High efficiency ductless air conditioners and heat pumps that can both cool and heat all year long.
The term HVAC is no longer a new word that only engineering-savvy people use. HVAC, the acronym for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, is the technology of indoor environmental comfort. Lets help you demystify some of the industry terms you may hear regarding HVAC.
A Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system maintains the indoor environment at a specified temperature and humidity level. The HVAC system draws in fresh outside air, filters it, adjusts its temperature, and then distributes it to each room, while also exhausting stale air from the building.
A British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the amount of heat required to change the temperature of 1 lb of water by 1° Fahrenheit. The indoor heating/cooling capacity of HVAC systems such as air conditioners and heat pumps is properly expressed as BTU per hour, but is often shortened to BTU.
Heat pumps are essentially air conditioners that can be reversed in the winter to provide energy-efficient heating. A heat pump generally costs more up front than an air conditioner because it is an all-in-one home comfort solution, while an air conditioner must be paired with a heating system, purchased separately.
A mini-split is a ductless air conditioner or heat pump consisting of an outdoor condenser unit and several indoor units. Each indoor unit operates independently so heating/cooling can be controlled on a room-by-room basis. Thanks to their modular design, mini-splits are highly energy efficient and easy to install, even in older houses.
Ductless mini-split air conditioners have become very popular in Canada for their versatility, energy efficiency, ease of installation, and convenience. Panasonic mini-splits are considered among the best on the market because they must pass a series of rigorous tests for durability, water resistance, shock resistance, efficiency, quiet operation, and electromagnetic compatibility.
Mini-split air conditioners and heat pumps efficiently control the indoor environment on a room-by-room basis, making them a smart choice for energy-conscious consumers. Innovations like Panasonic ECONAVI sensors can further reduce energy consumption by intelligently adjusting the temperature in response to the intensity of sunlight and level of human activity.
HVAC systems like air conditioners and heat pumps use filters to remove dust, pollen and other pollutants from incoming air. A filter’s ability to capture airborne particles is described by its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), a number between 1 and 16. In ascending order of MERV rating, the 4 main types of filters are fibreglass, electrostatic, pleated and high-efficiency.
Residential HVAC systems typically differ from commercial HVAC in 5 key ways:
Homeowners should evaluate the total cost of an HVAC system based on the initial installed cost, operating costs—energy, maintenance and repair—and expected service life. There is usually a trade-off between purchase price and energy consumption, meaning highly efficient systems cost more up front but incur lower energy costs.
Local building codes often require permits for a new residential air conditioner or heat pump so it is highly recommended that homeowners let qualified contractors install these systems. An HVAC professional can secure the correct permits and quickly install a safe, optimized solution that is guaranteed to pass municipal inspections.
Air conditioning is about creating desired air environments for occupants or objects inside. You might not need more than one unit to cool or heat the living space of your house or apartment. For larger buildings, however, service designers and mechanical engineers are needed to design and specify HVAC systems appropriate to the analyzed requirements and limitations.
Whatever size space you have, you should work with an HVAC professional to pick one that best fits the size and requirements of the rooms, provides comfort, and saves power.