Thursday, February 21, 2013
Most people only think of their home’s heating and cooling system when they need heating, ventilation and air condition help. The test of a great house heating system – is that you never think or know about it. How well your home’s heating or air conditioning system operates, how your house HVAC system sounds, how comfortable you feel is only an issue in your home when it its needed, running and not quite right. A little planning could mean you never need to think about home heating, home ventilation or your home’s air condition at all.
Easy access - for annual maintenance of your HVAC system (this is really just filter cleaning).
Comfort – having a home with even heating, no hot or cold spots.
Sound – You shouldn’t “hear” you heating system. A quiet whir, maybe, a loud rush of air, no.
The first goal of easy access of your HVAC system is not hard to achieve. Our California building codes mandate minimum sizes for HVAC access doors, and working area at your FAU (forced air unit) in your home. I have seen these installed per code and still be almost impossible to get to but this is rare. A review of your plans prior to installation by any qualified HVAC (Heating and Air Conditioning) Contractor with this question clearly asked will get you the answer you need.
The second goal of comfort is lot tougher to achieve. This requires planning and forethought. First you need to look at your home’s layout and uses. A two story home has two very distinct heating and cooling needs. Bedrooms often want to be cooler at night while common areas want to be warmer in the evening. On a chilly morning you want your home’s kitchen to be warm. Stepping out of a shower on a winter morning deserves a bit of warm air! The answer is effective zoning and distribution of the air system. Properly sized HVAC units, HVAC ducts and even return of the air to the HVAC unit benefits from proper planning. This subject is quite broad and each home has particular needs. The amount of glass, the size of rooms, the depth of your home’s eaves all play a part in determining the homes conditioning loads. As builders, we have lots of options including, multiple HVAC units, intelligent shunt damper systems, variable speed blowers, small package HVAC systems and ever more intelligent thermostats for your home.
If we have thoughtfully taken care of comfort, our third goal of a quiet efficient system becomes more of an installation issue. All HVAC equipment makes noise from sources including the fan, motor, burner, air velocity through ducts and vibration transfer to surrounding structure. Locating the equipment properly, and installing dampening fasteners between the equipment and surrounding structure will greatly reduce vibration and humming coming from the unit. The return air side of the HVAC unit requires special attention. The HVAC unit’s return air plenum (a box connected to the unit to receive air) should be lined with a sound absorbing material. Locate the return air grills away from the unit; run in insulated duct with at least two bends or you will still hear the unit running. Correctly sizing the supply duct work and correctly sizing the registers where the air leaves the duct will greatly reduce the whoosh of moving air.
A comfortable and quiet heating and air system just takes a little knowledge and a bit care in both the design and installation. If done correctly it’s a part of your home you may never think about again.
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Air Infiltration, HVAC installation, HVAC repair, HVAC installers, Air Infiltration, Air pressure, Thermal Comfort, Indoor Air Quality, HVAC Operation and Maintenance, HVAC design, HVAC how to install, air ducts, air ducting, ventilation air ducts, conditioned air, outlet vents, air diffusers, air through, return air, air return, HARDI standards, ASHRAE standards, SMACNA standards, ACCA standards, Uniform Mechanical Code HVAC standards, AMCA standards. Home repair and maintenance. Home installation of HVAC.