HVAC is an acronym that most homeowners and business people encounter at one time or another. It stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The service people and companies who deal with the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry are known as HVAC contractors, HVAC companies, HVAC installation services. Most are fully capable in all areas of HVAC installation, service, maintenance, repair, and replacement. Some are more specialized in one area or another, such as those that work on commercial and industrial HVAC systems as opposed to the more common residential systems. Whatever your HVAC needs may be, a local HVAC contractor, HVAC company, or HVAC installation service can surely help to meet them.
In this guide, we’re going to look at some of the basics of HVAC companies, including the differences between HVAC contractors, HVAC companies, and HVAC installation services. We’ll also highlight the two main areas of HVAC work that most people are concerned with – heating and cooling systems, both from an installation standpoint and from a maintenance and repair standpoint. We’ll briefly touch on the differences between residential and commercial HVAC companies. Then, we’ll close by providing you with some guidance on how to choose the right HVAC company, HVAC contractor, or HVAC installation service for your needs.
First, it’s instructive to look at the differences between HVAC contractors, HVAC companies, and HVAC installation services. These three names are often used interchangeably by some but are more appropriately broken down into three key areas or specialties. Specifically, HVAC contractors and HVAC companies are mostly similar. Both are typically full-service providers, meaning they handle planning, installation, maintenance, and repair. In general parlance, though, HVAC contractors are more often associated with building projects and commercial/industrial settings, whereas HVAC companies can be consumer-focused or commercial/industrial. That, of course, is not a hard rule, however, and there is often a lot of overlap.
At the same time, HVAC installation services quite plainly wear their primary specialty on their sleeve – the installation of HVAC systems. They may or may not provide HVAC maintenance and repair service. They also may or may not handle the planning and design phase of ventilation systems. It can vary considerably by the HVAC company. As always, it’s best to check the capabilities and services listed on the website of any potential HVAC contractor, HVAC company, or HVAC installation service you consider hiring before arranging an appointment.
One of the two principal activities of HVAC contractors, HVAC companies, and the primary domain of HVAC installation services, is the installation of heating and cooling systems. For our purposes, this includes all the activities related to the design, planning, and implementation of HVAC systems in homes, offices, or industrial settings. In the case of residential consumers, that can mean the installation of a new heater or air conditioning system in a home. For a newly built structure or a structure under construction, that can include selecting the appropriate kind of HVAC system, figuring out ducting pathways and airflow requirements, and so on. It varies based on the project or work area of the HVAC contractor, HVAC company, or HVAC installation service in question.
In general, however, these service providers often have all the training and expertise needed to plan, design, and install HVAC systems. Many – especially full-service HVAC companies or HVAC installation services – may also stock and sell the primary components of these systems themselves. It’s not unusual for HVAC companies to sell several brands or lines of heating and cooling systems, and often have those systems in stock for same-day installation (at least in the case of residential customers).
Their skillsets draw on engineering, electrical, plumbing, and related disciplines, since all those systems often work together for home and commercial heating, ventilation, and cooling. Some HVAC contractors or HVAC companies may only specialize in specific systems types, such as only working with forced-air heaters that are electric or natural-gas-powered. Others may be experienced and work on boilers, baseboard heater systems, and various and exotic fuel types like biomass. The same is correct when it comes to the kind of cooling systems and installations that these HVAC companies may undertake. But the bottom line is when you need a heating or cooling system designed or installed, HVAC contractors, HVAC companies, or HVAC installation services are the right place to turn.
In addition to their planning, design, and installation duties, many HVAC contractors, HVAC companies, and HVAC installation services providers also perform HVAC repair and maintenance tasks. Regular maintenance and preventative maintenance can help ensure maximum performance of HVAC systems, and help owners to get the maximum work-life out of these expensive appliances and systems. As HVAC companies have all the skills and equipment to install these systems, it only makes logical sense that many of them diagnose and repair issues with them as well.
