Selecting a Suitable Heating, Ventilating, or Air Conditioning System

There are a number of different types of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning equipment and systems available for installation in the home. The problem is choosing the most efficient one in terms of the installation and operating costs. These factors, in turn, are directly related to one’s particular heating and cooling require­ments. The system must be the correct size for the home. Any rep­utable building contractor or heating and air conditioning firm should be able to advise you in this matter.

If you are having a heating and ventilating or air conditioning system installed in an older house, be sure to check the construc­tion. Weather stripping is the easiest place to start. All doors and windows should be weather-stripped to prevent heat loss. Adequate weather stripping can cut heating costs by as much as 15 to 20 percent. If the windows provide suitable protection (they should be double — or triple-glazed) from the winter cold, check the caulking around the edge of the glass. If it is cracking or crumbling, replace it with fresh caulking. You may even want to go to the expense of insulating the ceilings and outside walls. This is where a great deal of heat loss and air leakage occurs.

You have several advantages when you are building your own house. For example, you may be able to determine the location of your house on the lot. This should enable you to establish the direc­tion in which the main rooms and largest windows face. If you position your house so that these rooms and windows face south, you will gain maximum sunlight and heat from the sun during the cold winter months. This will reduce the heat requirement and heating costs. The quality of construction depends on how much you wish to spend and the reliability of the contractor. It is advis­able to purchase the best insulation you can afford. Your reduced heating costs will eventually pay for the added cost of the insula­tion. If you suspect that your building contractor cannot be trusted, you can reduce opportunities for cheating and careless work by making frequent and unexpected visits to the construction site.

Posted in Audel HVAC Fundamentals Volume 1 Heating Systems, Furnaces, and Boilers