What Is HVAC?
If you are a trades worker or even a homeowner, you have undoubtedly heard the term “HVAC.” While you might have known what the acronym stands for (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), you might be slightly less knowledgeable about the ins, outs, and intricacies of HVAC. Keep reading to unearth a crash course on what HVAC is and how it works.
At its core, HVAC revolves around air. Heating and air conditioning, as you know, refer to the temperature and air quality treatment of an indoor environment. The V in HVAC, ventilation, involves moving air between indoor and outdoor spaces, promoting the circulation and the removal of dust, carbon dioxide, bacteria, smoke, and other contaminants. HVAC systems are varied in their structure and application, from commercial to residential buildings. In modern buildings, these systems are integrated with increasing amounts of digitization.
The HVAC system in your office or home is actually one of the most complex systems in the building. To make understanding HVAC a little simpler, here is a rundown of the key components of a typical HVAC system and its functions.
- Furnace – responsible for dispersing treated air through the system. Often stored in a basement or utility closet.
- Ducts – the system of pipes in the walls or ceiling that transports air.
- Heat exchange mechanism – responsible for warming the air that enters the furnace. Usually powered by gas or an electric coil.
- Evaporator coil – located on top of or on the side of the furnace. Responsible for cooling air that will be distributed throughout the home.
- Blower – forces the treated air through the pipe system and through the home. Can generally run at variable speeds and settings. A principal source of air distribution for your HVAC system.
- Condenser – this unit is filled with refrigerant gas, which is condensed and compressed, turning it to liquid. This liquid is then used in the evaporator coil to cool air that will be distributed throughout the building.
- Refrigerant lines – the copper or aluminum piping used to relay the liquid and gas back and forth between the furnace and the condenser.
- Vents – the end of the line for treated air. The distribution point for air throughout the building.
- Thermostat – the control center. Where a user can update settings and preferences for their HVAC system.
Exploring the HVAC Trade
As you can see, building and maintaining an HVAC system requires knowledge, skill, and loads of practice. The HVAC network is interconnected and vitally important for the condition of the building – just ask anyone who has experienced a heat or air conditioning outage!
The trades workers who service HVAC systems on the front lines are offered a stimulating career with a competitive salary and gratification that comes from solving problems. The path to becoming an HVAC worker can vary, but it starts with knowing where to start. At Explore The Trades, we can offer you guidance on possible career paths and compensation. We have the resources, knowledge, and connections to help you craft your future. Learn more about us, and how we can help, on our website: https://explorethetrades.org/.