HVAC – Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
Tybrds | HVAC systems provide heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to ensure comfortable conditions for building occupants. They also remove contaminants like dust, pollen, animal dander, and mold spores from indoor air.
To make maintenance easy, HVAC piping should be easily accessible. This is important because it avoids requiring a ladder or removal of ceiling tiles to access equipment.
What is an HVAC?
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It is more than a way to heat and cool your space, it’s a system that controls and moves fresh air throughout the entire home.
It works by taking in fresh air from outdoors and pushing it through ductwork to the spaces that need warming or cooling. It also includes an electric air cleaner to remove large airborne particles and bioaerosols like pollen, spores, and bacterial cells.
The type of HVAC can differ from central to local systems, and it’s further sub-classified as all-air systems, air-water systems, water-source heat pumps, and heating and cooling panels. However, they all start with the same essential build concept.
The system starts with a furnace that burns fuel to create thermal energy and a blower that circulates heated or cooled air via internal ductwork to the spaces that need it. Then a thermostat and an air conditioner control the temperature and humidity.
The thermostat is the control center for your HVAC system, letting you choose when the fan and heating or cooling turn on and off. It uses an internal thermometer to read the air temperature and then turns on your system when that internal thermometer reaches the chosen temperature.
Programmable thermostats work on a schedule and use learned algorithms to manage energy usage around a preset schedule. But busy families often forget to set the schedule, and the furnace and AC keep running, raising your energy bill.
Smart thermostats use sensors to sense occupancy and only run your HVAC systems when your home is occupied. They also help you cut your energy consumption and save money. Smart thermostats plug into your HVAC system through a common wire (C-Wire) and get constant power from your HVAC board. Look for thin, low-voltage wires on the back of your thermostat and a C-Wire label. The C-Wire supplies a continuous current to the thermostat for communication and programming purposes.
A home’s ductwork plays a crucial role in maintaining a comfortable indoor air climate. It transports the cool or warm air produced by your furnace to the rooms you need it in. Ducts can be rigid, made of galvanized steel or aluminum or insulated with fiberglass. Rigid ducts have a smooth surface that’s easy to clean and are puncture-resistant.
On the other hand, flexible ducts are pliable and can fit into tight spaces. They’re also less expensive than rigid ducts, though they may not last as long.
If moisture enters your ductwork, it can cause mold and rust inside your house. A professional can evaluate your ductwork design and condition to see if it’s working properly. Ken Summers has more than 30 years of experience in the HVAC industry, working as a service technician and in residential new construction. He has been a presenter on load calculation and duct design errors at several industry-leading conferences.
In New York winters, furnace failure can be a major problem. Fortunately, fast furnace repairs are usually affordable. The cost of a furnace repair depends on the part that needs to be replaced or fixed. Common furnace parts include the blower motor, the gas valve, the igniter, and the flame sensor.
The thermostat is another common furnace component that can fail. It senses the temperature in your home and tells the furnace to start a heating cycle. When the thermostat fails, it can pick up the wrong temperature or produce too much heat.
A faulty flame sensor can also cause your furnace to shut down prematurely. This occurs when soot and debris build up on the sensor rod, hindering its ability to detect a flame.
If your furnace is emitting a foul odor, it may be due to carbon monoxide leaks. In this case, you should turn off the furnace and call a professional immediately.