In the event of a repair or maintenance issue, most HVAC contractors and HVAC companies can offer replacements of faulty or end-of-life components of the system, and even install new primary components, often the same day. That is especially true when, as mentioned earlier, these HVAC companies stock and sell the main system components direct to their customers in addition to their HVAC installation and repair services. After all, most people don’t shop for a heater or cooling system as a luxury – it’s a necessity, and they only think about it when something broken or not working and need a new one. In those cases, HVAC contractors, HVAC companies, and HVAC installation services can be your “best friend”!
HVAC contractors, HVAC companies, and HVAC installation services often specialize in either residential or commercial/industrial systems. Many HVAC companies service both residential and commercial (office-style) customers. However, in many cases, the HVAC systems, while working on the same principles, are so vastly different in size and scope, that they can require different skill sets, expertise, and equipment for commercial systems. Therefore, many HVAC companies that consumers deal with tend to stick to primarily residential and small business commercial customers at most. Large offices, skyscrapers, warehouses, industrial settings, and similar often have their own specialized HVAC companies, HVAC contractors, or HVAC installation services.
Now when you know a bit more about HVAC contractors, HVAC companies, and HVAC installation services, you are much better prepared to choose an HVAC installation services provider for your HVAC project or service needs. Often, people pick a name based on search results. But it’s worth taking a little time and doing some research so that you know the work will be done correctly at a fair price. To that end, we offer up the following key categories that you should consider when evaluating any HVAC contractor, HVAC company, or HVAC installation service.
If you live anywhere in the world where the temperature drops below 50°F as the daytime high at any time of the year, it’s very likely your home or office has some form of a heating system. Home and office heating (along with the later development of air conditioning) are one of the first modern conveniences that have allowed humanity to thrive, work, and live comfortably year-round in cold climates. Of course, there are many various types of home and office heating devices, with different fuels, heat capacities, life spans, and associated details. In most cases, however, fixed heating systems for the home or office must be installed by professionals, such as heating boiler installation services and central heating system installation services.
These pros are trained and knowledgeable about tasks associated with the heating equipment installation process. Depending on the type of heating system chosen for the home, that can include electrical, plumbing, natural gas, and mechanical engineering expertise, along with general construction/contractor type skill sets. Many heating boiler installation services and central heating system installation services do not necessarily limit their options for products and services offered to a single type of boilers or fuel. Therefore, they are often knowledgeable in the whole range of HVAC solutions for homes and offices and can help consumers to choose the best choice for their needs.
In our guide, below, we’ll cover some of the basics about heating boiler installation services and central heating system installation services, such as the differences between these two types of companies, considerations on fuel and boiler types for consumers, and the heating installation process and associated tasks.
The terms heating boiler installation services and central heating system installation services have different meanings. In practical terms, heating boiler installation services are mainly focused on boiler-type heating systems and their installation into homes. Central heating system installation services, on the other hand, may encompass boilers, but also gas and electric-fired forced-air furnaces and other central heating equipment and elements. In most cases, however, neither of these terms may be used for companies that perform these services. Far more typically, they simply refer to themselves as heating and cooling companies, or HVAC companies, and offer the full range of services associated with all types of heating and cooling systems.
When in doubt about whether a company handles the kinds of equipment or type of system(s) you are looking to have installed in your home, the best place to look is at the company’s website (or give them a call). Usually, this will list the specialties or heating and cooling system types that the central heating system installation provider typically handles. The different heater types that heating boiler installation services and central heating system installation services may offer are described in the next section.
There are various types of heating systems and different fuel-type heating equipment for each of these systems. Any type of heating system has its pros and cons depending upon the environment, climate, home or business type, layout, size, and heating needs of the consumer. The central division is between boiler-type systems and furnace-type heating systems (at least regarding central heating systems – there are plenty of more specific divisions in portable or room heater systems).
