Understanding Proper Ventilation of an HVAC System
The heating element of your HVAC system is what keeps you toasty warm during those cold winter months. There are different types of heating components that people use, but one of the most popular at the moment is forced air system. However, many systems also use radiant and geothermal heating systems, among others. The common denominator between all of these systems is that heat is created at a central source and then distributed throughout the home via different methods.
In a forced air heating system, heat transfer relies on ductwork, plenum, and vents to distribute air throughout a home. These are all separate from the from the heating and cooling elements. However, like other types of central heating systems, a thermostat is used to control the temperature. In all systems, there’s an air filter, blower, heat exchanger/element/coil, and different controls. While this is the most popular style of system in North America, Europeans don’t use it nearly as often.
Radiant Heating Systems
People use radiant heating systems to heat both indoor and outdoor areas. In more common types of central heating, the system circulates warm air through a space to get the entire space to the desired temperature. With a radiant heating system, heat is delivered through a building’s floor or walls.
As the temperature around the world varies, the temperatures that you experience throughout the year change. However, the temperature below the ground always remains the same, no matter where you are in the world. Geothermal heating systems extract heat from the ground to warm up the house.
One of the things about HVAC systems that many people don’t think about on a daily basis is that this system is often what determines the air quality in your home. Your ventilation system:
- Circulates and purifies air: A good system will continually provide an ongoing supply of good, clean air for your indoor environment. This helps to remove harmful particles from the air and keep your home smelling good.
- Controls moisture levels: Moisture in the air is a common occurrence from everyday activities like bathing, cooking, or cleaning. However, too much moisture in the air inside of a home can lead to problems with mold, mildew, and damage to the floors, walls, and structure of the home. In more extreme cases, excess amounts of mold can lead to severe health problems.
- Increases comfort: Your home is meant to be a comfortable place for you and your family.
How your HVAC system accomplishes these things depends a lot on the age of your system. It may be done mechanically, naturally (using windows and fans), or using a combination of the two.
In a forced air system, the system passes the air in your home through a set of filters that help to keep airborne particulates, volatile organic compounds, and allergens from spreading throughout your home. When homeowners use other systems, they usually need to add in their own air cleaners, humidifiers, purifiers, and dehumidifiers.
Understanding Air Conditioning Flow
Aside from heating, your HVAC system is also responsible for your cooling. Although there are several types of air conditioning units (central air-used in conjunction with forced air systems, split or ductless systems, window units, portable units), they all function in fairly similar ways.
As your AC system collects and expels warm air from your home, it’s constantly circulating refrigerant that changes from gas to liquid. Your system then passes warm vapor refrigerant through to the compressor to turn it into hot vapor to be moved to the condenser. In the condenser, the hot liquid is cooled, where it then is passed through the evaporator coil. Once the mist evaporates, it then absorbs heat from the air inside of your home and returns it to the compressor. Thus, the process starts all over again.
The fact that the air inside of your home is constantly used and recycled through the heating and air conditioning processes makes it even more important for you to clean and maintain your unit so that you always have fresh air circulating throughout your home.