In Portland’s mild climate, it’s easy to ignore your home comfort systems, but doing so can cost you. Learning exactly what HVAC stands for will help you start building the knowledge you need to improve your comfort and lower your bills.
Heating, the H in HVAC, usually comes from either a furnace or a heat pump. A furnace burns fuel, such as natural gas or propane, to create a flame. A fan in the furnace blows your home’s air over a heat exchanger, which moves heat from the flame into the air. The warm air continues into your ducts and out to your rooms.
A heat pump is, in essence, an air conditioner that can work in reverse. In heating mode, it uses the refrigerant it contains to absorb heat from the outdoor air and move it into your home. It’s the most efficient electric heating method available and ideal for our climate.
The V in HVAC stands for ventilation, an easily overlooked part of your home comfort system. Although it doesn’t directly affect something as noticeable as your room temperature, good ventilation has a number of benefits. Simple exhaust fans remove odors and excess humidity.
A balanced whole-house ventilation system goes a step further by removing stale indoor air, which contains contaminants, odors, and humidity, and replacing it with the same amount of fresh outdoor air. These systems are especially important in modern airtight homes, which receive less natural airflow than drafty older houses. With whole-house ventilation, you’ll enjoy healthier, fresher-smelling air throughout your home.
The AC in HVAC stands for air conditioning, which can be supplied by either an air conditioner, used when the home also has a furnace, or a heat pump. An air conditioner and a heat pump in cooling mode work the same way, using refrigerant to carry heat out of your home. These systems also reduce humidity as they cool.
Whether your home could use an improvement in airflow, or your heating or cooling system is due for an upgrade, contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling in the Portland area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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