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What is HVAC?

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The Facts on HVAC

hvacHVAC might sound like an obscure or strange word, but in reality it’s nothing too fancy, and it’s something that everyone is familiar with in this day and age. In fact, all it really stands for is Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.

When considering remodeling, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of HVAC, because it greatly affects the design of any building and its energy usage.

Heating

In most houses and buildings, central heating is used as the primary method of heat distribution. This means there is a boiler, furnace, or heat pump in a certain room that is responsible for distributing heat to the rest of the rooms. Heat is typically transferred by convection in these systems, meaning via liquid or gas.

Unfortunately, to heat enough of the convector for transfer to the air of the entire building, it requires a lot of energy, which will typically come from gas or electricity.

Geothermal heat pumps are gaining a lot of popularity, however, because they utilize the temperature of the earth, which means a 30 to 40% lower energy cost and a minimized effect on the environment.

Ventilation

Ventilation involves the changing of air in any space to control for temperature, moisture, gases, and other unwanted particles. In larger buildings, mechanical ventilation is necessary in order to maintain appropriate indoor air quality. It typically requires the use of fans and/or central air handling units for very large spaces. A more eco-friendly and cost-effective option is natural ventilation by means of windows and/or trickle vents, which let rising warm air escape and cooler air enter through lower openings.

Air Conditioning

The simple definition of air conditioning is the removal of heat from a space. The refrigerant of the air conditioning unit begins in a gaseous state and is pumped to a high pressure and temperature by a compressor. It is then converted to a liquid when it loses its heat to the outside and cools via a heat exchanger or condensing coil. The refrigerant in its liquid form then reaches another heat exchanger where it evaporates. As it evaporates, it absorbs heat from inside, thus cooling the room or building. While air conditioning can be rather expensive and energy-inefficient, solar energy, geothermal heat pumps, and fans can be used to keep temperatures down while being mindful of the environment and your energy bill.

How Can We Help?

At GGR Energy, “green building” is what we do. Whether you want a lower energy bill or you just want to be environmentally conscious, we can help you design and construct the right home or building for your needs, and it all starts with the proper heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.