How Does an HVAC System Work?
WHAT IS HVAC?
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, air conditioning system. It provides thermal comfort and improvement in air quality. This system is one of the most important parts of a building, it includes the exchange of air to the outside and supplies the circulation within the building. Supply ventilation systems allow for better control of the air that enters the house. It removes pollen, dust and dehumidifies to provide humidity control.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUPPLY VENTS AND AIR RETURNS?
Supply vents blow air outwards into a room. They are usually smaller and have slats behind the vent covers. Air returns suck the air out of the room into your ducts, and back into the furnace.
WHERE DOES MY HVAC SYSTEM FILTER THE AIR?
If your furnace is in the basement, more than likely this is where you will find the removable air filter that keeps your air clean. If you don’t have a basement, then most likely your furnace is in the attic. It would be very inconvenient to go to switch the filter in the attic, that’s why these homes will filter the air in the air returns located on the walls and ceilings. This makes the filters easier to access and replace!
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY AIR FILTER?
Typically air filters for HVAC systems should be changed at least twice a year. A good trick to keep on track is to replace the filters when you switch your clocks for daylight savings time. Change the clocks, change the filters. That way you never forget!
If your home is more prone to dust or pollutants, then you may want to change your filters more often than twice a year.
THE OVERALL VENTILATION PROCESSThermostat
One of most important part of a HVAC system is the thermostat. The thermostat triggers the entire system to start cooling or heating. It is normally centrally located in your home and newer models are programmable to run based on your schedule and preferences.Furnace & Heat Exchanger
The furnace heats the air that moves through the system with natural gas. Within the furnace is a heat exchanger, which is responsible for heating up the air to the right temperature. You’ll typically find the furnace in the attic, basement, or a specially designed closet space.Air Conditioner
The air conditioner cools the air and is found outside of the building. It uses electricity and coolant liquid to reduce the temperature of the air, while sending hot air outside and cold air inside.Ducts
Ducts are a crucial part of the HVAC system! They help move air efficiently throughout the home. Ducts are channels of connected tubes that are built behind the walls. They are responsible for delivering and balancing the air flow through the rooms of your house. Ducts connect to the air vents that you see on your floors, walls and ceilings.Air Vents
Vents are the final part of this system. There are two types of vents - supply vents and air returns:
Supply vents introduce heated or cooled air into the room.
Air returns draw air out of the room and back into the system to be recycled and reconditioned by the furnace.