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HVAC: What is it? The Basics Explained

HVAC: What is it? The Basics Explained

Find Out Where YOUR Home is Losing Energy:

Schedule An Energy Audit

HVAC – which stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning – is the modern technology that keeps you comfortable indoors. HVAC equipment alters more than just the temperature: it also improves air quality and controls humidity in homes, businesses and other buildings. In fact, the majority of residential buildings in America have integrated HVAC systems.

HVAC systems have many components. Here is a brief overview of a few of them to help you understand how they work:

Air Conditioners

Air conditioners both cool and dehumidify air to keep the climate within a home or other building comfortable. Whether you're using traditional air conditioners, commonly known as "window units," or have a more modern integrated HVAC system, your air conditioner should control temperature and humidity and be easily adjustable. Window units are useful for cooling a specific room or area, while centrally integrated systems do a better job of cooling the entire building.

Air Handling Units

In a commercial context, HVAC systems rely on Air Handling Units (AHUs) to circulate air throughout all or part of a building. AHUs feature two fans: the supply fan delivers fresh air to the building to be cooled and conditioned, while the exhaust fan is used to extract old, stale air from the building.

Fan Coil Unit

Standard air conditioning units also include a fan coil unit, which consists of a blower and a coil and is used for cooling small spaces. Commercial operations also have the option to install variable air volume systems, which use ducts to control the flow of air throughout the varying areas of a building.

An air conditioning system is vitally important to any building, especially in areas with humid weather. When purchasing an HVAC system, it's extremely important to install heating and cooling equipment that is the correct size to efficiently control the temperature in your building. Hire a certified professional to install and service your system (choose NATE certified contractors and, preferably, ACCA members). Dealing with certified contractors helps you know that the job will be done right.

Other HVAC solutions:

We were unaware of what was involved in an energy audit and your audior took the time to explain everything. We were impressed with the report which told us the areas in which we need to take action on. He never pressured us to use any particular contractors, he just suggested that we go to the Building Energy Pros web site to select contractors of our own choice. He did an excellent job and we HIGHLY recommend the Building Energy Pros. We already have recommended them to several of our neighbors. Again, EXCELLENT JOB!
Cynthia Simpson

The Building Energy Pros auditor was very knowledgeable. I was VERY HAPPY with him. He promptly E-mailed my energy audit report to me and I will consider all of his recommendations.
Tom McGee

We found out that our house really has no energy problems. We are happy to know that we
Leslie Stewart

I was very satisfied with your energy auditor. He was very qualified and spent a great deal of time with me. The energy audit was very informative.

The energy auditor was very good and helpful. He keeps in touch with me to answer any of my questions.

I was very satisfied with my energy audit. The auditor gave me some tips on attic insulation that were very helpful.

I was very satisfied with my energy audit. Thank you!

Very good service! I am going to replace the windows as the auditor had suggested.

I was very happy with the energy audit. THANKS!
A. M.

My energy audit was very helpful. Joe Dempsey, your auditor, identified some structural problems that I was not aware of and explained to me why I need more insulation.
J. F.

The auditor was EXCELLENT! He spent ALOT of time with me. I am going to take 3 to 4 of his suggestions and correct these small items to save on my energy bills.
M. B.

The auditor did a GREAT JOB! He knew a lot about older homes, which we have. The report was very comprehensive. Thank you!
Vicki Nez/at

Your energy auditor was very nice and helpful. He answered all of our questions. We will recommend Building Energy Pros to our friends and neighbors.
Katherine McCaffrey

The auditor did a TERRIFIC JOB! The report was FANTASTIC! I will make all the repairs he suggested. I will definitely recommend him to everyone I know that could benefit from a home energy audit.
Steve Sleigh, Chevy Chase

The energy auditor was very professional and I am very satisfied with both the energy audit and the report I received. I will be referring the Building Energy Pros.
Tim Clary

I was very satisfied with the auditor. He was great and gave me some very valuable information. I will refer him to people I know who may need a home energy audit.
Willie Gantt

Your home energy audit proved to be very informative and helpful. I was not aware of the updraft created inside our walls because of the balloon framing construction. You said that that can cause heat to be pulled out of the house with the draft going up inside the walls and should be re-mediated. You also said that the attic insulation was insufficient and that fiberglass batts can leave spaces for around the edges causing heat loss and that it should have blown in insulation on top of what was there to seal the whole attic and increase the r factor. After going over your findings and telling me how you would fix the problems you told me how I could do it myself with stuff from the Home Center and for a quarter of the cost. Well, I did. I went into the basement and filled the bottom of the wall joist with unfaced insulation where they set on the sill plate. I then cut one inch foam board the size for each space and set it in and the sealed the edges of that with expanding foam as well as the sill plate to the foundation. I also sealed the sill plate to the foundation where the joist ran along it, as well as the top of those joist where it made contact with the subflooring. Next I went to the home center and rented their blown insulation machine and got ten bales of the insulation. I filled the attic on top of the batt insulation with about six inches giving another r-19 factor on top of the r-19 that was there. You said that the blown in would also help seal the heat loss around the edges of the batt. The work in the basement cost $144.00 and the work in the attic cost $328.00. After the 30% federal energy tax credit it will end up costing me about $330.00, which you said I should recover in savings in the first year. Thank You for all your advice and expertise. You made me aware of things I should consider and did.
Tommy Thompson