A full understanding of any trade will come with its share of quirky facts. To veterans of the field, these bits of information will come across as nothing out of the ordinary. But to those who are new to it, they can come as a bit of surprise.
The Winchester HVAC industry certainly has its fair share of surprises, especially if it’s something you know very little about. From system functions to their impact on modern building design, these are the top six unusual facts about HVAC!
1. HVAC Systems Do Not Bring in Fresh Air.
Most people know that HVAC systems are responsible for producing high indoor air quality, but it does not bring fresh air from outside the home; the idea that it does often manifests on account of an air conditioner location outside of the house. Despite equipment being located outside, the system’s function is to move, cool, and heat air that already exists within the home.
2. AC Systems Can Only Cool the Air 20 Degrees.
While there may be some exceptions, most air conditioning systems can only cool the air in your home, about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. That means that if it’s 100 degrees, the system can only bring temperatures down to about 80 degrees.
Luckily, indoor temperatures are typically cooler than outdoor temperatures on hot days, meaning you can expect the home to remain comfortable. Though, if you are uncomfortably hot, resisting the urge to lower thermostat settings is essential in avoiding overworking and damaging the air conditioner. Instead, means of circulating the air are a better option.
3. Air Conditioners Reduce Humidity.
An air conditioner’s function is to cycle air within a room. Warm air goes in, and cold air returns. The air is cooled as it passes through the evaporator coil within the system. As this happens, moisture will be pulled from the air, which works to reduce humidity. It’s important to note that even though AC systems pull some moisture from the air, it isn’t a dedicated dehumidifier. A dehumidifier may still be desirable in high-humidity environments.
4. Duct Size is Everything.
At surface value, one may quickly assume that ductwork is nothing more than the avenue of which air flows throughout the home. Despite appearances, size, length, and even shape must all be calculated. Technicians balance design with the capabilities of the systems, size of the house, and the rooms within.
All of these factors will determine how effectively an HVAC system can do its job as it will impact how well air will flow to each room in the home. Technicians use calculations paired with special tools to choose appropriate ductwork and design this part of the system. Attention to detail is essential as a poor job will hinder the effects an HVAC system will have on a home.
5. Refrigerant is Hot?
Most folks have likely noticed that the back of their refrigerator or that some AC lines are hot. This can be quite odd to think about as this heat is produced by parts of the system that are responsible for cooling air.
Refrigerant has a low boiling point (40-50 degrees Fahrenheit) as it passes through the evaporator coils; the process of evaporation causes the refrigerant to pull heat out of the air, which is how the home is cooled. As the refrigerant continues through the system, it will reach higher temperatures of about 120 degrees until entering the expansion tank, where it returns to a liquid state and restarts its cycle.
6. Air Conditioning Defined Modern Architecture.
Before HVAC systems, architects had to rely on nature to cycle airflow within buildings. Windows positively contribute to this ability but were not the only ace-in-the-hole; high ceilings, breezeways, and even landscaping would all be factored into home design to help aid airflow. While this design’s undoubtedly shaped some of the most beautiful buildings, it did have some natural limits. While the impacts of HVAC systems are noticeable within the average modern-home, many believe that today’s skyscrapers could not exist without HVAC systems.
HVAC systems are far from the strangest operating systems in the world. Once you get to know them, they can be quite simple to understand. But like anything else, the quirks and lesser-known facts make it all the more enjoyable. Hopefully, these facts help you understand and appreciate HVAC systems even more than you already do!