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Complete Guide to HVAC: What It Means and How to Choose the Right System for Your Home

June 17, 2022

Your HVAC system is an essential utility. We rely on our heating cooling to keep our homes comfortable all year-round. It can also be a significant portion of your monthly energy bills. Taking time to find out more about your HVAC system includes a lot of benefits. You can improve its efficiency and select the ideal replacement equipment. We’ll share the key details about the most common HVAC systems. After, we’ll review how to find the best HVAC system in Portland.

What Is HVAC?

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. This utility system keeps indoor temperatures comfortable. It also improves air quality through filtration and humidity control equipment. As a group, these systems collaborate to keep our homes cool in the summer and cozy in the winter. Your average HVAC system will have three main components: heating, cooling and ventilation. Some places won’t always have both heating and cooling, like temperate climates or in older homes.

Most HVAC systems work by circulating air in and out of your home. Based on the specific system, heat can be introduced or removed to regulate the indoor temperature. Air ducts can bring the air to each room of the house, but they’re not always required. Many HVAC accessories such as air filtration equipment are installed within the ductwork for maximum efficiency.

There Are Different Types of HVAC Systems

HVAC technology has come a long way in terms of overall design and efficiency. Homeowners have additional options than ever when deciding on an HVAC system. There are multiple different styles, with one or more being the best combination for your comfort needs. These vary from popular air conditioners and furnaces to alternatives like the heat pump.

Air Conditioners

An air conditioner is a groundbreaking piece of technology that draws heat out of the air with a special substance called refrigerant or coolant. Excess heat and moisture are pumped out of the air and ventilated outdoors. This is incredibly efficient for staying cool during the hot summer months.

Furnaces

The dependable central furnace has been the most prominent way to warm your home for many years. It frequently runs on natural gas or oil, combusting the fuel to produce heat. This heat warms the air that moves through your home while vapors are properly ventilated away. Furnaces use a pilot light or electronic hot surface ignition system to initiate a heating cycle.

Mini-Splits

Some HVAC systems don’t need central ductwork to provide heating and cooling. A ductless mini-split system is one such piece of equipment. An indoor and outdoor unit are instead linked by copper piping that delivers climate control. You can set up multiple indoor units to heat or cool your home. Some models offer air conditioning while some can handle both heating and cooling.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are an increasingly desirable option for heating and cooling your home. Unlike central furnaces and air conditioners, heat pumps don’t produce their own source of climate control. Instead, they pump heat in or out of your home with air circulation. Reduced energy use can help you save on your monthly bill. Heat pumps are best suited for milder climates and can even be installed along with other equipment.

Garage Heaters

This scaled-down kind of HVAC system is used to keep garages warm in the colder months. Most garages are unfinished, so they can be quite chilly to spend time in. Garage heaters use fuel like electricity, natural gas or propane to generate heat. This heat is distributed with power fans. The garage heaters themselves are often configured to be portable. They can be carried around the garage freely or fastened to the wall. Some models are even mounted to the ceiling.

How Do I Select an HVAC System?

When deciding on a new HVAC system, there are a few things to think about. You should find a balance between efficiency and your specific comfort preferences. You can narrow down potential options with the following tips:

Find the right size for your home: Bigger isn’t always better. In fact, a furnace that’s too powerful for your home could end up costing you in higher energy bills. New HVAC systems should be the appropriate size for maximum effectiveness.

Prioritize energy efficiency for long-term savings: Higher energy efficiency is one of the best ways to earn back more savings. Energy-efficient equipment puts less strain on key components and doesn’t need to run as long for climate control. Look for models labeled with the ENERGY STAR® rating for particularly efficient models.

Browse financing options and special offers: Lots of local service companies offer special financing for new installation. You might receive special offers for the system itself as well as other benefits like discounts on preventive maintenance plans.

Trust new installation to trained professionals: A new HVAC system is a quality investment. You can get the most out of a new air conditioner or heat pump with seasoned technicians. They perform air conditioning installation quickly and efficiently, ensuring you receive maximum benefit from the beginning.

Your local expert technicians can assess your home and suggest the ideal HVAC system for you. If you’d like to start the process, give Three Rivers Heating & Cooling a call at 503-213-4433 today.