HVAC stands for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning and most homes are equipped with a unit which filters, dehumidifies, heats and cools the indoor air. Being informed about how your HVAC system works and how to maintain it can add up to thousands of dollars in savings in energy, maintenance and replacement costs.
HVAC units are usually split with some components installed outdoors and others inside the house. The condenser/ compressor is installed outside while the furnace or heat pump and blower components are inside. There are also packaged units available which install completely outdoors if indoor space is limited.
Gas furnaces heat the air by circulating it around a sealed chamber of burning gas. Once the air is heated, the blower fan pushes it through the ducts into the house.
Electric furnaces convert energy into heat via elements similar to those in a toaster or on a stove.
Heat pumps provide an efficient way to heat and cool your home using electricity. Air source heat pumps use chemicals to absorb and concentrate heat from the air outside the home. Since they use heat from the earth, geothermal heat pumps are less likely than air-source to need extra energy during colder times of the year.
Air conditioning goes beyond cooling your home to filter and dehumidify the air. A refrigerant is used to cool coils in the evaporator which removes heat and moisture from the air while hot coils in the condenser release the collected heat back outside. Excess moisture is released through the condensation line.
Newer HVAC units are more likely to have a mechanical ventilation component to draw stale air outside and pull fresh air in. This helps to remove contaminants too small for the filter and makes the air healthier to breathe.
- Having your system checked by a professional annually and performing some light maintenance can significantly extend the life of the unit.
- Remember to change filter(s) monthly
- Add a tablespoon of bleach to the condensate line annually to avoid algae build-up.
- Cut electricity, remove cover, and hose off condenser coils yearly to keep your unit running efficiently.
- Whether your unit is gas or electric, be sure to keep working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors installed.
For other problems and troubleshooting, it’s best to trust a professional with an excellent service record like the certified HVAC experts at Lloyd’s Electric Service, Inc.