Heating and cooling system in your house is perhaps the most underrated piece of equipment you own. After the HVAC installation, people hardly remember that these HVAC systems require maintenance and care until they come across an AC repair situation. But there are some hidden techniques to handle AC maintenance & repair and minimize the HVAC repair cost. One of the best ways to do so is ensuring proper distribution of the heated and cooled air from your HVAC system.
People hardly realize the importance of HVAC air distribution in their house. We only think of the heating and air conditioning part, which just half of the entire process. Once the air is heated by the heat pumps, Gas Furnaces or other heating systems, OR, the air is cooled by your air conditioning units, it has to reach in all your rooms to ensure the room temperature is at your comfort level.
It’s not only about the temperature. The humidity level also depends on how efficiently the air is being distributed in your home. That’s why the air distribution system in your home should not be taken lightly.
Some of the most efficient heating and cooling distribution system is Gravity systems, Forced-Air systems, and Radiant systems. Let’s talk about them briefly –
1. Forced-Air System
Forced-Air system is perhaps the most commonly used HVAC distribution used all over the world. This distribution system distributes the heated air from the furnace or the cooled air from the central ac unit into your home.
This is done by using a powerful electric fan. This electric fan is called a blower because it acts like a bowler – meaning, it is so powerful that it can easily blow lightweight things from its face.
This powerful electric blower blows the heated or cooled air through the metal air vents or air ducts. Quick side note, more powerful this electric blower will be the more you will save from the air duct cleaning cost – thought you should know.
Anyways, let’s get back to the Forced-Air system.
Contrary to what most people think, this distribution system requires two different sets of air ducts or air vents. One set of air ducts is used to pass the heated air from the gas furnaces while the other one is used to pass the cool air from each room. This cold air is then sent to the furnace for heating.
The best part of this distribution system is its adjustability. Depending on your needs, you can either increase or decrease the amount of air flow into your rooms.
And as for the cooling part, the central air conditioner in your home will use the same HVAC air distribution system to pass the cold air in the rooms and gather the warm air from the rooms, which will then be sent to the central air conditioning units for cooling.
However, these Forced-Air systems have a number of downsides too. More often than not, you will hear the blower’s noise in your house. Besides, blowing malfunction is also very common, which will later pile up as AC repair or HVAC repair cost. Along with the AC repair cost, the fuel consumption will also contribute to the overall HVAC cost, which is a big concern.
Even after all these drawbacks, Forced-Air system is very popular due to the fact that it employs a blower which is an efficient way to pass heated or cold air in different rooms of your home.
2. Gravity System
The second one we are going to talk about is these Gravity systems.
Even though the name seems a bit fancy for an air distribution system, it uses a very common principle of physics.
Can you take a wild guess?
- Gravity, not so wild, right?
This heating distribution system uses gravity to ensure the air is reaching its destination. The general idea is – since heated air or warm air rises and cold air sinks, we can pass the warm air with gravity. As a result, this distribution system can only be used to distribute warm air and not the cold air that is passed from your air conditioner.
In this gravity system, the gas furnace is usually located below or close to the floor. The heated air then flows the air ducts to registers on the floor. However, if the furnace is located on the main floor of your house, the heat registers will be positioned high on the walls as the registers must always be higher compared to the furnace. This is how the warn or heated air rises towards the room ceiling.
When that air on top cools down, it sinks and gradually returns on the air ducts. From there, the air is passed into the furnace where it is heated again before passing through the air ducts again.
3. Radiant System
Lastly, we are going to talk about the radiant system.
These radiant systems work by heating the ceiling, walls or floor of the rooms, more commonly, heating the radiators in the room. These radiators or floors, ceiling, walls, etc. then heat up the air to make the room comfortable.
Since these consume a lot of electricity, these systems are used mostly in places where electricity is comparatively cheaper. Also, similar to the Gravity systems, these radiator systems also distribute cold air.
The complexity of the radiator system doesn’t end there. Along with AC services & repair, you will have to bear additional costs to fix the faults in the panels or pipes used in this system.
Let’s Sum It Up
So, if you are looking for an inexpensive option that can distribute both heated and chilled air, the Forced-Air system is the best option for you. But along with the adjustability and flexibility to use both warm and cold air, these come with noise an additional AC repair costs.
But if you are only looking for heated air distribution either of the Gravity system and Radiant system will be an ideal pick for you. However, setting up the radiator system can be costly and the frequent malfunctions can affect total AC repair cost, keep that in mind.