What Does HVAC Mean?

The acronym HVAC stands for “heating, ventilation and air conditioning” and it is used to denote any equipment used for heating and cooling residential and commercial buildings as well as for exchanging air within a space or between indoor spaces and the outdoor environment in order to maintain the freshness of interior air. HVAC systems are everywhere these days, from small apartments and large family homes to food service facilities and from public buildings, stores, shops and factories to office buildings. Here are some things to know about HVAC systems in general.

How Do HVAC Systems Work?

HVAC systems can vary widely in terms of size and complexity, but they all serve the purpose of ensuring thermal stability and air quality in buildings and they all rely on the same major components for operation:

  • The heating system – this part of a HVAC appliance consists of a heat generating component, usually a furnace or a boiler attached to a pipe or duct system that circulates the agent that carries the heat throughout the building;
  • The cooling system – this part works by sucking in the warm air from the room, removing the heat from it, then blowing the cool air back into the room. The heat is usually dissipated outside the building;
  • The ventilation component – this subsystem is responsible for purifying air and for maintaining air humidity at healthy levels. It can rely on natural processes or it can use a forced system.

HVAC systems do not necessarily comprise all three components – you can have a heating system without a cooling or ventilation component or you can have a separate air conditioner that is not linked to your heating. While many heating systems are comprised of elements that are all installed indoors, the systems that have a cooling and a ventilation component, too, usually have units that need to be installed outdoors.

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How to Choose Your HVAC System

HVAC Littleton technicians substantiate that when choosing your HVAC, the first thing to make up your mind about is the roles that you want your system to fulfil, in other words, you will need to decide whether you need only heating, only cooling or both. In the next phase, you will need to assess and measure your spaces to determine the size and the capacity of the equipment to be installed. Bear in mind that capacity calculations can be complicated and an undersized system will not be able to deliver the expected performance, so the best way to ensure that your calculations are correct is to turn to specialized HVAC company for help and advice. Looking for a good and reliable HVAC Littleton technician in this early phase is the best way to go because you will need a HVAC company to design and to install your system anyway. The next important thing to make up your mind about is the type of fuel that you want to use – while most air conditioners work with electricity, heating systems can use a variety of fuels, including electricity, gas, wood, coal and pellets.