What is an HVAC system in a Home & How it Works? (4 Examples)

What’s an HVAC System in the Home: An HVAC system means heating, ventilation, and air conditioning in full. It helps homes or offices cool or heat depending on the environmental conditions.

Currently, these systems are becoming popular in new buildings, and they use fresh outdoor air to give quality indoor air. This is possible because the ventilation system ensures the facility has quality air after removing smoke, moisture, heat, carbon dioxide, dust, odors, and bacteria.

What are the basics of HVAC?

Here’s an explanation of the parts of HVAC;

  • The air return is the part that allows air in the system and then passes it to the filter, which distributes it to other parts of the unit. The exhaust outlets are where waste heat goes out of the system while the duct allows both heated and cold air in.
  • Another part of the system which is the leading cause of its failure is the electrical elements. And the outdoor unit is where a fan regulates the air in the room while the compressor converts the refrigerant from gas to liquid before sending it to the coil, where it cools the air. The last part is the blower which allows warm air into the system via the main section.

What is the main purpose of the HVAC system?

The primary function of an HVAC system is to ensure you’ve got quality indoor air. This means it should help you maintain quality air through ventilation and filtration to give thermal comfort.

How does the HVAC system work?

An HVAC system has nine parts that enable it to work effectively. There’s the air return, exhaust outlets, ducts, filter, outdoor unit, coils, blower, electrical elements, and compressor. These work to ensure you’re comfortable indoors regardless of the weather. You can test your HVAC work with the help of a multimeter.

However, the HVAC system has four main parts, which make it function properly. Here’s an explanation of how various aspects of the HVAC work;

1. The Furnace

  • The furnace is the biggest part of an HVAC as it occupies a larger space. It’s a crucial part of the HVAC system, and it’s found in the basement, and it moves air from the heat exchanger to the air ducts. It uses natural gas to heat the air.
  • Inside the furnace, a heat exchanger is responsible for heating the air to the right temperature. The heat exchanger is found inside the furnace; however, it’s not part of the furnace. It adds heat to the air coming inside the combustion chamber.
  • There’s also the evaporator coil inside the furnace. It enables refrigerant, which is a fluid that causes cooling to pass through it. It absorbs the heat from the air passing on it. After that, the condensed air passes through the air duct to your home.

2. The Air Conditioning Unit

  • The other part of the HVAC is the condensing unit which works like the evaporator coil except for an outdoor HVAC unit. It allows the heat to get out as the air comes in.
  • The air conditioner usually outside the house cools the air with the help of electricity and a coolant liquid to reduce the air temperature. As the air temperature lowers, the conditioner sends hot air out and brings cold air in.
  • The refrigerant tubes are metal tubes that connect the evaporator coil with the condensing coil. This means it joins the indoor and outdoor units. It does have a cooling refrigerant at different levels of temperature.

3. The Thermostat

  • The thermostat is what enables you to control the heat or temperature of your house. You can use either the air conditioner or heating system depending on the condition of your home. The thermostat is responsible for cooling the room. It has two exposed contacts.
  • If the room temperature reduces, the bimetallic elements bend. It makes the first contact electronically before making the second one. If it makes the second contact bend, the system will activate launching the heating system.

4. The Ductwork

  • The ductwork is the passage for both cold and hot air and moves them inside your building. It enables air to carry in your building and distributed to different rooms.
  • The vent is the part that enables the air in the ductwork to enter the rooms. They are rectangular covers on the ceiling or floor and take in air. Finally, the heat pump, which is the last section, helps regulate the heat level in the building. If it’s hot, it’ll take the heat from the building to the outside. But when it’s cold, it will get cold from inside to outside.

Difference between HVAC and air conditioning

  • Air conditioning helps cool the air in your home or building, while HVAC is responsible for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
  • Air conditioning mainly involves the use of window units and central AC. But HVAC consists of the use of heat pumps, gas furnaces, and air conditioning units. This means that HVAC is responsible for cooling and heating up a building.

What advantages of a properly installed HVAC system?

  • If you have an HVAC system, you need to ensure it is installed correctly according to the manufacturer’s requirements to make it efficient. This will also help you reduce the electricity bills as not correctly installed units use lots of energy.
  • It will also make you comfort a well-installed unit with good cooling or heating effects. This is because a properly installed unit ensures that there is no error that can reduce efficiency.
  • If you don’t install the system well, it’ll consume energy, make you uncomfortable, and have less service life. This is because it will stop functioning early than expected as it strains in the process. But a properly installed unit will last longer, giving you value for your money. You can use the HVAC system for up to 15 years if well established.

How many HVAC systems are there?

There are four types of HVAC: split systems, hybrid, packaged heating, air systems, and duct-free systems. Each system works differently and has both advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before settling for one.

Which software is used for HVAC design?

You can use the design master HVAC, which is ductwork drafting and calculation software. It operates inside AutoCAD and BricsCAD. You need to include the framework as you draft then do your calculations in the software using the framework. But don’t forget to revise what you can account for all throughout the design. You can also use Creo elements or pro software which is the standard software for complex 3D designs.

How much does it cost to service the HVAC system?

If you want to service your HVAC system, know that the charges might vary depending on the company you’re using. Also, your location might determine the cost you’ll spend. But on average, you’ll pay between $150 and $450 to repair it.

You’ll spend $75 to $150 per hour for the service cost, while the service call will cost you between $75 and 200. The tune-up and diagnostic test will cost between $85 and $110 each. For emergency service, you can spend either $140 or $250 depending on the work’s intensity.

What is the most common HVAC system?

There are different types of HVAC systems, but then not all are popular. The common types are like the standard split system, which has one component indoors and one outdoors. The other type is the ductless split system with an outside conditioner for cooling and doesn’t have furnaces.

There’s also the packaged system and geothermal HVAC system. Each of these systems has its advantages and disadvantages, which you should consider before using.

What does a new HVAC system cost?

If you want to replace your HVAC system or install this unit, you need to budget well. The split system will cost you between $7500 and $10000 to buy. The ductless system is around $8000 to $15000, while the packaged system will require you to spend between $10000 and $14000.

But if you want to replace the whole system, you should be ready to spend about $15000 or $40000 depending on the type you’re using and the service provider. Related: Best multimeter reviews 2023

Final Thoughts

Before installing a cooling or heating unit in your home, you’ve got to understand an HVAC system and how it works. You also need to know the basics of the HVAC system and the benefits you’ll get from it. But don’t forget you need to know how much it will cost you to repair or install this system in your home or office to avoid inconveniences.

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