The HVAC industry touches the lives of millions of people each day.
From the moment we wake up to the moment we sleep, we all rely on HVAC in our houses and offices to live comfortable, healthy lives.
Though so many people rely on it, and you may have heard the term “HVAC” discussed before, let’s break down exactly what HVAC stands for.
What Does HVAC Stand For?
HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. These three elements make up your home’s air circulation system. The term “HVAC” is generally used when speaking about the circulation system as a whole, rather than its individual parts.
The acronym also refers to the various technologies that are used to control the humidity, temperature, and purity of the air in an enclosed space.
The HVAC system is one of the most complicated pieces of equipment in your home, but having some knowledge of it can help you recognize issues quickly, keep up with maintenance, and prevent expensive repairs. There are nine parts to your HVAC system that you should be familiar with as a homeowner:
- Air return
- Exhaust outlets
- Electrical elements
- Outdoor unit
Each element of the HVAC system works with the others to control the interior air quality. The HVAC system is an essential part of your home, as it is responsible for keeping the air you breathe clean and safe, not to mention regulating the temperature to ensure you stay comfortable.
What Does Your HVAC System Do?
HVAC systems singlehandedly regulate the temperature, humidity, and purity of the air in your home. They also work to distribute the air among the rooms in your home, maintaining pressure and promoting good airflow. As mentioned, the three major functions of an HVAC system are:
- Air Conditioning
These elements are interrelated and work together to provide you with the greatest indoor comfort. This collaboration makes the HVAC system the most effective means of regulating the air indoors. With an HVAC system, the air in your entire home will stay clean and cool 24/7.
The heating element of an HVAC system is essential to the functionality of your home. The heat in your home can come from a variety of sources, including:
- Central heating
- Heat pump
One of the main purposes of the heating unit is to generate heat for your home, a function that is absolutely essential during the colder months of the year.
The heating element is also responsible for distributing the generated heat throughout your home. In the case of water, pipes are used to transport it to the faucets in your home once it’s been heated by your unit.
Heated air is distributed via ductwork to keep every room in the house warm and toasty.
The ventilation aspect of your HVAC system is responsible for redistributing and purifying indoor air. It also replenishes oxygen by bringing outside air in to prevent stagnation and stuffiness.
The combination of these functions makes your ventilation system the best way to improve your home’s air quality.
HVAC systems use a mechanical method of ventilation to control the quality of the air in your home. Controlled via an air handling unit, this method allows the system to expel odors and contaminants and replenish your home with outside air. Your ventilation unit is also responsible for controlling indoor humidity levels—an absolute necessity during hot Southern summers.
The air conditioning feature of the HVAC system is in charge of keeping the air in your home cool and comfortable. Fresh air is drawn into the system via an external vent and then mixed with indoor air before it is cooled down. An air conditioning unit also works to reduce the humidity of indoor air to reduce moisture and prevent your home from feeling stuffy.
Just as the heating element is essential during the colder months, a quality air conditioning system is necessary for comfort in the summer when temperatures rise. Combined with the heating and ventilation elements, your HVAC system ensures the air in your home remains clean and comfortable.
HVAC System Maintenance
To keep the air in your home comfortable and free from impurities, it’s important to provide your HVAC system with regular maintenance. Most of the maintenance you’ll perform as a homeowner is strictly preventative, and is meant to ensure your HVAC system operates at its full potential. Some common HVAC problems that homeowners frequently experience include:
- Dirt and debris
To avoid these issues and more, make sure the area surrounding your HVAC system is clean and free from any clutter—two feet of space around all system components is ideal. You’ll also want to replace the filters in your system every few months to keep the air clean and pure.
The best way to conduct HVAC maintenance is to create a plan that you can follow each year. Having a schedule ensures you’ll remember to keep up with system maintenance and will ultimately extend the life of your HVAC system.
HVAC Services in the Charleston Area
While it’s important to keep up with your HVAC system maintenance, you will inevitably need to call in a professional. Carolina Climate Control has been providing homeowners with quality HVAC services for years and prides itself on the speed and efficiency of its work. Some of their top-rated services include:
- Air conditioning installation and repair
- Temperature balancing
- Air quality check
- Geothermal heating and cooling
- Zone control
Whether you are in need of a quick repair to your HVAC system or are looking to purchase a brand new unit, Carolina Climate Control can help. Contact them today for all of your HVAC system needs.