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The Common Components of HVAC Systems

Understanding thermal energy and how HVAC systems can be used to harness heat energy in commercial and residential buildings is important to multiple stakeholders including building owners, real estate developers, utilities and occupants.  In this article we focus on answering the most common questions we hear – what are the common components of HVAC and why is it relevant? We also reveal some interesting facts.

If you would like to know more, feel free to get in touch.

Common HVAC components and their uses

HVAC systems vary in terms of the individual components and how they are set up within a building. Below you can see that most systems contain nine common elements:

  • Boilers (1) produce hot water (or sometimes steam) for distribution to the working space. This is done either by heating coils (2) which heat air as part of the ventilation system, or through hot water pipes to radiators (3);
  • Cooling equipment (4) chills water for pumping to cooling coils (5);
  • Treated air is then blown over the chilled water coils into the space to be cooled (6) through the ventilation system. As part of the refrigeration cycle in the chiller, heat must also be rejected from the system via a cooling tower or condenser (7);
  • Pumps are used throughout the system to circulate chilled and hot water to areas throughout a building;
  • Stale air is extracted, usually using a fan, via separate ducts and expelled outside (8);
  • Controls are used to make components work together efficiently. They turn equipment on or off and adjust chillers and boilers, air and water flow rates, temperatures and pressures. A controller incorporating one or more temperature sensors (9) inside the work space sends a signal to the heating or cooling coils to activate;
  • If there is a demand for heating or cooling, controls can be designed to send signals to the chiller and boiler. There are often other control panels on the chiller or boiler too, allowing users more control.

Image courtesy of CarbonTrust.com

Did you know?

  • Energy demand in approximately 450,000 commercial and institutional facilities across Canada grew by over 35% between 1990-2004, driven by increases in floor space and the use of auxiliary equipment.
  • The combined number of commercial buildings and industrial facilities in the United States is nearly 6 million. Annual energy costs for U.S. commercial buildings and industrial facilities is $400 billion. The portion of energy in buildings used inefficiently or unnecessarily is 30%.

Learn more

Interested to know more about HVAC, refrigeration and plumbing solutions – especially the benefits and payback – why not drop us a line? Contact lryan@enersolv.ca.

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What is Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning?


Insights courtesy of CarbonTrust.com – Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) energy efficiencyNatural Resources Canada – HVAC & Energy Systems, Wikipedia – HVACEnergy Star – Buildings and Plants, Energy.gov – History of Air Conditioning.