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HVAC 101: How Heating and Cooling Works

Nov 14

There's nothing that are more relaxing on a hot summer day than entering an air-conditioned space. But, exactly, what is happening inside your home to help keep your home cool?


The air conditioning system in a building is part of an overall system known as the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system (or HVAC, which stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning system). The Heating as well as cooling Colorado Springs system in your home is basically huge machine, which includes the ventilation system, a thermostat, and a myriad of gadgets which heat or cool air.


Understanding the fundamentals of how this system works can be extremely beneficial in deciding whether to repair or replace it. This article discusses what happens behind the behind the scenes to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in winter in plain English.


Ventilation duct system (V)


Vents for supply and return (also called registers) along with ductwork and filters and a circulating fan form the ventilation element in your HVAC unit. The circulation fan pulls air from your home through return vents, into the ductwork, and over the heating and cooling systems. The air is then sent back into the rooms of your home through supply vents.


The system, which is also referred to as a forced air system forms the basis of you home's cooling and heating. However, before we get deep into the details of the cooling and heating processes the basics of physics is required.


Heat Pump for Heating Systems


While domestic heating systems are more diverse than their A/C equivalents, the underlying idea remains the same. The air is introduced into the ductwork in your HVAC, then heated and circulated through the home. The most diverse variation is in the way that air is heated.


Some technologies, such as heat pumps, are reversed air conditioning systems. Heat pumps are able to chill and heat up by switching between cold and hot coils. The heat pump functions as indicated above when it is in the air conditioning mode. The cold and hot coils switch to heating mode. In this mode, the heat pump pulls in the air from outside and then delivers the heat inside your home. Certain heat pumps draw energy from beneath the earth.


Other options, like a furnace, can heat air using gas (oil or natural gas).


central A/C units and furnaces vs. Heat Pumps

Many homeowners aren't sure the best way to heat and cool their homes with the use of a heat pump or a combination furnace with a central air conditioner.


The benefits of heat pumps include:


  • Since a heater can simultaneously cool and heat just one device needs to be maintained.

  • They are also more efficient than the equivalent furnace and central air systems, as all kinds of systems are available with different efficiency levels.


Benefits of a furnace as well as central air conditioning


  • Because each component operates for a specific amount of time during the year, systems that combine last longer.

  • Although this is susceptible for change over time, in the past natural gas or oil that is used in furnaces has been less expensive than electricity.

  • The majority of experts agree that a heat pump is the best choice if your climate isn't prone to the freezing point. A furnace or central air system however are typically the best options if reside in a climate in which winters are long and cold.


Hybrid systems for heating and cooling


In addition to the two options mentioned above, a third hybrid system is now emerging as a popular option among homeowners. A hybrid heating system includes the furnace with a heat pump, with one or the other one being utilized based on the outside temperature.


The system is able to determine temperatures at which it's more cost-effective to run the furnace or heat pump (the economic balance point), then shifts between the two as the temperature increases or decreases. Depending on your environment it is possible that a hybrid system will be the best option for you. For help in evaluating your options, talk to an expert HVAC contractor.


A qualified HVAC technician should fix a faulty condenser.


You'll be more confident about identifying when and where issues occur now that you've an understanding of how HVAC systems work. You'll also be comfortable when talking to the HVAC contractor or weighing your choices.

Elevation Mechanical LLC

Colorado Springs, Co

(719) 460-7091,-104.8984437,11z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x871347e2cc3693a1:0x38e5f90332ef60b7!8m2!3d38.8756844!4d-104.7583594!