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What HVAC Systems Do And Why They Are So Important

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While most people have heard of the phrase HVAC, many don’t know what it stands for and why it is so important for indoor environments. The acronym HVAC means heating, ventilation and air conditioning. An HVAC system cools and warms an indoor space. It also cleans air so that a fresh supply is constantly produced for those living and working in buildings. While an HVAC system costs a substantial amount of money, it ensures the comfort and health of those living or working in a home, office, or other building.

Heating

Heating contractors typically install HVAC systems to warm indoor spaces through central heating. This requires a furnace, heat pump, or boiler that warms air, water, or steam in a central area like a furnace room or mechanical room. Clean air from outside is drawn in through a vent and sent to the indoor heat exchanger to build positive air pressure. The vent can be altered to adjust the flow of fresh air that constitutes the return air. The typical fresh air intake is usually about 10%. The warm air that the furnace generates is sent throughout the home by conduction or convection. Buildings without an HVAC system have to use inferior means for heat such as fireplaces or space heaters.

Air Conditioning

An HVAC system’s air conditioning component generates cold air and humidity control. The cooling takes place by removing heat through conduction, convection, or radiation. Refrigerants such as ice, air, and water are used with a free cooling system with pumps that create cool air. The cool air is sent throughout the building through the central air conditioning’s ducts and vents. This is far more efficient than using window-mounted air conditioners and fans to cool an indoor environment.

Ventilation

Aside from heating and cooling, HVAC systems are critical to supply fresh air to an indoor environment. The ventilation component of an HVAC system replaces indoor air with clean, high-quality air from outside. It eliminates odors, carbon dioxide, smoke, bacteria, and dust from the air while replenishing the oxygen levels. This filtering of impurities is essential to maintaining a clean and comfortable living and working environment. Aside from introducing new air from outside of the building, the ventilation component also functions to distribute air that is already inside of the building so that air doesn’t stagnate and become stale.

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