What Is HVAC and How Does It Work?

HVAC is a vital part of residential, commercial, and industrial structures. It regulates temperature and humidity by moving air between indoor and outdoor locations. It also provides ventilation and purifies the air to improve air quality. Often, HVAC systems are controlled by a thermostat, which can be conventional or smart. Smart thermostats send an alert to a homeowner or HVAC contractor if a problem is detected.

HVAC systems are complex systems that integrate the design, installation, control systems, and cooling functions of a building. Contractors calculate the heating and cooling capacity of a building before designing a HVAC system. They also select the correct components and refrigerant for the specific space. Mechanical engineers and building service designers analyze HVAC systems, and specialty mechanical contractors and suppliers fabricate and install HVAC systems. All types of buildings, from single rooms to large offices, need building permits and code compliance inspections before installing HVAC systems.

A traditional HVAC system consists of two main components, an air conditioner and a furnace. A split system features an outdoor air conditioner and an indoor unit connected by ducts. Most split systems require a large space for installation and are recommended for homes with a large living space.

Ventilation is another important part of an HVAC system. Proper ventilation will keep the air in a room clean. A house with poor ventilation can cause health issues and allergies. It can also lead to system breakdowns. The ducts must be properly designed to provide the air flow that the building needs.