Have you ever wondered to yourself, “What is HVAC?” It is a term we use frequently but do people know what the acronym stands for? It stands for “heating, ventilation and air conditioning.” These systems work together to help to maintain a comfortable temperature within your home or business to control the humidity level and improve your indoor air quality.

Heating Systems

The most common are forced air systems, using a fuel like oil, or natural gas to heat air and distribute it through your home using ductwork and a blower fan. Hydronic systems use oil, natural gas, or propane to create steam or hot water that heats your home through baseboard heaters, radiators, or radiant floor systems. Heat pumps use the refrigeration cycle in reverse during the winter to extract heat from the outdoor air or, in geothermal systems, from the ground.

Ventilation Systems

Many homes use natural ventilation, such as roof vents and open windows in combination with exhaust systems like bathroom fans to circulate indoor air and draw in fresh air. For better air quality and humidity control, some homes include a specialized whole-house ventilation system, or they may incorporate other indoor air quality products, such as air cleaners, humidifiers or dehumidifiers.

Air Conditioning Systems

Heat Pumps and Air conditioners use the refrigeration cycle to draw heat out of the indoor air during the summer and expel it outside. In the process, they also help to dehumidify the indoor area. Central air conditioners and most heat pumps have a large outdoor coil that’s connected by refrigerant lines to the indoor coil located in the air handler. Air is cooled by blowing over the indoor coil, and then distributed through the home using ducts.

Working together, these systems ensure that you enjoy the ambient temperature you require year-round in your house or business.