What is HVAC?

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Despite popular belief, HVAC isn’t something to do with vacuuming. HVAC actually stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

We get it. This isn’t something that most people think about, so here’s the quick lowdown:

It Keeps You Comfortable

When it’s hot outside, your HVAC system helps you to step into somewhere that will chill you. When it’s freezing outside, it warms the home, so that you can walk into a toasty room. It also protects you from airborne allergens and pollutants.

It Means More Than You Think

Although the HVAC acronym stands for three things, the HVAC system is made up of four major components – the thermostat, indoor unit (furnace or air handler), outdoor unit (air conditioner or heat pump), and the indoor air quality component (filtration or humidity control).

It’s On Demand

The thermostat is the part of your HVAC system that you interact with the most. As you know, it can be set manually or automatically programmed to keep you home at your ideal temperature. It’s the device that triggers the HVAC system to start circulating air to regulate the ambient temperature.

There’s a Star Player

The furnace is huge! It’s the piece that takes up the most space out of all the components. It’s designed to heat air and then distributed to different areas of your home through ducts or piping. Solar energy, heat pumps, electric resistance, and combustion are some of the heat sources the furnace uses.

How to Be Cool

The unit outside is the condensing unit and is filled with refrigerant gas. When the refrigerant is cooled, the unit pumps the liquid to the evaporator coil to be transformed into gas. The gas then powers the evaporator coil to cool down the air when the thermostat is set to a lower temperature. The cold air is then distributed throughout your home. Refrigerant lines carry the refrigerants back to the condensing unit and the cycle begins again.

Moving On

Vents are the outlets that help distribute the heated or cooled air from the duct system into the rooms. Typically they’re found on the ceiling with angle slats, designated to send the air downward, or on the wall or floor. Wherever they’re placed, it’s important to not block these!

Now you know the basics, hopefully enough to talk about it for trivia night!

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