HVAC 101

It can be a great help to have an understanding of how heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems work and you can learn this here in this section of the website.

Separate areas of this topic have been broken down into a series of detailed articles that provide high level information to help you to feel more knowledgeable about the equipment that heats, cools and maintains a comfortable climate inside your home.

Heating Ventilating Air Conditioning Overview

central hvacFrom a domestic viewpoint, the central climate controlling system of the home is a convenient set up to maintain a comfortable living temperature in the habitable areas of a family dwelling. There are many different configurations of this central climate system but the most common center around a large heater that provides warm air for the cold winter months as well as hot water and an air conditioner that circulates air, drying and cooling it for the hot summer months.

Where a central building-wide system is not used or desired, a distributed system is a common alternative. This has smaller heating and air cooling units installed in each room that are turned on only when the room is occupied and turned off again when vacated.

The main consideration is to have an installation that is powerful enough to provide all the home's climate comfort effortlessly with headroom to cope with severe weather conditions should they crop up. Having an under-powered system is often counter-productive as it will undoubtedly struggle to provide enough heat in the very coldest winters and often leave you short of a few precious degrees that are necessary for comfort.

There is rather a lot to learn and understand about HVAC than most people realize. Even though most of us have an indoor climate management system of a certain design and layout, few really get to grips with the mechanical and engineering process that goes on under the hood.

If you want to go into more depth, you can visit the Triad HVAC website as it is a valuable information resource for anyone wanting to know more about their heating and cooling (or full HVAC/R home) system.

Efficiency and Economy

For most home layouts, a central system is generally the most efficient at providing a whole house climate solution. This benefits larger families where there are several people occupying the building at any one time and most of the rooms are in use.

For smaller households where there are fewer inhabitants and often several rooms are left unoccupied, a distributed system can offer better economy over a central one as only those rooms being used are heated or cooled, reducing the amount of power needed to provide the warm or cool air.

Such cooling solutions include zoned mini split air conditioning systems, window and portable air conditioners. Distributed heating solutions may include small individual heaters, standalone oil-filled radiators, propane gas heaters, fireplace mounted gas or electric heaters and solid fuel burners.

With the rising cost of energy, it makes a lot of sense to have economy in mind when running a household climate system. There are several simple ways to reduce the amount of power it consumes that can save you money while being a little kinder to the environment.

I'll go into these in more detail in a separate article, but the basics are to make sure your home is properly insulated to minimize heat loss in winter and maintain a more stable internal temperature throughout the year, while keeping the thermostat set at a sensible level so the place doesn't get too warm or too cold depending on the season.

Information Articles

To do any sub-topic of this one any real justice, it makes better sense to provide separate articles that focus on the subject and keep to the point. These can go into much more detail while remaining concise enough to be readable and not so long they send the reader to sleep!

Below you will find a list of the handy, informational articles that cover many aspects of the topics of air conditioning, heating and ventilation:

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