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What Does HVAC Stand For And How Does HVAC Work?

18 Jul 2021

Author: Jeff O'Hara

While the answer seems obvious to those of us in the industry, some people still aren’t quite sure what the term HVAC stands for, or how an HVAC system works. With so many older homes in the Houston area, a lot of folks still rely on window air conditioning units and space heaters to keep their home comfortable.

Definition and Brief History of HVAC

HVAC is an industry abbreviation for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, and refers to various systems and components used for changing the climate of homes or commercial buildings. The HVAC industry began in the late nineteenth century, first with the introduction of the electric fan in 1882 and the ceiling fan in 1887.

It wasn’t until the first modern air conditioner appeared in 1902, invented by Willis Carrier. This first residential installation of air conditioning arrived in 1914, was seven feet high, twenty feet long, and came at a cost of ten thousand dollars (or $248,000 today). In the early years of HVAC, only the truly affluent were able to afford such luxury.

After World War II, air conditioning grew in popularity, allowing for cities in the southern half of the country to enjoy indoor shopping year-round. By the mid-1950s, air conditioners that conveniently slid into existing windows were introduced, followed in the late 1960s by whole-house HVAC systems.

How Does HVAC Work? – A Very Simple Answer to a Complex Question

In an integrated HVAC system, you have all the equipment necessary to cool your home during the summer, heat it in the winter, and keep the humidity at a comfortable level year-round. Before the advent of integrated HVAC, it was a constant battle to maintain a consistent level of comfort in your home with multiple window units, heat pumps, and space heaters.

By using a common ducting system to deliver both heated and conditioned air into your home, your HVAC system serves a dual purpose. The treated output of two separate appliances, the furnace, and air conditioner, is circulated to the same vents in the various rooms of your home by a central fan. By maintaining a consistent temperature and humidity level in your home, you ensure your family’s comfort.

Installation of an HVAC system is much easier during the construction or renovation of an existing home, but it is possible to retrofit any home for HVAC. While the initial financial outlay of a new HVAC may seem high, the long-term energy savings make it an essential consideration for any home.

Your HVAC system consists of several major components, but the ones most prone to breakdown either contain moving parts, like motors and fans, or compressors that are exposed to outdoor elements. Regular HVAC system inspections and maintenance will go a long way to helping your heating and air conditioning appliances last longer and are more efficient.

Call Nick’s Heating and Air Conditioning today for a cost evaluation or second opinion on any upcoming HVAC installation you may be thinking about.

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