A Guide to Heating & Cooling Systems Basics
Purchasing a new heating and cooling system is a big investment no matter how much money you make, which is why it’s so important to choose the right one for your home or business. In addition to regularly investing in NJ heating and cooling services, there are also some things you can do to ensure that your HVAC system is running at peak performance levels throughout the year. The right maintenance will help reduce costs and the need for parts replacement, as well as help you avoid costly breakdowns and repairs.
As one of New Jersey’s leading heating and cooling companies, the team from Air Temp wants to help you care for your HVAC system. That’s why we’ve collected some important information for you here!
How Heating & Cooling Systems Work
Every type of heating and cooling system, regardless of size or style, consists of three main components: a control used to regulate temperature, a source of warmed or cooled air, and a manner of pushing that air throughout the home. In most cases, houses will often use the same distribution system (i.e. fans or ductwork) to push warm and cool air throughout the home, regardless of whether or not it’s coming from the same component (HVAC system, furnace, heat pump, etc.). When your heating and cooling system isn’t working properly, it’s likely because one of these three components has stopped working or isn’t functioning within normal parameters.
Key Differences Between Heating & Cooling Units
It’s important to note that both heaters and air conditioning units are designed with the same basic principle: that heat moves away from warmer objects to cooler ones. Following this principle, heating units put warm air into your home, whereas cooling units take it out of your home.
All heating and cooling units regardless of size or design rely on fuel to run, either electricity, gas or oil. In some cases, older heating units will rely on fuel to heat water, which then creates warm air to be pumped throughout your home. However, most modern systems are more efficient and only employ one fuel source.
Different Heating & Cooling Distribution Systems
When it comes to heating and cooling equipment, there are different types of distribution systems that each have their own benefits for property owners. The three most common are:
- Forced-Air Systems: This type of air distribution system utilizes a blower/fan and electricity to move hot and cold air throughout your property. Often, it relies on a complicated network of ducts in order to ensure every room receives the hot and cold air they need. With a forced-air system, users can adjust the amount of air each room receives and decrease or increase airflow as needed, as well as set the blower/fan to different settings. Often, the leading maintenance issue with this type of system is blower/fan malfunctions.
- Radiant Systems: One of the more unique methods of air distribution, radiant systems employ radiators placed throughout a property to warm the walls, floors, and ceilings. Additionally, many radiant systems will also employ electric heating panels for a more holistic heating solution. This type of system is used solely for heaters, as it isn’t designed to push cool air throughout a property.
In older homes, radiant systems are most popular and are often equipped with a hot water heating system that pumps the water throughout the home to generate the heat for the panel system. In some cases, radiant systems will rely on pumps or gravity to distribute the heated water throughout the system. The systems that utilize pumps are referred to as “hydronic heating systems.”
- Gravity Systems: Last on the list, but certainly not least, gravity systems employ the scientific principle that hot air rises while cold air falls. Like radiant systems, they cannot be used to distribute cold air throughout a property. In this system, the warm air generated rises then flows through ductwork to then be distributed throughout a property. Gravity distribution systems that rely on furnaces will often have vents and heat registers placed higher than the actual furnace since warm air will rise toward the ceiling.
Temperature Control Methods
All heating and cooling components rely on a heat-sensitive thermostat to control the amount of hot and cold air they release. These thermostats are designed to provide a steady temperature and automatically turn on and off to maintain that temperature throughout a property. The way thermostats are able to determine an accurate temperature is through the use of a bimetallic element like mercury that expands or contracts based on the temperature level.
More modern thermostats often contain coiled bimetallic strips that are installed behind glass to protect them and help minimize contact with dust and dirt. There are even heat and air-conditioning controls that rely exclusively on electronics to control air temperature and in many cases, are much more accurate than other alternatives.
Contact the team from air temp for NJ heating and cooling needs!
If you want to prepare for the cold snap, the team from Air Temp can get your heating or air conditioning system in order for the winter by providing key maintenance. Additionally, our team is equipped to provide emergency AC repair, as well as ductless heating and cooling services.
For those in need of OEM replacement parts for their HVAC systems, we also carry a wide array of parts and accessories like air filters, attic fans, digital thermostats, humidifiers, boilers, furnaces, and tankless water heaters.
All of our technicians are highly qualified and certified, making us one of the most reliable heating and cooling companies in the area. To learn more about how we can help improve your HVAC system or for emergency repairs, contact us online or call 1 (800) 969-1232.