Home Heating and Cooling 101
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 aspect of comfortable indoor living.
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.
A central heating and cooling system produces warm or cool air in one central area and then distributes it throughout the home. There are many types of systems that work as central systems, from traditional split systems to packaged product systems.
Products typically used in central heating and cooling systems include:
- Heat Pumps
- Air Conditioners
- Gas and Oil Furnaces
- Fan Coils
- Evaporator Coils
- Controls and Thermostats
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.
Radiant systems create heat and deliver it via components such as radiators that radiate the heat into the home. Boilers are a traditional radiant heat source.
Typical heating products include:
Whole-home air conditioning systems are central systems that rely on ducts to deliver cooled air throughout the home. An air-conditioning system provides cooling, ventilation, humidity control and even heating (if using a Heat Pump) for a home. Air conditioning units cool refrigerants like Puron® Refrigerant and Freon and deliver them to evaporator coils, over which air is then blown to be cooled and ultimately directed through the ducts throughout the home.
Typical air conditioning products include:
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.