Heating and cooling are two of the most important concepts of home ownership. In fact, heating and cooling systems are major factors for those looking to purchase homes, and are a critical part of living comfortably in a home.
You may frequently hear the term "HVAC," which is used to describe home heating and cooling systems. The acronym stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning–which are the 3 primary functions of a home system. They control air temperature and humidity, and maintain the quality of the air in the home.
Heating and cooling systems may be classified as central or local. Central heating and cooling is the most standard method, and is defined by a system that produces warm or cool air in one central area and then distributes it throughout the home.
Products typically used in central heating and cooling systems include:
- Air Conditioners
- Gas Furnaces
- Fan Coils
- Evaporator Coils
- Controls and Thermostats
Local heating and cooling, on the other hand, produces warm or cool air at the location where it is needed and serves small spaces. Room Air Conditioners and Duct-Free Split Systems are examples of local heating and cooling.
Heating systems keep your home warm and comfortable. If you live in a particularly cold climate, the function of your heating system is a high priority.
Most central heating and cooling systems are classified as forced air systems, because they send air through ductwork for distribution. The ductwork can contain products that filter or clean the air.
Hot Water systems create heat and deliver it using components such as radiators, baseboard heaters or radiant floor tubing that distribute the heat into the home. Boilers are a traditional radiant heat source.
Typical heating products include:
- Gas Furnaces
Whole-house air conditioning systems are central systems that rely on ducts to deliver cooled air throughout the home. An air-conditioning system provides cooling, ventilation, and humidity control for a home. Air conditioning units cool refrigerants like Puron Refrigerant and Freon and deliver them to evaporator coils, which dissipate the refrigerant and blow cool air into ducts for delivery throughout the home.
Products such as room air conditioners are local cooling options for smaller areas within homes. Instead of delivering cooled refrigerant to a coil and then to ductwork, a room air conditioner contains all the components in a single unit and blows air directly into a room.
Typical air conditioning products include:
- Central Air Conditioners
- Evaporator Coils
- Single Packaged Products
Specialty Products—Duct-Free Split Systems (DFS)
As the name implies, a duct-free split system does not rely upon air ducts to route treated air through your home or office. Instead, these specialty products are added for a specific room, such as a home theatre, an exercise room, a garage, or other room where adding ducts is impractical. These comfort systems can supply heating, cooling, or both, and are a split-system in that the condensing unit sits outside your home while the indoor unit sits unbotrusively on the wall to control and direct the airflow. These systems are full-featured and couldn't be any easier to operate.
Typical Duct-Free Systems:
- High-Wall Systems
- Under-Ceiling Systems
- In-Ceiling Systems
The term "thermostat" commonly refers to any unit that controls the operation of a heating and cooling system. Thermostats are used to turn on heating or cooling systems to bring the home to a set temperature. In addition to basic temperature control, programmable thermostats can be used to manage the timing of the system's functions, which can control overall energy use and costs.