In your home one of the most important systems are those that heat and/or cool your home. Especially if you live in areas that experience cold, cold winters and very hot summers then you know just how miserable life would be without controlled temperatures. Understanding the two options of heating and cooling systems starts with knowing the differences between local and central systems. This article will give you a good understanding of the basic differences which are actually very simple.
Think of local heating as a “unit” that you would find in each room or area that needs heating. For example, a fireplace in the living room, a gas heater in a bedroom mounted on a wall, or an electric space heater in cold corner of the dining room. For local cooling, the easiest example would be a window air conditioning unit in a bedroom.
One of good things about local cooling systems like window ac units are that they can easily be installed in a small area. However, the bulky unit sticking outside of the home is unattractive plus local heating and cooling is not energy efficient at all and can also present safety problems.
Nearly all newer built homes today come with central heating and cooling units with good reasons. Older homes can also be switched over to a central system as well to enjoy the same benefits. In central systems there is one, main unit which delivers heated or cooled air throughout the home through a network of ducts within your home’s walls.
As we just mentioned, central air systems do not rely on equipment that needs a window opening or a fireplace with a flue for heating. Now windows and other openings can have their insulation improved to retain heat or cooled air in your home which increases your energy efficiency and saves on your utility bill. But does this mean that no fresh air is let in and only used, stale air is recirculated over and over?
You’ll be happy to learn that a central air system actually has the ability to improve the quality of the air you breathe in your home. This is done through an air heat exchanger that allows a flow of fresh air from outside your home to enter your home, all while remaining energy efficient. Furthermore, nearly all central units come equipped with a filtering system that removes things like pollen, dust, dander, and other allergens that cause allergies. If that weren’t enough you can even choose a model equipped with a humidifier to combat that dry air. When those humid summer months roll in a dehumidifier will keep humidity in check indoors so you can lounge comfortably.
Beyond the obvious benefits of saving on energy costs and living a more comfortable life every day, did you know that if you have an older home that installing a central air system can improve the marketability and possibly increase the value of your home? It pays in many ways to choose a central heating and cooling system as your choice in comfort control in your home.
Are you the new homeowner on the block? One of the most important things you need to pay attention to is the heating and cooling system which manages the everyday climate inside your home and how to care for it to ensure efficient operating. While this may seem like a dull topic it’s important to remember that there are lots of us who have never had to use or upkeep an HVAC system in a home before. As you can imagine there is a myriad of things that may occur that can cause your HVAC system to perform poorly which will cost you more money unnecessarily.
Let’s explore some of the mistakes that homeowners may be prone to make when it comes to heating and cooling systems.
Choosing The Biggest System You Can Afford
It makes sense to think that in the case of keeping your home heated and/or cooled that a larger system would be the best option to get top notch performance. Quite surprisingly this is not always the case in the HVAC world. Bigger is not always better because larger doesn’t equal to a more efficient system. In fact, larger equates to a more costly energy bill due to the system being “too much” and throws temperatures out of comfort ranges.
Setting Your Thermostat Lower Than Necessary
It’s not uncommon to want your home to be as cool as you can get it when summer rolls around. Naturally we walk over to the thermostat and set it as low as we can get it. The issue with this is that your cooling system cools the air at one speed only which means that it won’t cool faster just because you set the dial lower. What is taking place is that your HVAC unit is still working harder to maintain such a low temperature while being unable to meet the cooling level you desire quick enough. This typically results in running the system harder for longer periods of time, undue stress which in the long run will put you at risk for maintenance and repairs sooner than needed.
Clogging Up Vents
If you’re like many other home owners you’ll find that that extra guest room or your office sees less use so it would dawn on you that closing those vents would help other, more used rooms in the house receive more airflow. The fact is actually opposite and closing these vents causes damage and wear on the system and ducts that results from the airflows increased pressure. The most common damage that happens are duct leaks along with other issues with the HVAC system.
Lastly, the age old problem of forgetting or putting off regular maintenance can really come back to bite you. Your heating and cooling unit is most likely the heaviest used piece of equipment in your home and not taking regular care of it is costly. You can relax knowing that maintenance is only a monthly item which doesn’t take much time at all to check and replace filters as needed. Depending on where you live and air quality conditions most HVAC professionals recommend filter changes every 3 months but feel free to do them sooner if your air is dusty as an example. Take a look at the condensing unit outdoors to ensure there’s no overgrowing brush nearby. Then be sure to schedule an HVAC tech to take a look at your unit two times a year.
