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HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVAC is used in commercial, industrial and residential facilities. It provides fluid air through the facility providing either hot or cool air dependent on the desired temperature. This can be controlled by a thermostat which reads the temperature of the complex and acts accordingly maintaining a desired temperature for the building. Sending signals to the HVAC machines to either pump cool or hot air through the ventilation system in turn creating a clean comfortable environment.
Air conditioning is when the air is cooled to a desired temperature via a system of refrigeration or a free cooling system which uses pumps to circulate a cool refrigerant (typically water or a glycol mix). Free cooling systems can have very high efficiencies, and are sometimes combined with seasonal thermal energy storage so the cold of winter can be used for summer air conditioning.
Heating is the act of warming a building by use of increased energy generally by use of fire, chemical reaction or water. Central heating is often used in cool climates to heat houses and public buildings. Such a system contains a boiler, furnace, or heat pump to warm water, steam, or air in a central location such as a furnace room in a home or a mechanical room in a large building. The use of water as the heat transfer medium is known as hydronics. These systems also contain either duct work for forced air systems or piping to distribute a heated fluid to radiators to transfer this heat to the air.
Ventilation is the process of changing or replacing air in any space to control temperature or remove any combination of moisture, odors, smoke, heat, dust, airborne bacteria, or carbon dioxide, and to replenish oxygen. Ventilation includes both the exchange of air with the outside as well as circulation of air within the building. It is one of the most important factors for maintaining acceptable indoor air quality in buildings. Methods for ventilating a building may be divided into mechanical/forced and natural types. Without proper ventilation, carbon monoxide can be lethal at concentrations of 1000 ppm (0.1%). However, at several hundred ppm, carbon monoxide exposure induces headaches, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.
In the past, water heating was more efficient for heating buildings and was the standard in the United States. Today, forced air systems can double for air conditioning and are more popular. This means; Better air conditioning effects, energy savings of up to 15-20%, and even conditioning flow.
Energy recovery systems sometimes utilize heat recovery ventilation or energy recovery ventilation systems that employ heat exchangers or enthalpy wheels to recover sensible or latent heat from exhausted air. This is done by transfer of energy to the incoming outside fresh air. Making your HVAC system run at peak efficiency.
Providing clean efficient air throughout the system will reduce energy costs saving money in the long run. By keeping our system clean through regular maintenance we can decrease running costs by increasing the efficiency of the system and life of the HVAC system as well.
To learn more about maximizing your system efficiency Click Here.
Myths about HVAC
The misconception that if the air vents in one room are closed it will allow more air into the other rooms and cool or heat the house faster is a MYTH! Closing off unused rooms or air vents in these rooms will not reduce energy costs. HVAC systems are set up to have all the air flows open. This being said when certain rooms are cut off from the system then the system will not only slow the efficiency of the system but it can also cause the system to become unbalanced. If this happens, the system can be compromised and force very costly repairs in the future.
The idea that air conditioning cools the house. Actually, air conditioning removes the existing heat from the house. Typical central split system units have an indoor furnace, coil and an outdoor air conditioner. The outdoor compressor pumps refrigerant through the system to collect heat and moisture from inside the home. The hot air is then over the cooled indoor coil which causes the heat to be transferred to the cooled coil. The newly “cooled” air is then redistributed through the house while the heat is pumped to the outdoor unit. The result, a comfortable atmosphere everyone can enjoy. Additionally, the air conditioning system will also help to keep the air clean. The air is drawn through the return air ducts, then air passes through an air filter which removes airborne particles such as dust, dander, and lint. This makes the air returning into the building clean and comfortable. This being said, the HVAC must be properly maintained in order for this to be true.
HVAC Fun Facts
The Roman civilization were the first ones to use a warm air heating system.
Known as a hypocaust, it was an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used
to heat houses with hot air. The Roman architect Vitruvius, writing about the end of
the 1st century B.C., attributes their invention to Sergius Orata. The hypocaust was
not only used to heat homes but was also used to make warm baths.
Dating back to 180 BC, the Chinese inventor Ding Huan invented a 7 wheel roatry fan
which could be manually powered to cool a room.
Aside from the addition of salt water into the mix to cool objects the next major
success came from Benjamin Franklin and John Hadley who found that the evaporation
of highly volatile liquids, like alcohol, could rapidly drive down the airs temperature.
Michael Faraday made the next major air conditioning advancement in 1820. He discovered that compressing and liquefying ammonia, he could chill air when the liquefied ammonia was allowed to evaporate.
The first modern air conditioner was developed by Willis Carrier in 1902 for Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company in Brooklyn, New York.
The first air conditioners used toxic or flammable gases, such as ammonia, methyl chloride, or propane, that could result in fatal accidents when they leaked. It wasn't until Thomas Midgley, Jr., in 1928, created the first non-flammable, non-toxic chlorofluorocarbon gas, known to most as Freon.
Theaters are among the first places where most people encountered air-conditioning. During summer, cinemas are often visited to see movies and to cool off from the heat. Due to this huge number of movie-goers, studios started releasing their best productions on this season, thus the birth of summer blockbuster.
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