HVAC – An Overview

HVAC (pronounced either "H-V-A-C" or "aitch-vak") is an acronym that stands for the closely related functions of "Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning"- the technology of indoor environmental comfort. HVAC system design is a major sub discipline of mechanical engineering, based on the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. Refrigeration is sometimes added to the field's abbreviation as HVAC & R or HVACR, or ventilating is dropped as in HACR (such as the designation of HACR-rated circuit breakers). HVAC is particularly important in the design of medium to large industrial and office buildings such as skyscrapers and in marine environments such as aquariums, where safe and healthy building conditions are regulated with temperature and humidity, as well as "fresh air" from outdoors.

Heating is significant in maintaining adequate room temperature especially during colder weather conditions. There are two classifications of heating: local and central. The latter is more commonly used because it is more economical. Furnace or boiler, heat pump, and radiator make up the heating system.

Ventilation, on the other hand, is associated with air movement. There are many types of ventilation, but they all function similarly. Ventilation is necessary to allow carbon dioxide to go out and oxygen to get in, making sure that people are inhaling fresh air. Stagnant air causes the spreading of sickness, usually airborne, and allergies. But it is also essential to maintain an efficient ventilation system, especially in the attics. Insufficient ventilation usually promotes the growth of bacteria and fungi such as molds because of high humidity. It will also decrease the effectiveness of rafter and roof sheathing insulation because of water vapor condensation.

The air-conditioning system controls the heat as well as ventilation. They often come in different sizes. Most air conditioners have large air ducts, so it is better to check out the building first to see if they can be installed. Or else, you can use the split system or remote coils. It is necessary, though, that air ducts are properly cleaned. Pathogens thrive in dirty air ducts. Return-air grills are also vulnerable to chemical, microbiological, and radiological elements. Thus, HVAC return-air grill height should be that it is not accessible but visible for any observation.

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