You know that your air conditioner cools your home and your furnace heats your home, but do you know how they do this? Understanding HVAC basics has its advantages when you need to troubleshoot a minor problem, and when it’s time to replace one or more of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (or HVAC) units.
A basic thermostat has three modes: cool, heat, and fan. The cool and heat modes are controlled by the temperature you set. The fan mode is controlled by a secondary setting of “on” or “auto,” which controls the blower motor.
More sophisticated thermostats, such as a programmable model or a Wi-Fi thermostat, may control add-on equipment, such as a zoning system, whole-home humidifier, ventilator and air cleaner. Wi-Fi thermostats also offer you remote access to control and monitor HVAC activities from your internet-enabled device.
Heating and Cooling
HVAC systems in the average Calgary home are forced-air systems that utilize a furnace for heating and a central air conditioner for cooling. Most furnaces use natural gas for combustion to heat indoor air. Though, there are plenty of propane and oil furnaces around, too.
Central A/C units usually share the furnace’s blower and the air ducts to convey cooled airflow to your living spaces. Rather than burn fuel to change air temperature, your air conditioner uses cold refrigerant to literally attract and extract heat energy from indoor airflow. The heat energy is transferred to the outdoor unit and expelled by a second coil and blower.
Ductwork and Airflow
Your conditioned air isn’t going anywhere without ductwork. Air ducts are basically square or round metal tubes that channel heated and cooled airflow from your furnace and A/C to your home. Most ductwork systems are installed in the basement, crawl space, garage and/or attic — the unconditioned or partially conditioned areas of the home.
Just like your furnace and A/C, your ductwork system needs to be inspected annually by your HVAC technician to ensure optimal performance.
If you need help with HVAC basics or your HVAC system in your Calgary home, contact the professionals at Arpi’s Industries.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about the basics of HVAC and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.