Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
HVAC is short name for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. HVAC is how your home or commercial building’s “climate control” works. It can be simply an air conditioning unit or a mixed installation of underfloor heating, radiators, AC units, and ventilation with heat recovery. These are just a few of examples of how you can design and install a HVAC system.
Heating, the first part of a HVAC system. Traditionally this would have been a gas, oil or electric boiler and a “wet system”, usually radiators or underfloor heating with a hot water storage tank. The modern HVAC system can include heat pumps, ground or air source (popular in rural areas), gas space heaters (used in bigger buildings), electric space or panel heaters, wood burning stoves and can also be connected into a wet system. Heating also includes gas fire places, biomass boilers and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units.
The ventilation part of HVAC system components will guarantee that there is a constant stream of fresh air circulating around the building. These air changes are very important for two reasons. Firstly, lack of air changes are the biggest cause of mould and damp in a building. Secondly, the quality of the air. If the air is not changed you run the risk of lack of oxygen to the brain which can cause fatigue, drowsiness, lack of mental simulation and irritability. Many ventilation units have a heat recovery system built in that monitors the air out and the air in to make sure your environment is how it needs to be. Fresh air ventilation has a number of positive actions, including: helping to keep the mood buoyant and positive; decreased survival of bacteria and viruses in the air; lower body temperatures. Ventilation is always the most overlooked area of a HVAC system and in our opinion is the most important part.
There are many different types of air conditioning units or AC systems on the market. Wall mounted, ceiling, ducted, under slung units to name but a few. The modern AC systems can heat up and cool down your building. It is also a common misconception that air conditioning provides the fresh air supply of a ventilation part of HVAC system. Unless you have a ducted system with an external air supply of an Air Handling Unit (AHU), you will always need a fresh air supply.
Air Conditioning is also a very efficient way of heating and cooling a building, provided it is designed correctly, which goes a long way to offsetting the installation cost.