HVAC systems are relatively easy to operate for most people. When you want it cooler, you lower the temperature. When you want it warmer, you turn the temperature up a few degrees. But do you know how your HVAC system actually works? HVAC systems are something that are pretty standard on homes these days, yet most homeowners don’t know what type of system that is actually installed in their home. It may seem like something relatively unimportant, but if you don’t know about what type of HVAC system you have it may make seeking repairs or replacing the system more difficult. So, if you don’t know what type of HVAC system you have, let’s start by discussing the four most common heating and cooling systems or HVAC systems seen:
Single or Multi-Stage Heating and Cooling Systems
If you have a single stage heating or cooling system, your furnace and air conditioner has only a single level of heat or cold output. These types of systems are most popular in areas where there are extreme weather conditions – such as very cold winters and hot and humid seasons. They are designed to provide the most comfort possible in these drastic weather conditions; however, this also means that the HVAC unit is running at full capacity for the most part, even when its not actually necessary or needed.
This leads us to multi-stage heating and cooling systems. With multi-stage, you can vary the output of cold or heat. If you don’t live in an area with extreme weather conditions, but on certain days experience weather where you might need a little more cooling or a little more heat, you can adjust the output to match what is actually needed and this saves you money.
Zoned HVAC Systems
Zoned HVAC systems are heating and cooling units that are able to heat or cool separate parts of your home, aka”zones”. With this type of system there are zone valves or zone dampers inside the ductwork that you are able to control. By dividing your house into zones, you can drastically cut down your energy costs as you are only using the heating or cooling where it is needed. Why cool a zone in your house that is infrequently used?
Humidity Control Systems
Humidifiers and dehumidifiers are a necessity if you live is a dry or very humid climate. With zoned HVAC units, you are able to bring the humidity up or down to 50%, controlling the level of humidity in your home. According to the EPA, some of the biggest threats to indoor air quality stem from moisture issues. If humidity levels in the home are not properly maintained, a plethora of hazards become abundant.
Unfortunately, with forced-water heating systems, you cannot use humidifier and dehumidifier units. If a humidifier or dehumidifier unit is installed into the air conditioning or furnace, you have to turn the system on in order to control the humidity levels. The other option is to install separate humidifier/dehumidifier systems that you can control separately from you heating and cooling system.
Heating HVAC Systems
Modern heating systems are able to convert almost all the fuel into heat, achieving nearly 97% efficiency. They can be categorized into two main groups:
Furnaces delivers heated air via ductwork and normally function on natural gas or propane for fuel, but all-electric furnaces are used too.
Forced water systems
A boiler is used as the heat source for a forced water heating system and the heated water is then delivered across the house either by circulator pumps or zone valves.
You can also use electric heat pumps instead of using furnaces and forced water systems to either heat or cool different parts of your home. A heat pump can be used to reduce costs if you feel like your furnace is using too much fuel. There are also hydronic heating systems or radiant floor heating units that involve installing pipes beneath the floor. A glycol solution or water is pumped into flexible tubes which then heat the floor. In order to use a hydronic heating system, a boiler or heat pump is required in order for it to work.
Cooling HVAC Systems
Most homes across the United States are cooled by way of air conditioning units. According to the Residential Energy Consumption Survey of 2015, 87% of homes in the United States use air conditioning equipment and the number continues to grow over time. Here are the four different types of air conditioners:
Window Air Conditioner
A window AC unit is the most commonly used air conditioner for single rooms. Components that make the window air conditioner work (the condenser, compressor, cooling coil and expansion valve) are all contained in one box and is typically installed on a windowsill, as its name suggests.
Mini-Split Air Conditioner
The mini-split air conditioner is comprised of 2 parts – an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. Indoor air handlers are mounted on the wall, ceiling or floor and this system is also capable of having multiple zones throughout the home. Contrary to a window AC unit, a wall slot is not required for installation, rather they only require a small hole through the wall where the copper line set is run and can be used to cool more than one room at a time, separately.
Packaged Air Conditioner
This type of air conditioner is best used for cooling large spaces in an office or in a home. The whole unite is outside and connected to the ductwork that runs through the building.
Central Air Conditioning System
The most versatile system, central air-conditioning systems can be used to cool various spaces such as entire hotels, offices, gyms, factories, movie theaters as well as houses. Included in the central AC system is one large compressor that is capable of producing tons of cool air.
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Regardless of the HVAC system you have installed in your home, it is important that every unit has a quality filter that fits correctly. Doing so ensures your indoor air is clean and your unit is running at maximum efficiency. Changing the filter in your HVAC system is as important as changing the oil in your car and, US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units! We can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available from standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filters, grille filters and humidifier filters, we’ve got you covered!
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