What is HVAC?

We get asked endless questions about HVAC. “what is HVAC? What does it do? Is it a product?” And so on. So, lets compile all we know and get the bottom of the question on everyone’s lips. What is HVAC?

A number of reasons have come together in recent times that have made HVAC systems much more relevant in pretty much all types of buildings. These include the world-wide push to cut carbon emissions, considerable increases in global energy costs, the mass improvements in technology in HVAC systems in recent years and of course the Covid-19 pandemic.

So, what is HVAC? Here’s everything you need to know!

What does HVAC stand for?

The initials HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. It includes the equipment, systems and technology used within buildings and vehicles to control the heating and cooling environment indoors. Its main goal is to provide thermal comfort (both hot and cold) and promote fresh air indoors.

Traditionally, older buildings within the UK still have separate systems for these three disciplines. However, the much more efficient and modern approach is to combine heating, ventilation, and air conditioning into a fully integrated system. These are known today as HVAC systems.

Although this concept is by no means new, it has tended to have been limited to larger scale buildings and designed in from the outset. However, it has become more and more popular for domestic (home) and smaller commercial buildings and offices too.

Lets explore in more detail each area of a typical HVAC system.

Heating

HVAC systems include some components for heating up an indoor environment. This increases the temperatures inside to make the living conditions more comfortable during the colder months of the year. The heating through a HVAC system is usually done through a central heating system. A boiler or heat pump is used to generate heat to the building. The central heating system will pump water through pipes and is released through radiators to raise the temperature of a room.

However, more recently properties can also be heated via the use of air conditioning units. Many people don’t realise that a lot of modern air conditioning units can be used for heating as well as cooling. They are capable of providing heat, with a greater output than traditional heating systems while using less energy to do it. It’s just one of the many ways you can help to reduce your energy costs along with your carbon footprint.

There are various types of heating systems and legislation so be sure to get in touch if you have any questions!

Ventilation

The ventilation part of a HVAC system will guarantee that there is a constant stream of fresh air circulating within a building. It is seen today as one of the most important elements of any building and work environment. It ensures the air within said building is replaced with cleaner air from outside by extracting the dirty air through extract fans.

Ventilation plays a vital role in influencing air quality, energy efficiency, controlling odours and gases and inhibits the spread of respiratory diseases (such as Covid-19). The built-in air filter will ensure no fumes, moisture or harmful particles enter the flow of air being circulated, meaning you’ll be breathing in clean air constantly.

If you would like to find out more about all types of ventilation systems in buildings, we have a complete guide underlining everything there is to know!

Air Conditioning

The final element of a HVAC system is air conditioning, and it too plays an important role. It’s a common misconception that air conditioning systems purely cool the air inside a building, when in fact, there are many more positives. Not only is air conditioning used to cool an indoor environment, it can be used for heating as previously mentioned and it also helps to control humidity. This is seriously marvellous on a hot and muggy day and also helps to protect building fabrics and extend the overall lifecycle of a building.

There are a wide range of air conditioning systems available to suit your needs, depending on your requirements. We have a guide on How to choose an air conditioning system, which will hopefully answer all of your air conditioning questions!

The benefits of a HVAC system.

HVAC systems of all types do come with their benefits:

  1. The different HVAC systems enable buildings to have even more options for properly ventilating their environments. Fans and air filters improve the air quality and ensure the temperature inside is consistent and comfortable where it needs to be.

  2. Improving energy efficiency is the norm with more upgraded technologies. With new thermostats, the ability to control and monitor energy usage is higher and easier. By doing so, you’re not wasting energy in rooms that aren’t occupied, providing more precise and efficient results.

  3. As you have much more flexibility with when and how you use the system, you’ll be able to save money in the process. Even though the installation costs can be quite significant, you’ll be able to see a return on investment pretty quickly. Having a HVAC system installed could even boost the value of a property if it was to go on the market for sale.

  4. HVAC systems play a huge part in keeping employees motivated at work. If you’re not 100% happy, it can impact your ability to focus on work for an extended period. Consistency is an important aspect of productivity, and the temperature control provided by HVAC systems makes this straightforward to achieve.

  5. Via the use of HVAC systems, offices and building across the globe have been labelled “The World’s Safest just emphasising how big of a role HVAC could actually play in keeping your business safe.

HVAC system types – need more information?

Hopefully, our HVAC guide will have increased your knowledge on what HAVC is. We know there is a lot to consider when looking for a system, so our team is always at hand to answer any questions you may have. Get in touch today and find out how we can help you!

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