Commercial HVAC systems are how you keep your space warm when the temperature is cold outside or cool when the weather gets hot. With climates being what they are, you need to be prepared. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to understand what type of system is right for you. The following is a basic overview of some aspects of your heating and air conditioning system that can lead you to a better understanding.
HVAC Convection: How Most Heating Works
The process of heating or cooling any kind of structure, regardless of the type of HVAC unit you have installed, comes down to convection. This is the process of making the air somehow warmer or cooler, depending on which is preferable at the moment. Once the air temperature is different, this change can soak into the walls, objects within the space and floors through conduction. Ultimately, warm or cool air is the part that the HVAC system uses to make the space safe and more comfortable.
HVAC: Ducted Air
Air ducts are a great way to heat or cool because air’s temperature can be rapidly changed. Through the use of a furnace, heat pump, cooler or air conditioner, you pull in air from either outside of the structure or inside it and then alter its temperature. Once the temperature is reasonable, usually about 50 to 80 degrees different from what the unaltered temperature would be otherwise, you then pump this air throughout the space in ducts. This is among the quickest ways to change the temperature in a space, though it does tend to use a lot of resources. Ways to make this a less expensive form of HVAC system are to use natural gas heat or geothermal heating and cooling.
HVAC Water: Hydronic or Steam
Hydronic and steam systems essentially use hot water to make the area warmer. This works similarly to how air conditioning systems will often pull heat from inside the space and pump it outside in order to cool the inside. Essentially, water can be made hotter or cooler, which then causes the air surrounding it to change accordingly. This takes longer than a ducted system, but it also tends to be more energy efficient. Often, a set of pipes that lead to baseboard heaters and a boiler are the only necessary components to this type of HVAC system.
HVAC: Radiant Heating
Radiant heating is a way to heat a space using either wires or pipes filled with heated water. This is typically not a method of cooling, but it is potentially the most efficient form of heating known. This consists of a series of pipes underneath the floor of the space, water pumps and a boiler or wires that are electrified and provide resistance. In either case, heat rises from the wires or pipes to heat the floor and the air above it.
HVAC: Fuel Types
You can cool a space with ice, a chemical like freon or through distributing coolness from the ground or outside. You can heat a space through many means. One is electricity, which is somewhat inefficient but has no moving parts. Another is the use of wood or coal burning boilers or furnaces, which can be manually loaded but are labor intensive. There are also options such as geothermal heat or gas heating, which are very efficient but are more expensive during the initial installation.
There are a lot of different types of HVAC systems, and it can be easy to get confused about which one might be best for your needs. When you want some clarification, be sure to contact us for a no obligation consultation.