All about heating, ventilation and air conditioning
HVAC systems draw on the principles of heat transfer, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics to provide heating, ventilation and air conditioning to both residential and commercial buildings. A properly built and maintained HVAC system regulates temperatures and keeps indoor air quality at safe levels at all times.
An Overview of HVAC Systems
The heating component of an HVAC system is usually centralized and powered by a furnace, heat pump or boiler. Heat generated by the system moves by convection and is delivered to individual rooms through vents.
Most air conditioning systems are comprised of two individual components: temperature regulation and humidity regulation. Typically, principles of heat exchange are used to create cool air. The cooled air is then blown through the system and delivered through the vents. Humidity control is very important: when humidity is higher or lower than optimal, the efficiency of the system suffers, and the air conditioner won't keep you cool and comfortable as well as it should.
Mechanical ventilation systems make the entire HVAC setup run. Also known as forced ventilation, this process includes, by definition, an exchange between indoor air and outdoor air, as well as the circulation of the air contained within a house or other building.
HVAC Equipment and Tools
The list of HVAC equipment employed by heating, ventilation and air conditioning professionals is extensive. Broadly speaking, though, some of the major equipment and components that HVAC systems can include are air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, filters, circulator pumps, cooling towers, dampers, ducts, valves, piping, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, heaters, blower motors, fans and thermostats.
Specialized HVAC tools are used to diagnose and correct problems within a system. Gas leak and carbon monoxide detectors are HVAC tools which may one day save your life. Digital thermometers and manometers; refrigerant leak detectors, recovery machines and vacuum pumps; and pressure gauges are also standard inclusions in any HVAC professional's tool kit.
Installing a home HVAC system is not a job you can tackle on your own unless you have extensive specialized knowledge and expertise. However, the costs you'll incur by hiring a professional contractor to upgrade your home's HVAC may well end up paying for themselves, though, by decreasing your energy costs and increasing the resale value of your house.