Heating and Cooling Systems: What You Need to Know
All climate control devices have three basic components: an air source, a means of distribution and a control centre. When a heating or cooling system malfunctions, the problem could lie in any one of these three components.
The sources of warm air, such as a furnace, and cool air, such as an air conditioner, often use the same distribution and control systems. For example, if your house has central air conditioning, cold air flows through the same ducts that hot air flows through and is regulated by the same thermostat. Most heating and cooling systems in Winnipeg burn fuel, such as gas or oil, while air conditioners use electricity.
Once the air is warmed or cooled at the source, it is channelled through ducts, pipes and wires, and blown out of air vents, radiators and heating panels to reach the various living areas in your home. There are three main distribution systems:
- Forced-air systems use an electrically powered fan, or blower, to push the air through a series of ducts to reach the rooms in your home. As warm air flows out, cold air flows down to the furnace through another set of ducts for reheating. Central air conditioning systems work much the same way, distributing cold air throughout the house and bringing back warm air for cooling.
- Gravity systems operate on the principle that hot air rises and cold air sinks. The warm air flows from the furnace, located below the floor, to the air vents and rises toward the ceiling. As the air cools, it sinks and flows back to the furnace for reheating. It is important to note that gravity systems are not useful in distributing cool air from air conditioners.
- Radiant systems function by warming radiators found in walls, floors and ceilings, which then warm the surrounding air. The most common means of radiant heat distribution systems rely on a hot water heating system, where a pump circulates hot water from the boiler to the radiators. Like gravity systems, radiant systems are not useful in distributing cool air from air conditioners.
The thermostat represents the command centre; it is the basic control that regulates the temperature of your home. It responds to changes in air temperature and turns the furnace or air conditioner on or off as needed to maintain your home’s temperature at the programmed level.
Understanding how the heating and cooling systems in Winnipeg households will help you head off problems before they become too serious. Nonetheless, annual maintenance by a certified professional is recommended to ensure your home’s climate control systems operate at maximum efficiency.
Call Sarte Heating & Cooling Ltd. for all of your air conditioning and heating repair needs in Winnipeg. From routine boiler maintenance to speedy furnace repairs, our experienced team of technicians will get the job done right, so that you and your family can enjoy a comfortable living experience all year round.