In order to feel comfortable in a house, it needs to be heated and cooled at a comfortable constant temperature, surrounded by fresh air and kept at a comfortable and safe humidity level. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems work together in a home to provide and regulate these important conditions. In order to plan for an efficient, reliable, safe, and comfortable home heating and cooling system, you will need to understand how these three systems work together.
Air Conditioning Systems
Depending on what region you live in, your cooling system may be more important to you than your heating system. Traditional air conditioning units remain popular and include stand-alone units and central air. If you are only planning to cool one or two rooms then a stand-alone unit will typically work fine. However, if you are trying to cool down the entire house, it is recommended that you invest in central cooling. Additional cooling methods include hybrid heating and cooling systems which provide both heating and cooling needs. Other alternative sources include geothermal pumps and active and passive solar systems.
Heating Your House
Creating heat, circulating it and regulating it are three tasks that are all closely intertwined. The entire process involves the furnace or boiler, the fuel, the carrying agents (ducts, pipes or fans) and the way in which the furnace delivers or withholds heat. If you are considering adding heat to your home, it is important for you to first determine where the heat source will be located, what type of heat source will be most efficient, which areas you would like to have heated and what distribution pathways you will use.
When adding heat to an existing system, you have the option of extending the existing system or supplementing it with a more energy/space-efficient mode of heat. When adding to an existing system, you need to consider whether it is best to add a duct run in a wall, add a stand-alone room heater, add a radiant panel or add baseboard heat. Keep in mind that different materials are required for different types of heat. For forced air, you may use metal duct or flexible ducts to supply the air.