Few things are more comforting than stepping into a perfectly temperate room on a hot or chilly day. Your home’s air conditioning is part of a larger system known as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC). The HVAC system is a large machine consisting of a ventilation structure, thermostat, and various devices that either cool or heat the air. Understanding how your home’s HVAC system works can be useful when you are presented with issues and need to contact a professional. Familiarizing yourself with your system will also help you evaluate when to repair or replace key items. When you are in need of heating and air conditioning work, contact a Best Pick Northwest Chicago heating and air conditioning company.
The V of HVAC stands for ventilation; this portion of your system consists of supply and return vents (sometimes referred to as registers), filters, ductwork, and a circulating fan. The fan pulls air from your home through the return vents, through the ductwork, and over the portions of your system that heats or cools. The changed air is then pushed back into your home through supply vents. This process is known as a forced air system and is the basic cooling and heating method for your home. The fan in your system is integral to circulating the air in your home and requires the attention of a professional when in need of repairs. Contact a Northwest Chicago Suburbs area or Elgin air conditioning and heating contractor.
Air Conditioning (AC) is an important component of any home’s HVAC system, especially during long summer days. Most residential systems’ air conditioning component is a “split system,” because the system’s work is split between an indoor unit (an evaporator coil) and an outdoor one (the compressor and condenser). Copper tubing containing a refrigerant connects the two components. The refrigerant is designed to change from a liquid to gaseous state in moderate temperatures, which is necessary for your system to function. The refrigerant begins the cooling process outside in the compressor as a low-pressure, cool gas. The compressor compacts the refrigerant into a high-pressure, cool liquid as the fan blows the excess heat created by this process outside of your home. From there the refrigerant is leached into the evaporator coil, which is typically attached to the furnace within your home. The liquid expands once within the coil, and this causes it to vaporize into a gas. This process absorbs warmth from the surrounding air; the air is then much cooler and is blown by a fan through your ducts and into your home. The low-pressure gas returns to the outdoor compressor and begins the cycle again. If your home is suddenly not cooling, a refrigerant leak may be the culprit. A Northwest Chicago area or Bartlett air conditioning company can help you recognize and repair issues with your HVAC system.
Heating (H of HVAC) operates similarly to the air conditioning component of your system. Air is brought into the ductwork, warmed by the furnace, and recirculated through the home. The process of changing the air’s temperature is where the two components vary. Some systems, such as heat pumps, heat by basically reversing the air conditioning process. Because of this, heat pumps can both heat and cool by having an open air or geothermal source. Many homeowners elect to have heat pumps in lieu of a traditional HVAC system because they are more energy efficient. However, traditional air-source heat pumps should not be used in areas where prolonged freezes occur. Contact a Northwest Chicago area or Bartlett heating and air conditioning company if you are interested in installing a geothermal heat pump.
Another option besides the traditional furnace or heat pump is a hybrid system that incorporates both choices. The outdoor temperature dictates which choice would be more economical to use. This can be a great option depending on your climate; Chicago has prolonged freezes during the winter months, but a geothermal heat pump used in addition to your furnace may be a way to cut down on your monthly bills. Contact a local Northwest Chicago or Elgin heating and air conditioning company to help you evaluate the best option for your home.
Being equipped with this basic knowledge about your whole-home HVAC system can help you identify problems and make educated decisions when faced with technical decisions. Even with this information, HVAC systems are too complicated and vital to the comfort of your home to tamper with on your own. Trust the expertise of a Best Pick heating and air conditioning company in the Northwest Chicago Suburbs with your HVAC system.