Types of HVAC Systems

There are two basic types of HVAC systems—radiant and forced air. Radiant systems are comprised of pipes that circulate water throughout the building and radiate heat into the rooms via the floor or a radiator. Radiant-heating systems are usually paired with window air-conditioning units because radiant cooling is only appropriate in very arid climates. In the Maryland-Northern Virginia region, forced-air systems are much more common than radiant ones because they can accommodate both a home’s cooling and heating needs. There are several different kinds of forced-air systems, including central air, gas furnaces, and heat pumps, so it’s important to talk to a contractor and determine which kind would be best for your particular home.

A typical maintenance visit

Having your HVAC system inspected regularly can improve its efficiency and efficacy. It’s best to have an HVAC professional perform a system checkup twice a year before the busy seasons—once in the spring and once in the fall. A maintenance visit from a qualified contractor may include inspecting and cleaning the outside coils, checking the air conditioner’s coolant level, lubricating moving parts, and checking system pressures and temperatures.