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You've probably seen the letters HVAC before and either wondered what they mean or possibly assumed it meant some type of vacuum cleaner system. In HVAC, the letters stand for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning or cooling systems for your Buy PPMhome or business. For the average person, thoughts regarding HVAC usually begin and end with pushing the heat control thermostat up or down and turning on the air conditioning on hot days.

Heating systems generally consist of furnaces, boilers and burners that heat an entire home or business. Air conditioning units can either be installed individually in each room or in a whole house or business system.

Types of Heating Systems

There are different types of heating systems, the types being driven by the kinds of fuel used to generate the heat and the way that that heat is delivered to your home or business. There are four main fuels used to generate heat for your home or business: oil, natural gas, propane gas and electricity. (Some people use wood, pellets or coal in stoves and fireplaces but these do not usually have the ability to heat an entire house or business, just a room or two.)

Oil heat, from oil wells and refineries, is brought to you by your oil company and is transferred and measured by the gallon from their trucks into your oil tank, which may be located inside or outside your home or business. Natural gas, measured in cubic feet, comes to a pipe in your house or business from pipelines in the street, which are connected to a series of other larger and larger lines which tap into pockets of natural gas found in the earth's crust. Propane gas is delivered in pre-packaged, pre-sized metal tanks usually attached to your house or business. Once the fuels have been connected to your house or business to create heat, they have to send the heat in some form around your house or business.

The heat can come to you in the form of water-based steam which flows through radiators or pipes. It can come through baseboards through pipes containing very hot water. It can come through air vents and registers which pump heated air through the floors or walls. It can come through coils of electricity along baseboards in your walls.

If you use oil or gas as a source of heat, you need a boiler fueled by that gas or oil to take water and heat it up to very high temperatures before the steam or hot water circulates through your home or business through a system of your choice. One of the main components of your system is the burner which ignites the oil or gas creating the heat which warms the water or creates the steam. Your furnace also contains filters which screen out impurities in the oil or gas. Normally your heating system contains one or more thermostats which allow you to regulate how much heat you want to let into the living area.

Air Conditioning Systems

You can buy individual air conditioning units for particular rooms or you can buy whole house or business units which cool everywhere all at once. In whole house or business systems, the motor for the air conditioner is normally located outside, covered by some sort of housing. The size of the air conditioner is normally measured in BTUs, or British Thermal Units. In plain English, that means how much energy do you need to generate to keep the amount of room area you have cool enough to satisfy your needs. The outdoor air conditioner motor and its condenser are connected to a blower which sends cool air through a series of ducts or vents throughout the inside.

Importance of Preventive Maintenance

Even from the very simple explanation of the types of heating systems listed above, you can imagine that each type of system consists of hundreds of parts which all require cleaning, adjusting or sometimes replacing.

Buy PPMThe same way that you need to have your car's oil changed or parts lubricated, or other items inspected or replaced, you must do the same with your heating and air conditioning systems. You want your systems to run safely, reliably and efficiently. If you think about it, consider how many more hours a day your heating or air conditioning systems must function for you than even your truck or automobile. The same way that your vehicle ages over time, so do your heating and air conditioning systems. There are ways to prolong the lives of your systems and make them operate more efficiently. The best way is routine, preventive maintenance.

The parts to your furnaces, burners and air conditioners are strongly tested in day to day use and they begin to wear out and age. Just for the heck of it, one day, just listen to how many times your furnace turns on and shuts off in a day. The expansion and contraction of the boiler as it works with your burner and heat exchanger really taxes your system.

Buy PPMThrough preventive maintenance, a company examines all of the parts of your systems. They check your filters, ducts, vents, settings on various components, leaks of air or water, dirt in your coils, vents or registers, holes which might let in carbon monoxide. They check for worn out parts or note sections that need replacing. They check to see if your air conditioners have enough refrigerant to keep things cold and that your oil or gas tanks indicate the correct amount of fuel. Maintenance also assesses the amount of humidity or dryness in your house created by your systems. That's important because mold or dry rot can happen if your systems are not properly adjusted.

Not only does preventive maintenance ensure your systems' safety and reliability, it saves you money. If heat or air conditioning is being lost up your chimney or through your pipes, walls or registers because your systems are not running at their correct efficiency, then you are truly throwing money out the window. A dirty oil burner or dirty outdoor air conditioner coils can be very costly to you. They mean that your systems run longer and harder than necessary, cost you more not only on a day to day basis, but also in the long run on the total lifespan of your systems. Who wants to throw money away? We all work too hard to make it. Be smart. Maintain your systems.
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