You may have mastered the basics of home maintenance, like keeping an eye on the plumbing and knowing when to call an electrical contractor, but maintaining an HVAC system can seem like a mystery. As an often hidden puzzle of parts and pieces, you’re bound to have questions on this complicated system.
What does HVAC stand for and what does it do for my home?
HVAC is short for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and those are the main functions of the system. It provides an acceptable air quality inside your home by diluting it and removing any contaminants. While a building can function with natural ventilation, in theory, it requires knowing the many differences in air pressure that exist within and outside of a building to create an effective airflow. The HVAC system was developed as mechanical ventilation because it is controllable and manipulates the natural air flow.
How exactly does an HVAC system work?
In general, an HVAC system draws in outside air through its air handling unit. The air then goes through a filtration system to remove matter such as mold, allergens, and dust. Next, the air is heated or cooled according to the HVAC’s settings for the time of year, and then it is circulated throughout the building via a system of supply ducts and registers. As a final step, a portion of air from the inside is expelled from the building through the air handling unit or a stand-alone exhaust unit.
Are there different kinds of HVAC systems?
Yes, there are several different HVAC systems that are suited for different kinds of homes.
- Communicating Systems. This convenient and efficient HVAC system communicates when to use either the heat or air system. It detects what your home needs and will suggest what to use accordingly.
- Ductless Systems. For older homes without air ducts, this HVAC system is built into alternative spaces within the home. The outdoor unit is connected to an indoor unit that is mounted on a wall or ceiling.
- Geothermal Systems. This earth-conscious system regulates your home’s indoor environment according to steady temperatures underground. This HVAC system uses less energy, lowers energy costs, and reduces your carbon footprint.
- Packaged Systems. All of the needed heating and cooling systems are contained in a one-cabinet system for those with limited space. Although it sounds more compact, it can even contain heat pump systems if a home requires it.
- Split Systems. In this design, the HVAC system is placed both inside and outside of your home. This is also space friendly as it allows for more room inside of your home.
For the best air quality and optimal comfort in your home, you should schedule a maintenance inspection for your HVAC system twice a year. As the regulator of your interior life’s comfort, it is worth a call. Always.