Do you have HVAC in your home? Absolutely! Both commercial & residential buildings equip themselves with HVAC systems. However, when it comes down to know about HVAC in your home, many are lost.
So what exactly is HVAC? In basic terms, it refers to the systems that are used for moving air between the indoor and outdoor areas of a property. These are the systems that keep you fresh in the summer and toasty warm in the winter months. Additionally, they create optimum comfort levels by regulating humidity and cleaning the air you breathe indoors.
The term HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. Each component plays an integral part in keeping your house fresh and keeping your bills low. HVAC in your home consists of more than just your average air conditioner or furnace. In this blog, we will look deeper into each component, and provide helpful tips & tricks for maintaining HVAC in your home. We might even be able to help you save a few dollars here and there!
Oil or Gas Furnaces
These furnace types work by actually burning oil or gases within a sealed chamber. The blower circulates the air from outside the chamber with the air absorbing heat before it is begun circulating back into the home. Unfortunately, the byproducts of burning oil and gas are combustion gases; some of which that are deemed lethal. Therefore, those gases must be vented outdoors using either a metal or plastic piping system. Systems that are newer also include a second pipe system. Here, air is gathered from outside the home to fuel the fire in the combustion chamber. Newer furnaces operate more safely and prove to be better on energy consumption than its older counterparts. Ultimately, investing in a more modern, professionally installed system will make your home more comfortable to live in.
Many older homes are equipped with electric furnaces. Is this your home? While this was once a simple, reliable and safe method to heat your home – times have changed. Electric heaters use strip elements that convert electricity into heat. It works much like your average household toaster or hair dryer. As heat passes by the burning heating element, air from the house is absorbed. Resistance heating such as this is now said to be considerably less efficient and more costly. If you are looking to upgrade your home, this may be an excellent place to start – especially if you are looking to sell! Many buyers won’t consider a house with electric heating systems due to the lack of energy efficiency and high costs.
Heat Pumps: Air-Source & Geothermal Systems
To begin, this is the most efficient system for HVAC in your home regarding heating. They work similar to your air conditioner in the summer. Consequently, they work in reverse; taking heat from the cold outside and discharging the heat into your home. There are two types of heat pumps in your home: Air-source and Geothermal.
Air-source heat pumps are the most common system found in homes today. Chemical such as refrigerant absorbs heat from the outside air, concentrate it and then it is used to warm the house. Air-source heat pumps are known as an efficient way to heat the home. However, as the weather gets colder, the efficiency of the system decreases. With that being said, geothermal heat pumps prove to be a better option for homes situated within these frigid temperatures. Geothermal heat pumps source heat from the ground where temperatures stay relatively consistent throughout the year. Generally, the ones choosing this option are those planning to stay in their homes for an extended period. Subsequently, it’s an excellent option for those looking to be sustainably conscious.
Furnaces can last anywhere between 15-20 years and can vary in sizes. ATN Mechanical’s knowledgeable staff will be able to service or find you a furnace that is appropriately sized to maximize efficiency.
Moving on, the next component of HVAC in your home is the air conditioning or cooling systems. Cooling is considered to be slightly more complicated than heating. Instead of creating heat via energy, AC units use the power to diminish the heat.
The most common system uses a compressor cycle to transfer heat from outdoors into your home. The compressor, located on the outside of the house, is filled with a particular chemical called refrigerant. This type of fluid changes easily between liquid and gas forms. When the change is made, it absorbs/releases heat and carries it from one place to another. This process allows heat to be transferred from a cool place and into a warmer one. The cold air circulates through the home by way of the duct system. Lastly, the gas pushes back outside, and the process starts over again.
Unfortunately, AC units as described are not located in every home. Many older homes do not have AC at all and rely on other methods. For those hot summers, individuals can purchase room air conditioners to add to the HVAC in their home. These units are available to be mounted within windows or through the walls. However, the biggest downfall is the ability only to cool one room at a time. If you are looking to cool your whole home, many will be needed. In a pinch? AC units can be a cost-effective way to get relief. All in all, they cost much less than replacing an entire cooling system.
ATN will come to your home or business to evaluate and select a suitable unit that will be efficient and cost effective. Our experience in the industry guarantees that we will provide you with a unit that will not only cool you space, but is also reliable.
Lastly, ventilation has been an increasing component when considering HVAC in your home. So why the change? As a society, we are spending more time indoors. Some people admit they spend as much as 90% of their time inside.
Moreover, indoor air is known to be up to 5 times more contaminated than the air outside. Breathing in polluted air on a constant basis is being implicated on many health problems such as asthma and even some forms of cancer. Fumes from household items such as cleaning products and paints can significantly affect our health. Unfortunately, they are not easily filtered and must be vented to the outdoors.
Therefore, proper ventilation systems are becoming more important in our homes. Most homes have one of 3 ventilation systems: Natural, Spot or Whole Home. Natural ventilation can be found in many older homes. It allows fresh outdoor air to replace indoor air via uncontrolled air movement from windows, doors, and cracks. Next, spot ventilation controls the air by using exhaust fans to eliminate moisture and fumes. For example, the range over your stove or fans within your bathrooms uses spot ventilation. Use this method alongside other ventilation systems for superior results. Lastly, we speak about whole home ventilation. This system uses multiple fans and duct systems to supply the hours with fresh air. Overall, it provides controlled ventilation through the entire house.
HVAC In Your Home: Your Responsibilities
In this blog, we have given you the down-low on HVAC in your home. Always think of your HVAC systems as investments and keep them in tip-top shape. This will allow you to have optimal comfort, energy efficiency and peace of mind. Here are a few tips and tricks to live by:
- Have your HVAC systems serviced by a professional once a year.
- Keep all components clean. For your outside units, remove dirt and debris and keep greenery within a distance.
- Make sure your home is well insulated – this will help cut monthly costs.
- Use your thermostat! When your away from your home, let the temperature fall(winter) and rise(summer) by up to 10 degrees. You could save 5-15%.
- Lastly, always be sure to install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms within a close distance. Secure the safety of your family.
At ATN Mechanical, we take pride in our quality service and elite workmanship. We are always striving to be innovators and leaders in our field. Interested in investing in your home, or maintaining the HVAC in your home? Give us a call today!