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How do HVAC systems work?

Published On: Nov 09 2011 10:41:37 AM CST   Updated On: Jul 31 2014 03:43:00 PM CDT
Central air conditioner

By Gail Bertram, Contributing writer

HVAC systems offer complete climate control for your home or place of business, regulating temperature, humidity and air quality. First used in commercial buildings, they have since been installed domestically with great success.

How Does HVAC Work? An HVAC system has two main components, an external condenser and an internal evaporator coil. These units work in conjunction to cycle cool, warm or dehumidified air through HVAC ducts located throughout your home. It is also possible to get the two components in a single external unit. Ask your local HVAC installation company if this option is suitable for your situation.

Is HVAC Suitable For Domestic Use? HVAC systems are easily regulated and are more efficient than traditional mechanisms. They can be purchased with "zonal" control, allowing individual rooms or areas to be precisely regulated. Although the system may be more costly it is a worthwhile investment in the long run, as it has virtually endless versatility and upgrade potential.

Is HVAC Environmentally Friendly and Efficient? In the past 10 years technology has enabled the development of increasingly efficient systems, and there are several steps that you can take to optimize the operation and reduce the fuel consumption of your HVAC equipment.

1. Insulate and weatherize your home. The majority of houses have insufficient loft insulation and poor window construction, resulting in heat loss during the winter and soaring energy costs.

2. Integrate a thermostat into your system, as this will allow finite control over the climate in your home. Remember, turning your thermostat down one degree can have a dramatic impact on your energy bills.

3. Make sure your HVAC equipment is installed and upgraded by a qualified professional who is familiar with your system.

4. Replace the air filter regularly, and keep the exterior components free of debris to prolong the life of your HVAC system.

HVAC Troubleshooting

There are several common complaints that occur with HVAC systems:

Rooms are the wrong temperature: A leaking HVAC duct may be to blame. Check ducts for damage and replace any deteriorating pipes.

Excessive humidity: Call an engineer to assess the current system and consider replacement options. If high levels of dust are present check the air filter and replace if necessary.

A noisy system: This is either improperly sized ducts or a damaged evaporator coil. Call your HVAC engineer.

In the current economic climate energy bills are increasing on a daily basis. Take control of your energy use without compromising on the comfort of your home by considering an HVAC system.