With these simple tips you’re now a better prepared and educated homeowner in the heating and cooling world.
Are you an environment friendly home owner who would like to keep yourself or your family comfortable all year round while reducing your carbon impact? If so, then this article is geared towards you and will show you a beginner’s introduction to geothermal heating and cooling systems in homes.
As you can imagine, there is a large pool or reasons why you should employ the use of a geothermal system because they can be put to use in home structures of all types. Whether it be a single family residential home, offices, or even commercial use buildings it is no wonder that this system is gaining more and more attraction.
Not too long ago many viewed geothermal heating and cooling as an “alternative” eco-friendly only option. However it is now among the most recognized heating and cooling system options for single family residences. Because cost is typically an issue for anything in life you’ll be surprised to know that geothermal systems are quite reasonable when you compare to other systems which use oil that costs much, much more as the crude oil market fluctuates wildly at times. This then hits you, the fuel purchaser to foot the volatile bill.
As we mentioned earlier, if you are an eco-friendly minded individual then avoiding the excess use of oil and other fuels is a top concern in reducing ones carbon footprint.
Now, let’s take a quick look under the hood of how geothermal systems work. First, a pipe that is filled with solution is installed into the ground which allows this pipe to absorb the ground temperature and store it. Next, water is then sent to a heat pump which sends heat to stored refrigerant and a non-toxic, environmentally safe gas is converted from the solution filled pipes. This gas is then sent to a compressor where another heat exchange takes place and is then sent through a duct and distributed throughout the home.
If that sounded slightly confusing then don’t worry, because geothermal heating/cooling systems require a high degree of expertise to make sure installation is proper and accurately designed. Testing and use of the system is also carried out by professionals who seek to conserve the use of energy and ensure that the system starts off and remains environmentally safe throughout it’s use. An improper installation will ensure inefficiency in the system costing more money on heating and cooling costs in the long run.
As we go about our day we rarely stop to think about the controls in place that keep our homes, offices, stores, etc. comfortable. If you’ve never had the chance to learn more about heating and cooling systems that help us enjoy everyday activities then this article will give you a good start on the basics.
First thing on the list of things to learn are about the different type of heating and cooling systems.
Central heating/cooling works by use of a gravity furnace which moves air from a central unit at ground level up and throughout the home or building. You would typically find the master unit in the basement of a home but in homes with no basements they are situated outside the home. This type of system uses ducts and pipes to disburse the heated or cooled air. The air is cycled back down the master unit and it is reheated or cooled again to be sent through the system. Thermostat controls vary by type which most are now digital and or wi-fi connected.
Radiant systems use a combination of electricity, water, and steam where a central boiler heats water. Pipes throughout the building move this heated water into areas or rooms into a radiator. Water which has cooled is then returned to the boiler which is recirculated throughout the home.
Electric radiant systems use an installed system of coils and cables into the ceilings and floors of the structure. These cables are electrically heated and radiated into each room where there are cables installed.
Air duct systems are found throughout most homes because of the ease of use where a single duct can carry either cooled or heated air throughout the home.
Another popular option is through geothermal heating systems. A heat pump is installed into the ground which works with the seasonal temperatures and its effects on how the ground holds heat and cooled air. Tubes are installed throughout the grounds/property which carry air that is exchanged in your home as follows. The ground is typically much cooler than the air during summer weather so the heat pump excahnges the hot air in your home for the cooler air in the tubes in the ground. During colder months it is vice versa. The air temperature in your home is much colder than the ground temperature so the heat pump exchanges the cold air for the warm air into your home.
Why should you care about the different kinds of heating and cooling systems in your home?
Spending a good amount of money on your home to enjoy a comfortable climate year round is no small decision. You’ll need to decide if the type of home you live in is better or worse off when it comes to efficiency which can either save or cost you money in the long run. Another factor to consider is that some systems perform better than others depending on the area of the country you reside.
The next step would be to speak with a qualified heating and cooling expert in your local area to discuss options. Get more than one opinion as your decision should not be based solely on price of the upfront cost. A qualified professional should be able to guide you on certain advantages and disadvantages of systems in your unique, particular home.