bookmark_borderHow To Understand The Essentials of HVAC

HVAC indicates all the systems that work together to heat and cool a house efficiently. Understanding how your HVAC system works will necessitate one to check all the associated terms and functions.

Familiarizing oneself ensures that they can quickly diagnose problems and find an energy-efficient system. The different systems that make up the HVAC will entail:

  • Ventilation systems
  • Ductwork
  • Furnaces
  • Filters
  • Thermostats
  • Air conditioners

Different HVAC Terms

In case of problems with the HVAC system, the user has to consider speaking to professional contractors. Understanding the different HVAC terms can assist one in knowing what a contractor is talking about. Some of the essential terms will entail:

  • Programmable thermostats – These allow someone to set the air and heat to turn on and off at specific times of the day and night.
  • British thermal unit (BTU) – This unit expresses the size of a heating unit. For someone with a large home, having a large furnace with a high BTU is crucial.
  • Compressor – Available in most air conditioning units, this device pumps and compresses cooling refrigerant. It’s essential to clean the compressor a few times in the year. Also, covering them during the winter prevents any damage.
  • Energy star – This is a term that regulates the energy efficiency of all consumer products. All products with an energy star logo will save between 20 and 30%.
  • Annualized fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) – This is the measure of heating efficiency. When buying furnaces, they ought to have a higher AFUE. The AFUE rating for the best furnaces ought to be between 80 and 90%.
  • Ductwork – The ductwork helps with the distribution of air throughout a house. The ductwork should receive annual cleaning to eradicate any dust which can cause allergies.
  • Central air conditioning – This indicates that air circulates throughout the house from a central location.
  • Humidifier – As the heated air leaves the furnace, the humidifier will add some moisture. The humidifier will retain the quality of air and negating any health problems.
  • Geothermal heating – This indicates the use of geothermal power within a home for heating purposes. The earth acts as the source for heat during the winter and cold during the summer.
  • Minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating – It’s a rating standard for air filters. Smaller holes in filters make them more efficient and have a higher rating.
  • Heat exchanger – It’s responsible for transferring the heat in the air for distribution throughout the house.
  • Furnace filters – These filters will work towards negating any unhealthy air particles from getting into the house.

Buying a HVAC System

After knowing all the essential HVAC terms, the next logical step is looking for a HVAC system. Remember that HVAC systems will impact the quality of life. Besides, its an investment where no one wants to make the wrong decision. Therefore, here are the different considerations that one can make.

Assess the Ductwork

Before picking a HVAC system for the house, one has to ensure that the right equipment is available. A professional HVAC contractor can aid in inspecting the ducts to ascertain that they are in the best condition. In return, it’s easier to attain energy efficiency by guaranteeing that everything works seamlessly.

Get an Air Conditioner

An efficient AC can keep a home well cooled and heated. Therefore, consider looking for one depending on the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). The higher the number, the more energy-efficient the AC will be. In return, it’ll be easier to cut on costs and consider an AC with variable speed control compressors.

Choose a Furnace

If the house has an existing HVAC system, replacing it with an energy-efficient furnace can increase your energy savings. Checking the AFUE ratings can assist in finding some highly efficient furnaces. Besides, consider looking into the different types of furnaces for the HVAC system. They will entail:

  • Variable-speed air handlers – They consist of motors that run at variable speeds. It enables better energy efficiency since the user can choose the optimal speeds for the best indoor temperatures. Picking the right size will be crucial for energy efficiency.
  • Single state air handlers – Mostly common in older furnaces, these handlers will have a single speed setting. Their motors will only perform at the maximum speed, and they won’t be the most energy-efficient solutions.
  • Two-stage air handlers – Unlike single state air handlers, these will have two settings. The low and high options can allow the user to pick a setting which will be the best for the indoor temperature. For energy efficiency, one should consider sticking with the low setting for most of the time.

HVAC Maintenance

For a HVAC system to perform well, the user needs to know of the best maintenance measures. Maintenance guarantees that the HVAC system will be efficient. The frequency of the maintenance will depend on these factors:

  • Condition of the HVAC system
  • Age of the HVAC system
  • Size of the HVAC system
  • Brand of the HVAC system
  • The user’s location
  • Usage frequency of the HVAC system

Maintenance should also happen depending on the seasons. For example, during summer, one has to get different equipment and maintenance servicing compared to winter. For winter, the focus should be on the protection of the HVAC system.

For the best experience when maintaining the HVAC system, one should look for the right HVAC contractor. They know how to maintain the system and all the different parts to check for maximum efficiency. However, with a DIY approach, creating a checklist will be necessary. Also remember to:

  • Eliminate clogs
  • Get quality air filters
  • Inspect the fan blades
  • Assess the carbon monoxide detector
  • Clear debris around the outside units
  • Check the refrigerant lines
  • Check for noises and odors


Conducting these practices can guarantee that the HVAC system works efficiently. Consider requesting a contractor for frequent inspections to guarantee that everything conducted in the checklist was essential and correct. Moreover, the contractor can assist in knowing whether the user missed anything during the maintenance.

Knowing about a HVAC will require for someone to understand not only the terminologies but everything that works together to provide the best heating and cooling in a home. The purchasing and maintenance of the HVAC will also be crucial to ensure that the system will be durable.

With thanks to Cody and Sons who do HVAC in Dallas TX, for help with this article.