Choosing The Best HVAC System For Your Home

The first thing you should know is that HVAC is an abbreviation for Heating, Ventillation and Air Conditioning. This kind of device is a one piece unit that provides all your heating and cooling needs. The are two different types of systems available, local and central or local. With a central system, all your heating needs are provided from one unit, whether it is a boiler or a furnace. Heated air, steam or water is then circulated through duct work or pipes throughout your home, and these systems can be either forced air or radiant heat.

Radiant HVAC systems transfer heat from water or steam, which is then circulated through your house by heat exchangers or radiators. The radiator transfers that heat directly into the room not by ‘radiation,’ but by convection. This is actually caused by internal movements of the heated water or steam, heat that is directly emitted by a hot surface is radiant. Forced air heating is created by the heat exchanger itself getting hot, then air is forced through this and then throughout the house.

In the case of the air conditioning part of the HVAC system, usually this is the same as forced air heating, but in this case, instead of it being passed through a heat exchange, it flows through a coolant exchanger instead. The cool air still flows through the same duct work, it is just cold air instead of hot. Because of the heat that is produced during this cooling process, the air conditioning part is usually located on the outside of your home, close to the furnace.

Local HVAC systems can be space heaters, wood or other fuel burning stoves, and window mounted air conditioners. They can only heat or cool one area, like a room, possibly two, and are not able to flow through the entire house. The other differences between the two are that with a central unit, a single thermostat controls the whole system, while local units are usually controlled individually. Ventilation is also an important part of either system. Ventilation removes a variety of different contaminants from your home, whether it is smoke, odors, bacteria, or even moisture, as well as filtering incoming air from airborne particles as well. There are specified building code requirements for flow exchanges, depending on what part of the house they are located.

Picking the right HVAC system is something you really need to sit down with your wife and think about. There are many different makes and models, both for central as well as local systems. You really have to think about the kind of system will work best for your home. A local system can be more difficult to maintain, since there are more components that make up the system, where a central HVAC is comprised of just two different units. One of the things that you have to do with central systems is make sure that the ducts are clear periodically, to maximize efficiency.

It may be cheaper in the long run to go with a central HVAC system. While they may have greater initial costs, they work better and last longer with proper care and maintainance. Make sure that you purchase your unit with the highest EnergyStar rating that your budget allows for.

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