When it comes to keeping your home comfortable during different seasons, there is no better way to do it than with an HVAC system. Not only will you be able to keep your home at a consistent temperature, but you will also be able to improve your indoor air quality and save money on your energy bills.
In general, most homeowners have a basic understanding of how an HVAC system works. But, very few actually know what goes on behind those walls or vents that help keep a home warm in winter and cool in summer.
Here is the ultimate guide to knowing everything about HVAC systems to help you understand the function of the unit, its main components, and common types.
What is an HVAC system?
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This means that the system does both the heating and cooling of your home based on your climate need, as well as replaces or exchanges air within the space through ventilation.
No matter the size of the HVAC system, they all function using the same mechanism. They use the science of thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics to work and create a constant temperature inside your home that suits your needs.
However, in order for your HVAC system to operate at its full force, it needs to be properly installed and maintained on a regular basis. This means hiring local professionals to do the installation for you and maintain the unit to improve its efficiency.
For instance, if you live in Alberta’s capital city Edmonton, look for the best HVAC Edmonton-based services to get professional installation, maintenance, or repairs by local HVAC experts in no time.
What does an HVAC system include?
Knowing the main components of your HVAC system can help you better understand how the system works and how to maintain it properly. This will help avoid inconvenient and expensive breakdowns, keep the unit working at peak efficiency and make sure your home stays comfortable all year round.
The most essential parts of the HVAC system are:
- Heat exchanger. This is part of the housing of the furnace and is responsible for heat transference.
- Blower motor. Its main purpose is to move the cool or hot air through the HVAC system’s ductwork.
- Combustion chamber. This is commonly known as a burner and refers to the part of the HVAC system that heats cool air.
- Condenser coil. It is responsible for releasing hot air outdoors.
- Evaporator coil. It absorbs heat from hot indoor air and then it’s cooled by refrigerant and distributed through the air conditioning.
- Thermostat. This is the part of your HVAC system that instructs it to operate at a temperature that you set directly.
Types of HVAC systems
There are several types of HVAC systems available, the most popular ones being split systems, hybrid systems, duct-free systems, and packaged heating and air systems.
For example, as the name implies, the split system is divided between two main units, one for heating and one for cooling. It can consist of a furnace and air conditioner, an air handler and heat pump, or a furnace and heat pump.
Hybrid systems include an electric heat pump that works together with a furnace. It is the most cost-efficient system because it costs less to heat a space with a heat pump than with a furnace.
Ductless mini-split systems are individual units that can be installed directly into the room or garage, providing greater independent control.
Packaged systems refer to the systems that contain the traditional components of a split system, except all units are housed outside. It is the best option for homes that don’t have enough space to install a heating unit inside. It is also very efficient and easily maintained.
The lifespan of HVAC systems
On average, a good quality HVAC system will last somewhere between ten to twenty years. However, the lifespan will mainly depend on the type of HVAC system you purchase and the equipment it includes.
In addition, proper or improper maintenance can also affect the lifespan of your unit. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential not only to extend the life of your HVAC system but also to save you from unexpected repair costs and early replacements.
In order to make the most out of your HVAC system, it is important to know how the system works. This includes learning about the main components of the system as well as how they operate together to move the air, and heat or cool your home.
For a deeper understanding, refer to our post and learn everything you need to know about HVAC systems and their functions.