What is HVAC technology?


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With stricter environment regulations and spiraling electricity costs, many people are considering technologically advanced Heating, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning (HVAC) systems to keep their properties warm and cool. These systems are suitable for both residential and commercial set-ups and offer a plethora of benefits as eco-friendliness, cost-effectiveness, higher efficiency and improved comfort and convenience.

The modern-day buildings are made of many high-end technology systems ranging from foundation and support system, electrical and lighting to planning and fixture. However, one of the most important systems which forms an integral part of a building is a HVAC system, i.e. Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning system.

The primary purpose of HVAC systems is to maintain a higher air quality inside a building. Researches reveal that air quality has a direct impact on the productivity and health of the occupants and should not be trivialised.

However, HVAC systems not only ensure improved air quality but also:

•    Control temperature

•    Maintain fresh air circulation

•    Filter air

•    Increase efficiency 

•    And, come easy on pocket

Let us understand the functionality of HVAC systems with the below examples:

a) When the thermostat is used in winters to moderate temperature inside a building

A thermostat is put on when it is cold inside and put down when it is warm. Here, the HVAC system keeps the occupants comfortable by adjusting the room’s temperature by default. HVAC system supplies fresh air to the room that reduces carbon dioxide built-up and comforts the dwellers.

b) In case of heavily air-conditioned set-ups

Here, the re-circulated conditioned air carries contaminants which can cause respiratory problems. It is the HVACs that remove pollutants and dust from the air by using filters at various stages. Apart from commercial and big residential arrangements, the feature is also critical in facilities such as hospitals or enclosed areas containing hazardous materials.

HVAC systems are made of

•    Variable air volume design

•    Low-pressure designs

•    Digital control systems

•    Mechanics for heating and cooling and recirculating air

•    Highly-efficient ECM fan motors

HVAC system in residential vs commercial buildings

A HVAC system installed in a commercial set-up differs significantly from the one implanted in a small residential arrangement. In the house, the heating system is set-up to deliver warm air during winter and fresh air during summers. It does this using a furnace, conditioner and a set of ductwork. When the thermostat detects that air inside the house is too cold, it may send signals to the furnace to deliver warm air. It is vice-versa in summers. When the house gets uncomfortably warm, the thermostat signals the furnace to release cool air. Here, there is only one thermostat in a house and it does not account for temperature variations in other rooms. Cool or warm air is released as per the room's temperature where the thermostat is located.

On the contrary, HVAC systems in commercial spaces are quite different. Higher concentration of equipment and people generate more load. Therefore, air conditioning and air handling equipment is centralised so that heating and cooling requirements in different rooms can be adjusted. Ductwork, air handlers, terminal units, dampeners and several layered air filters are used to ensure complete air moderation in the building irrespective of the number of people in a room or a region of the building and regardless of their activities.

On the whole, HVAC systems are technologically advanced systems that operate automatically and meet the cooling and heating demands of a built environment. They are programmable control systems that offer a new level of comfort, convenience and a clean and healthy environment along with an added bonus of long-lasting cost-effectiveness. While the upfront cost of HVAC systems may be relatively higher than normal air-conditioning systems, their long-term financial benefits outweigh the preliminary expenses, making it worth a set-up in modern day properties.

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