HVAC 101 - All You Need To Know About Your HVAC System
Updated: Feb 16
HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning)
HVAC is a term most, if not all, of us are familiar with. It is an acronym for heating, ventilating and air conditioning.
Whether you’re seeking HVAC equipment for your business or home, or you already have one but you need to know how to use it efficiently, being informed and knowledgeable about HVAC systems can go a long way in making you feel comfortable.
You need to know the function of these in order to make an informed decision. There is so much to take into consideration when choosing HVAC equipment that you’d be surprised to know.
Do you know that the square footage of your space plays a big role in the size and type of HVAC unit you should purchase?
There are a lot of technicalities and logistics to consider in order to have efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning in your home. Not everyone has time to research this, and most people want to know the basics before they even meet with an HVAC technician or HVAC supplier.
Read on for more information on what you need to know about your HVAC system.
Carrier is a brand we all know and are familiar with. Carrier was founded in the year 1902 by Willis Carrier, a skilled engineer who adapted the technology used in mechanical refrigeration to create the first air conditioning unit. That was the beginning of HVAC.
Fortunately for us today, Carrier went on to develop different types of units over the years and has grown to be a household name in the heating, ventilating and air conditioning industry, setting the path for other HVAC companies to follow. Found in homes, schools and places of business, HVAC units give us a high level of comfort that we’ve come to enjoy over the years.
The ability to purchase an HVAC unit that is suitable for your home is not something to be taken for granted. Imagine life without all the comforts we have now and then you’ll see how much you have to be thankful for.
Types of HVAC Systems
The HVAC systems of today do more than what we think of when we think of the acronym. Most people think of air conditioning and heating, rightly so, but they do much more.
The technology behind HVAC systems is to take in air from outside, filter, and cool or heat it, and then release it indoors according to your specific needs and temperature settings. Because the needs for HVAC are varied, they come in different types.
A ductless air conditioner works the same way as a central air conditioner, but instead of blowing air into ducts throughout the entire home or office like the central AC system, it heats or cools one room.
Ductless systems have two parts - a condenser and evaporator. The evaporator is located inside the house and is responsible for sucking the warm air out of the room, cooling it and returning the cooled air back into the room.
The condenser is on the outside of the property and it collects the hot air and releases it outdoors.
The most common type of HVAC system is the split system. This is the one we see most times with a part on the window of residential and commercial properties. These are often units that provide single-room temperature control and are called ductless mini-split air conditioners systems.
Split systems comprise of two main units - one to heat - the evaporator, and one to cool - the condenser. The two parts work in tandem to provide heating and cooling solutions for properties.
Using ductless mini-split systems give you complete control over your energy usage as you can place them only in rooms that need additional cooling or heating and you can use them only when the rooms are occupied, instead of central heating or cooling which covers the entire property.
Some split systems offer air conditioning only. Work with your HVAC tech to determine what is best suited for your needs.
The main difference between hybrid split systems and split systems is that hybrid systems rely on electricity, oil or gas to heat or cool the home. It has the ability to use heat from outdoor air to heat your home. With the cost of gas and electricity in mind, you can decide which of these to use to heat or cool your home at any given time.
Hybrid systems reduce the impact of usage on the environment and reduce the amount it costs you to cool and heat your home. Many homeowners are making the switch from split systems to hybrid split systems, not only because they are energy efficient, but also for the reduction in bill payments and because they are worried about their carbon footprint.
Packaged Heating and Air Systems
Packaged HVAC systems have a compressor, evaporator coil, condenser unit, and everything else needed to efficiently heat and cool your home in one part. They hold many more parts than the traditional split system, so they are much larger.
Most packaged HVAC systems are located outside the home and render their cooling and heating services through air ducts which are usually already installed in your home. Most people considering a packaged HVAC system already have ducts installed or they are building a property and installing the air ducts.
The gas or electric heat lamp needed to heat your home is located inside a packaged HVAC unit, so you will not find a separate indoor heating unit with this type of HVAC equipment. As mentioned above, the single unit houses all the parts, so it is generally larger than the inside part of a split unit. It is also more prone to damage as it is outdoors and is under daily threat from the weather.
HVAC Systems for Residential Properties
Regardless of where you live, you almost always need an HVAC system to keep your home and family warm or cool.
Some homeowners opt to use a packaged unit if they have built-in air ducts for heating and cooling, while others tend to prefer a more individualized approach by using the split systems so that each family member can control the temperature in each room, and units in rooms not in use can be switched off.
Split systems might be more expensive to install depending on the number of rooms you have to cover, but long-term, packaged HVAC units tend to be more expensive since they generally cover a larger space and more rooms, thus using more energy.
Deciding what type of HVAC system to put into your home is a very individualized decision as you have to take your family’s needs and usage into account.
HVAC Systems for Commercial Buildings
Most larger offices in the past almost always used central air conditioning. This resulted in high electricity bills and loud noises from their HVAC systems as they tended to be larger to cover so many rooms.
While some offices still use central HVAC systems, they are not as noisy and they are more fuel-efficient, thanks to modern technology. Other offices now use popular split-systems, which gives them more control over their electricity bills with huge energy savings and allows them to cover only areas that need to be heated or cool.
Another point to note—offices can also use both the split system and packaged HVAC system in their buildings. This is common when additional buildings are added onto the original structure. Since the extra rooms would not have been installed in the original ductwork, they opt to use split systems to heat and cool them.
Whether you say HVAC systems, heating systems, air conditioning systems, or A/C systems, we can all agree that most of the population would not want to live without the heating and cooling solutions we know and love.
The wide array of options from split units, mini-split units, packaged units and more, makes it easier to customize our HVAC solutions to fit our specific needs. You can choose central systems using air ducts or the ever convenient ductless split systems to heat and cool your home.
Residential and commercial property owners now have many more options that are fuel-efficient and are just as effective at meeting their HVAC needs. With the added bonus of improving indoor air quality, HVAC units do more now than ever.
Find a reliable HVAC technician who will guide you on what unit is suitable for your property, budget and lifestyle and enjoy the comfort of your HVAC units.
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