The main difference between a boiler and furnace-style heating system is that furnace systems distribute hot air, while boiler systems distribute hot liquid or steam. A furnace uses a fan and heating mechanism (typically natural gas, oil, or electric) that feeds into a heat exchanger. The air blowing from the fan over the heat exchanger circulates through the duct and vent work in a home or office to the various rooms and areas. A boiler, on the other hand, uses fuel to heat water in a closed heating system, then the heat energy is distributed throughout the home or office in the form of circulating hot water or circulating steam. Various heating fixtures such as radiators, baseboard heaters, integrated flooring heating coils, and similar give back the heat energy from the system to the room air. Different types of fuels may be used including electric, natural gas, oil, wood, biofuels, etc.
These fundamental differences mean there are pros and cons to both heating furnaces and heating boilers. Experts from heating boiler installation services, if specified as such, will be concerned with heating boilers, whereas central heating system installation services may offer a broader range of options, including heating boilers and furnaces alike. Regardless of which kind of company you choose, or if they are a multi-purpose HVAC company offering all services, the pros and cons of these different types of heating devices include:
Whether you choose a heating boiler or furnace, the appropriate heating boiler installation services or central heating system installation services providers will generally follow a mostly similar process of home preparation and heating installation. If this is the first heating system to be installed in a home, these steps are usually done in concert with the home builder, before finishing walls and floors. Otherwise, the choice of what kind of heating system to install may be dictated by existing home parameters – if you already have ducts, it makes the most sense to go with a furnace, and if you already have steam pipes or hot water heating pipes, to go with the relevant type of heating boiler. Otherwise, you will need much more considerable prep work and renovations to install the necessary heating distribution systems in the home.
Our below prep and central heating installation process overview assume that existing appropriate matching distribution systems for the chosen heating boiler or furnace are already present in the house.
The air ventilation systems push air through the air ductwork in your home. Delivering, the ambient air to the desired space. We usually use it to control the state of indoor air quality, temperature, and dehumidification purposes. Thus, diluting and displacing indoor air pollutants. Moreover, creating a more comfortable environment for your home. Most of the homes have centralized air ventilation, heating, air conditioning systems. These air ventilation systems move warm or cold air throughout the house. The air ductwork is the means of transportation for the air.
Think of the air ventilation system ductwork as an air highway, with different off-ramps. There is a central highway that moves the air to the various off-ramps. These off-ramps from the main road direct the air to specific places in your home via air vents. How well your ventilation system will work depends on the design and skill of the air ventilation system installation service company and the ductwork-ventilation system installers that installed and maintained the ventilation system.
There are many varieties of air ventilation systems, but the centralized ductwork is the delivery system for all mechanical air ventilation systems. Depending on the layout of the home your air ductwork may be in the attic of your home or the crawl space underneath the house.
You should know where ductworks are located because it is necessary to visually inspect them for any rips, holes, tears, or animal activity. If you are not confident or cannot check it yourself, you should call the air ventilation system installation and maintenance service company to have them out to check for you.
Animal activity and damage, particularly in the winter, are regular. Have the ventilation system installation and maintenance service come out to make sure you are not heating or cooling your crawl space. If this type of damage found, you may call the ductwork-ventilation system installation and maintenance services company out to repair it. That is a problem that can cost you much on your energy bills.
The way air ventilation systems are installed can have a significant effect on the efficiency of the air ventilation system. The main factors that can affect this are the design and layout of the air ductwork. Moreover, it can be dependent on the decisions made by the ductwork-ventilation system installers.
The location of your vents and the placement of your returns depend on the installation services provider that installed the unit. Poor design and layout of the air ductwork by the ductwork-ventilation system installers and improper positioning of the ductwork will create some severe efficiency problems.
The other factor that can have a severe impact on your home's air quality, heating, cooling efficiency is adequate air ventilation system maintenance. You should check with the air ventilation system installation - a maintenance company that installed your air ventilation system on when and how to maintain it correctly.
Some air ventilation systems have one substantial return, and others may have several return vents. These vents pull the air in the room back to the central system. Thus, giving the air ventilation system information via the thermostat on the temperature. The thermostat adjusts the temperature to the desired setting.
At any rate, a poorly laid-out design can cause an uncomfortable draft. Incorrect air ventilation system installation can create air stagnancy. If the vents and the returns are too close to one another, the fresh air will mix with the stale air. Thus, producing poor quality stale air and decrease the energy efficiency of the whole air ventilation system.
