There are many ways to heat and cool your home, such as opening a window or making a fire, but the most effective and controllable method is to use HVAC systems. HVAC stands for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning – three functions that control air quality and temperature within a building. The term can refer to split air-con units in a house to mazes of ducts, vents and pipes in a multi-story building.
These systems control temperature and air quality control by applying different principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer
The Three Steps of Heating and Cooling
The first step is sourcing the treated air, or air that has been cooled down when it is warm outside, or warmed air when it is cold. The cooled air from your air conditioner and the warmed air from your furnace, boiler or heat pump come from two different sources.
The second step is distributing the treated air, which is your systems way of moving the treated air in and around rooms. Hot and cold air usually share the same distribution, including ducts and fans.
The third step is the air’s control, i.e the thermostat. This step regulates the temperature of the system.
Heating systems come in a variety of forms, ranging from split AC units that heat a single room, to larger boiler systems that can warm a whole multi-story building through a network of ducts.
Another popular option is hydronic heating, which heats via a series of pipes that run through a building’s flooring, which is particularly effective if the building has a dense material as its foundation, such as concrete or stone.
A furnace style heater burns material to provide heat through ductwork, which differs to boilers, which heat water for steam radiators or for forced-water systems. Furnaces generally operate on propane or natural gas, while boilers use gas or oil to heat water.
Some air conditioning units are capable of reversing their cycle, forming a heat pump. In this system, the indoor evaporator coil swaps roles and becomes a condenser coil, which produces heat.
Split cooling systems are the most common central cooling systems, these include an outdoor cabinet which houses a condenser coil, compressor and an indoor evaporator coil. The system works by sucking heat energy into the refrigerant of the evaporator coil. The transfer of energy cools the air before the refrigerant is pumped back into the compressor unit to continue the cycle.
Heat absorbed by the refrigerant is taken outside, while the cool air is blown inside to cool the building, meanwhile moisture that creates humidity is also condensed from the air in the process. The heating and cooling system of a building usually share the same ductwork for distributing treated air, especially reverse cycle units.
If you have questions about installing an HVAC system or would like to know more about installation, maintenance, or replacing filters, get in touch with HunterCON today. We pride ourselves on providing fast and efficient service of the highest quality.