Home Heating, Cooling, and Air Filtering Equipment
The HVAC system in any home or business consists of more than a few components that work together to ensure a temperate indoor climate is maintained. Between the furnaces, air conditioners, vents, ductwork, and HVAC air filters available on the market, there are many choices when it comes to customizing an HVAC system to the specific needs of a building based on interior design, available space, and other factors.What are some different kinds of furnace systems?
- In addition to natural air and forced draft models, there are also condensing furnaces. This system uses a sealed combustion chamber, draft inducer, and secondary heat exchanger to maintain fuel efficiency levels above 90%. PVC intake and exhaust vent pipes are generally used and are installed parallel to each other through the sidewall of a structure.
- Sometimes warming needs are restricted to one room or area of a building, and that is what a portable heater is designed for. There are some models that use kerosene or propane as a fuel source, but most of them are electric. In the case of the electric models, they work by using the energy source to heat metal coils inside the unit. There is a fan behind the element that blows the heat outward into the environment.
- Central air conditioners are designed to cool an entire structure. The unit usually sits outdoors and pumps cold air inside through a series of ducts that culminate at vents either located in the floors or ceiling.
- Portable or window-mounted air conditioners can be used for cooling a single room where installation of a more complex ductless system is not desirable. They mount in the window with the condensation tube and air intake outside and the cool air exhaust and controls inside.
In the 1990s, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE, started implementing indoor air quality ratings to form standards that different industries, including HVAC, could use. One way in which ASHRAE has been doing this is by promoting a minimum efficiency reporting system to standardize the measurement of the ability of air filters to remove particles and dust. There are multiple options for HVAC air filters which are described below.
- Fiberglass air filters are the most common option for your system. They have layered fiberglass placed perpendicularly to form the air filter and typically have a metal grating to support the material and keep it from collapsing.
- Polyester and pleated air filters are similar in design to the fiberglass models but generally have higher resistance to airflow, leading to more particles being caught in the filter.
- High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance, commonly called HEPA, air filters are designed to filter out microscopic particles passing through your system. These filters are a commonly chosen by hospitals, engineering labs, and other commercial locations requiring a clean environment. HEPA air filters are rated to catch all particles .3 microns or larger. To put that size in perspective, a single human hair is roughly 75 microns across.