Any of these things can lead to a higher power bill and lousy air quality for the household. Either way, all air ventilation systems are going to have a filter. Your air ventilation system filter should be changed a minimum of once per month, for maximum efficiency. If you have high traffic, pets, or live in a dusty climate, you may want to change it more often.
You may live in a very dusty area or have shedding pets or some other factor that causes your air filter to clog or fill with dust and debris more quickly than usual. Any amount of drag on this filtration screen can lead to some severe problems with your air ventilation system. Overworking the air ventilation systems by excess resistance is damaging to the system and will raise your energy bill. The air ventilation system is being overworked.
Keeping this filter clean and clear will go a long way in protecting all the components of your HVAC system, this will also prevent overworking the air ventilation system. Imagine all the filth and allergens going directly into your ventilation system, filling your air ductwork with the same things you see on your filter screen. Clean filters and air ductwork can save and prolong the life of your ventilation systems.
If you keep your filter clean and doing everything you are supposed to do to keep your air ventilation system running efficiently and smoothly, that is great! However, is your ductwork out of sight, out of mind? Guess what? Regular everyday living can create over forty pounds of dust per year.
If you have some of the other external factors I mentioned above, it could be more. Yes, I said forty pounds of dust, dander, skin cells, animal hair, and more! These can contribute to the dust collection within your air ventilation system ductwork; and, that is seriously disgusting!
If that is not enough for you, remember you are breathing this air all the time. It is not a healthy situation. If your home is in a humid climate, you may add mold to the list.
So, we all know we are not pulling forty pounds of dust a year with just our filters. There is more to maintaining your HVAC systems ductwork than just changing your filters. What these filters fail to catch; over time, ends up in your air ventilation system.
Settling into your coils and ductwork, causing your air ventilation system to get clogged and blow dirty allergen filed air right back out into your home for you and your family to breathe.
Breathing this contaminated dusty air is not only a bit disgusting but can cause illnesses. Some of these illnesses can be fatal. If any family member has asthma or another chronic respiratory disease, what comes out of those vents can make things worse.
This issue can also cause you to have a sick house or building, especially if there is a mold issue. So, air duct cleaning is a seriously important factor in the maintenance of your air ventilation system.
The odds are relatively substantial; it is time for an air duct cleaning. If you have been in your current place for three to five years without cleaning your air ventilation systems, it is time.
If you have not lived there very long and you do not know when the last cleaning provided. It advised calling the air ventilation installation and repair service company that installed the unit and ask to check if they have any maintenance records. Three to five years seems to be the magic number.
Alternatively, if you open your vents and see the same stuff you find in your filter. It is time to have air ventilation systems ductwork cleaned.
Do you have to dust more than usual? Do you feel like your house gets dusty a lot faster than others? An overly dirty home can be a sign that you need an air system cleaning done. Is there poor airflow coming from the vents when in use? Do allergies or symptoms of illness return when the unit is in use? These can be signs that the air ductwork needs to be cleaned by the air ventilation system installation and maintenance service company.
Make sure you are taking decent care of your air ventilation system. This action is essential for your wallet and the life of your air ventilation systems. If you have family members, who seem ill all the time with respiratory illnesses or allergies when they are in the home. You should check your vents, it does not sound that important from the outset, but the gunk in your air ventilation systems could be making you ill.
We have discussed many aspects of air ventilation systems. We know that to maximize the energy efficiency of the air ventilation system, it must be adequately installed and maintained. These activities include changing your filters, making visual inspections, and having the ductwork-ventilation system installers or installation and maintenance services out for repairs, and annual maintenance by a licensed air ventilation system (HVAC) specialist is a real necessity. Visually inspect the inside of your vents for large dust particles and debris. If you can see it there, you know it is further inside the air ductwork. If you have allergies and symptoms, seem to worsen when the air ventilation systems are running, this is an indication you need the ductwork cleaned. Proper maintenance and care will go a long way in taking care of the air ventilation system and your health.