You’ve probably heard the term “HVAC” thrown around and might even know what the letters stand for, but it doesn’t hurt to dig a little deeper into the separate components of HVAC – heating, ventilation and air conditioning – in order to better understand what HVAC stands for.
In Northwest Arkansas, most homes are still heated with natural gas furnaces, though in rural areas, propane and fuel oil furnaces or stoves are common and some folks still heat with wood. Boilers are occasionally used and homeowners are increasingly installing heat pumps to provide all-season comfort. Geothermal heating and cooling also is growing in popularity, using heat pump technology for the indoor part of the system. Finally, solar heating is carving out a piece of the pie.
Most of these options, including the gas furnace, are forced-air systems. This means that a powerful fan blows the heated air through “supply” ductwork into rooms where it comes out of registers. “Return” vents and ductwork bring the air back to the furnace or heat pump to be heated again.
The air conditioner is still the main way Arkansas homeowners cool their homes, though a rare few still try to get by with just shade, windows and fans. Heat pumps are also used for cooling, employing A/C technology to remove heat from the home to create cool air. Air conditioners are forced-air systems, using fans, ducts, registers and vents to circulate cool air in the home.
Every home needs an effective way to exchange stale, dirty, humid indoor air with fresh outside air. This is especially the case with airtight modern building methods, which mean newer homes can’t rely on the old standby, natural ventilation—leaky windows, doors and walls—to exchange indoor and outdoor air. Exhaust fans, balanced ventilation systems and other options are used to make sure homes have plenty of fresh, healthy air.
For more information on what HVAC stands for, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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