Your HVAC system is a necessity for your home. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are needed for those dark cold winter nights and steamy humid summer days. Understanding some of the components of your HVAC system is important. It will help you work with your qualified HVAC specialist.
Read more for your ultimate guide to an HVAC system.
Heating systems have three main components. The first is your heat source. Next, your heat needs to be circulated throughout your home. The distribution of the heat is forced air or radiators. Lastly, your heating system, as well as your air conditioner, needs a control that directs its settings.
Sources of Heat
The three main sources to heat a home are a boiler, heat pump, or a furnace. Boilers warm your home by heating water. A system of piping is used to circulate the heated water. Radiators, coils, or radiant floor systems distribute warmth throughout your home.
Boilers and furnaces both operate by consuming fuel, which is either heating oil, natural gas, propane, or biomass.
Furnaces differ from boilers because they directly heat the air in your home. Heat is distributed throughout your home using forced airflow.
A newer option to heat your home is a heat pump. These operate in a similar method to air conditioners in that heat pumps consume refrigerants. Some heat pumps can be used as air conditioners in the summer. They are designed so their operations can be reversed for each season.
Air Conditioning Systems
Air conditioners have two main parts. Situated outside is the condenser. The component located inside your home is the evaporator unit. Using refrigerants, these two units work together to remove humidity and heat from the air.
Kinds of Air Conditioners
As mentioned in the heating section, some heat pumps are designed to operate as air conditioners. The refrigerant in heat pumps takes the heat from inside your home and moves that air outside. Under low pressure, refrigerants can absorb heat and transform from a liquid state to a gas. When higher pressure is applied, the refrigerant moves the heat out of the house by changing to a liquid as it cools the air.
Homes with furnaces or boilers will often have central air conditioners. These follow the same operating premise with heat pumps and refrigerants. The same system of ductwork needed for heating with supply and return ducts moves the conditioned air.
Room or window air conditioning units will cool the room in which it is installed. These are also used in homes that are heated with boilers and/or furnaces.
To regulate or control the heat or cooling in your home, HVAC systems have thermostats. Now considered an older style, but still in many homes is a manual thermostat. These need a person to turn a dial or press buttons on the unit to turn on and off the heat or air conditioning. You also use the manual thermostat to regulate the temperature.
Newer options include a programmable control and a Smart control. Both are designed so that you can pre-schedule changes to your heating and cooling.