Excessive heat or cold in indoor spaces causes discomfort that is hard to endure. For this reason, having an efficient HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system is essential in both businesses and residences to ensure comfort according to the season.

In essence, the basic notions of HVAC seem simple, but understanding the technology behind it is somewhat complex. Indeed, an HVAC system consists of a network of components that, when coordinated, regulate the temperature, air quality, and humidity of residential and commercial indoor spaces.

Certainly, in businesses, climate control is essential to ensure the thermal comfort of employees and maintain optimal levels of production and product/service quality. If you are a business owner or manager, it’s crucial to understand how these systems work.

What is an HVAC system?

Specifically, HVAC stands for the three primary functions of climate control systems: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. Together, these systems provide:

– Thermal comfort for occupants of indoor spaces.
– High-quality circulating air in those spaces.
– Control over certain air-related factors.

Next, we’ll explain each of the aforementioned functions of the HVAC system to facilitate understanding:

Heating: As the name suggests, its goal is to warm the environment and ensure the stability of air temperature. This is achieved by reversing low temperatures to provide comfort to those occupying the space.
Ventilation: Here, the aim is to ensure the air is refreshed as it circulates through spaces. This helps eliminate accumulated impurities and strong odors generated by the operation of equipment and machinery in companies. Proper ventilation helps prevent high concentrations of gases such as CO² in the environment.
Air Conditioning: The air conditioning system ventilates and cools the environment. It includes air filters that capture harmful air impurities.
Cooling: Often, the HVAC acronym is complemented with the letter ‘R’ for refrigeration (HVAC-R). When the system includes this function, it can control the space’s heat and maintain a low temperature, providing artificial cooling. This function is essential in the food industry and refrigerators, where constant low temperatures are required.

What does an HVAC system contribute?

In summary, the climate control system efficiently ensures temperature control, which is only possible through the integration of all the aforementioned functionalities. Simultaneously, these functionalities result in critical contributions:

Efficient air filtration: Air filters are responsible for removing dust particles, fungi, and bacteria, thereby purifying the environment and ensuring people’s health. Therefore, during preventive maintenance of the HVAC system, changing filters should be a priority; otherwise, it would compromise its function and lead to excessive energy consumption.
Increased oxygenation: Similarly, efficient air filtration reduces the number of contaminants in the environment, leading to increased oxygenation, helping to maintain space and reduce potential outbreaks of allergic and respiratory diseases.
Ideal room temperature: Room temperature directly influences various aspects of organizations, including workforce productivity and the operation of equipment and machinery. Achieving and maintaining precise thermal levels positively affects efficiency. Indeed, professionals and workers who endure excessive heat or cold are less productive because these conditions often lead to anxiety, stress, and restlessness.
Humidity control: Another key contribution of the HVAC system is controlling humidity in indoor environments. Specific requirements dictate maintaining humidity within a certain range, a process facilitated by the automation of the climate control system. Applied sensors, now supported by IoT and other technologies, detect any harmful humidity variation and allow for timely correction.

How does it work?

The design of these systems facilitates the movement of air to cool or heat an indoor space in the process. Typically, they consist of three basic components: a heating unit, a cooling unit, and ducts that move air. An HVAC system starts with ventilation to provide fresh air to the building’s spaces. It’s worth noting that natural ventilation involves air entering through windows, doors, or open cracks, with varying levels of pressure to force air into each space. In modern offices, which are typically sealed tightly, fans, blowers, filters, and ducts are necessary. You can learn more about indoor air quality at this link.

Components of this system

As can be seen, HVAC systems are essential technology for comfort, health, and energy efficiency in buildings of all kinds. Understanding their components, functions, and benefits allows for better selection, operation, and maintenance, optimizing their performance and creating healthier and more sustainable environments.

Heating Unit

Heating is commonly achieved through:

– Natural gas boilers, which heat water to 80°C and can store it in thermal tanks. Through pumping, this water reaches different spaces in the building. They are suitable for cold climates.
– Electric resistors, which generate instant heat through electricity. They are suitable for cold climates and small spaces to be heated due to their ease of installation.
– Heat pumps, which absorb heat from the outside and are efficient in temperate climates. These units operate based on the thermodynamic cycle of a refrigerant gas, absorbing external heat and transferring it to indoor spaces.

Cooling Unit

– Cold-mode heat pumps, generally used to provide low ambient temperatures in summer, apply the thermodynamic cycle – but in reverse – with a refrigerant gas.
– Cooling towers facilitate heat exchange in large systems.

Air Handling Unit

In HVAC systems, ventilation units are critical. Specifically, the air handling unit (AHU) controls the air entering and leaving the building. For this purpose, it includes:

– Two heat exchangers: one for heating and one for cooling.
– Fan that propels air through the heat exchangers.
– Filters that purify the air.
– Sensors that monitor temperature, humidity, CO², and air pressure.

Control and Sensors

In HVAC systems, it’s essential to control the air temperature, whether through digital or analog thermostats. Different sensors are used for this purpose: relative humidity, differential pressure, and CO² concentration sensors. Together, they provide information to a process logic controller that analyzes this information and makes decisions to maintain the ideal environment.

Thermostats adjust the desired temperature, while additional sensors detect CO², pressure, and humidity.

Intersam designs and develops the HVAC system your company needs

With nearly 30 years of experience in designing and developing refrigeration and heating systems for industrial and commercial applications nationally and internationally, Intersam is your best option for climate control.

The complexity of HVAC systems makes it essential to involve specialists from different areas in their assembly and commissioning. At Intersam, we offer specialized services in the field of heat exchangers, condensers, evaporators, air coolers, and air flow treatment. Contact us now!

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