The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

What HVAC is and how the system works

Whether you’re living in a home or are working in a larger building in Sacramento, chances are that you’ve experienced the comforting effects of an HVAC system. That said, likely, a good amount of people don’t know the intricacies of the system well enough to have a proper conversation with experts of HVAC in Sacramento or anywhere for that matter when issues occur. As such, it’s probably best that you know what these tools are in readiness for such situations according to Alpha Mechanical.

If you are someone who isn’t familiar with such systems, this piece will be perfect for you. Not only will we discuss HVAC systems and what they consist of, but we’ll also talk about how they work. With that out of the way, let’s dive right in.

Understanding systems: enhancing comfort

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems are an amalgamation of components used to make the indoors more comfortable by purifying the air and doing the same for the temperature. Many confuse these systems with regular air conditioners, which are owned by 90% of US homeowners. Instead, they are but another element of these systems, which also include the following:

  • Thermostats, which run the heating and cooling of the system based on your requirements
  • Furnaces, which along the AC, are responsible for the generation of heat, as well as cooling, something heat pumps can also do
  • Ductwork, which is a network of ducts that distributes the heated or cooled air around the designated building

Additional components for improved air quality

Another element that can be added to your HVAC system is the dehumidifier, which pulls moisture from the air, to create a better indoor environment. It, however, isn’t the only thing you can add to your system, as below is a list of other things you could add to it:

  • Smoke detectors, that alarm you when smoke is present
  • UV lamps, kill any allergens and pathogens present in the air
  • Air purifiers, which, unlike your standard AC, filter out smaller particles while also killing bacteria, viruses, mould and so on
  • Zoning systems, which use dampers in the ductwork to help adjust the temperature in a specific part of the house and not having the whole place be uniform

How they work

The basic idea behind HVAC is that air is forced into a central unit via ducts where it is processed and sent back to the designated space by the same means. To best understand how these systems work we should take a good look at some of the major types, which for this piece, will be the AC, the furnace and the heat pump.

For ACs

The standard refrigerant-based air conditioning system consists of two units: one indoors and another outdoors. The indoor unit has a fan that draws in the air inside, which is sent via ducts to be filtered before blowing it over tubes filled with the refrigerant. This helps to cool and clean the air while also reducing humidity, after which it is sent back indoors via ducts and to indoor air handlers that spread it all over the designated room.

The refrigerant (which is in gas form now) is taken to an outdoor part of the system to cool down, before being sent back, allowing for the process to repeat itself. However, different types of these units exist that work in varying ways. The above describes a split, central air conditioning system, but its counterpart is the packaged system, which has both units placed in the same container.

If the more central systems aren’t for you, a ductless one just might do. Also known as mini-splits, these have the same outdoor unit that the split variety has but have air handlers that receive the processed air directly from it, without the need for ducts.

For furnaces

Furnaces burn natural gas. Although they can also use propane or heating oil as alternative fuels. Gas is actually the most used, but propane or heating oil as fuels also properly heat the air, which is then blown through ducts. Eventually they reach the designated rooms where the air handlers spread it. You may ask an expert in HVAC in the area of Sacramento about the potential harm of furnaces since the heat produced comes with toxic gasses.

If the expert is worth their salt, they’ll explain that the heat exchanger is a critical component that keeps the air being circulated, and the combustion gasses separate gases. Leaks in the heat exchanger can lead to various problems, including health hazards.

For heat pumps

Then there are heat pumps, which take on the responsibilities of both ACs and furnaces. Unlike ACs, heat pumps provide heating, but they also have cooling abilities that furnaces don’t have. Another thing that separates them from furnaces is that they aren’t heat generators, but rather, use whatever heat is available outside.

If it’s cold, they draw in whatever warm air is outside, which passes through a refrigerant compressor in their outdoor unit, which heats it further, before sending it to the indoor unit via a refrigerant line. When it’s hot, the process is reversed, with the indoor unit drawing air and sending it outside while refrigerant passing through the line goes inside to absorb heat from what’s inside via the evaporator coil.

Getting help

If any of the above information sounds intimidating, then you can’t be blamed for feeling that way, as it’s all pretty complex. That said with the proper help from an experienced dealer of HVAC in Sacramento city, you can have all this explained to you and more. Among the things they can help out with should things go wrong are the following:

  • Inspecting your current system
  • Making repairs
  • Helping with replacements

Final thoughts

Having read all the above, the hope is that you’re going to be able to have proper conversations with experts regarding your systems. This is especially true now that spring has already begun, which means that the weather is getting warmer and experts of HVAC in California are going to be quite sought after. Regardless, always keep these service providers in mind because your unit will need regular maintenance to make sure things are working properly.

Everything from installations, repairs and replacements can be done by them. This means that you should also spend time finding the right experts who can help out in all facets!

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