fans and two duct systems and is normally designed to provide fresh air to specific rooms.
There are many types of cooling systems or air conditioning that homes, business, and commercial buildings can employ to keep everybody comfortable. Similar to heating, the key is choosing one which has the perfect capabilities for your building size without overdoing it so it costs more in energy bills.
Types of AC systems include:
Room Air Conditioning
These types of air conditioners utilize and compressor on the outside of the device. They are usually built to go through walls or through windows such as slider AC units and provide air cooling to the local vicinity rather than multiple rooms.
Central Air Conditioning
Much like central heating, central air conditioners are designed to work on the whole house through a system of ducts. The cooling of the air is driven by a large compressor which is located outside the building, the air then reached a coil containing refrigerant that cools the air which is then distributed.
HVAC technicians are the workforce of the HVAC industry; they are specialists that are trained to work on all or some of the elements of HVAC systems.
An HVAC technician is not just somebody who has the skills and knowledge to install, repair and diagnose issues with HVAC units but they are also there to provide you with advice on what HVAC system would be best in your residential, business or commercial property and how they would best work well together.
They would do this by considering all the factors mentioned above and other considerations such as your budget, personal preferences, and household needs.
There is a process to go through to obtain HVAC certification which is dependent on the requirements of the particular state you wish to work in, but can lead to very rewarding career opportunities including technicians, sales consultants, engineers, project managers and business owners.