Q: What Exactly Does the Acronym "HVAC" Stand For?
Heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) are grouped together because the are naturally interrelated. All help regulate a building's interior temperature for optimal comfort, improve indoor air quality, enhance ventilation throughout a building and reduce particulate density for people with allergies, asthma or other respiratory problems. Licensed technicians who are qualified to install, maintain and repair a heating, ventilating and air condition system are called HVAC contractors.
Q: How Does My Heating and Air Conditioning System Move Air Throughout My Home?
Different types of HVAC systems move air differently through homes. For example, a forced air heating system heats air in a chamber before blowing warm air into separate rooms via registers or duct work. Many HVAC systems incorporate fans that pull in air through return grills (vents) installed throughout a home. This indoor air then moves through ducts extending to the system's air handler. Finally, air is returned to conditioned spaces through registers or vents placed strategically in ceilings, floors and walls.
Q: How Does Air Conditioning Work?
Standard window AC units with automatic temperature controls cool rooms by detecting a room's temperature and engaging the AC's blower while drawing in room air and filtering out particulates. Pumped through tubing inside the unit, refrigerant (coolant) initiates the cooling process by taking on and giving off heat, raising and lowering temperatures and transforming from liquid to gas to liquid.
Q: How Often Should I Check My Air Filters?
HVAC air filters should be checked at least once a month for dirt and debris. During high-use months, air filter need checked twice monthly. Neglecting to clean or replace air filters can force your system to use more energy, overheat due to dirty filters or even cause a systemic breakdown of your HVAC system.
Q: Should I Have My Air Ducts Professionally Cleaned?
Particulates and debris clogging your HVAC system can interfere the efficiency of your system, increase energy coasts, promote bacteria and fungal growth in your home and worsen allergy and asthma systems. Air ducts cleaned by experienced HVAC contractors will significantly reduce the amount of dust, allergens and other contaminants in your home's air and extend the life of your HVAC system.
Q: What are the Warning Signs of Impending Furnace Problems?
One of the earliest warning signs of impending furnace issues is a noticeable increase in your heating or cooling bills if you haven't changed the way you heat or cool your home. This could indicate certain components are struggling to operate and are on the verge of stopping operation. Of course, hearing odd noises you normally don't hear coming from your furnace is another symptom your furnace needs professional attention.
Q: What is a Proper Indoor Humidity Level to Maintain?
If your home's humidity level is too high, you'll see condensation on windows, encourage mold growth and attract insects thriving in moist conditions. High humidity also aggravates allergies and upper respiratory infections. Too low humidity levels tend to irritate sinuses, dry out your skin and eyes and even shrink wood flooring and furniture. Optimal humidity levels range from 30 to 40 percent, with some adjustment necessary if outdoor humidity is either extremely high or low.