What is an HVAC System? Valley Heating and Cooling

air duct

If you are a homeowner or looking to buy a home, the acronym HVAC is something you hear a lot about, but do you know a lot about it? Do you know what kind of system you have, how old it is, or how you should maintain it? An HVAC system is an essential piece of your home, and every homeowner should understand the basics of their systems in order to keep their house comfortable throughout the year. 

What Does HVAC Do?

HVAC is the acronym for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. HVAC doesn't just exist in homes; HVAC exists in any building or enclosed space like your car, an airplane, and yes, even the International Space Station. For the sake of time, however, we will be discussing the basics of HVAC in the home. One of the HVAC system's primary goal is to keep your home's temperature at a comfortable level year-round. The system does this by moving air between the indoors and outdoors. Another essential part of an HVAC system is keeping fresh, clean air moving throughout your home and maintaining a balanced, comfortable humidity level. 

The ABCs of HVAC

Now that we know the basics of what an HVAC system does, let's break down each word in the acronym.


The heating part of an HVAC unit is typically a gas or electric furnace or a heat pump. You can also have radiant floor heating, which can be electric or water-based. Some bathrooms have radiant floor heating as an added bonus of luxury. 


You might think the only thing that ventilation does in your home is to push cold or hot air from the outside to the inside and circulate it around your home. However, ventilation might be the most crucial part of an HVAC system. The ventilation system eliminates harmful particles, dust, carbon monoxide, and other impurities from the air and circulates fresh, clean air throughout your home. This is also the portion that removes excess moisture. Some ventilation systems can have humidifiers or dehumidifiers added on for even better air quality control. This is particularly great for those who suffer from allergies and live in areas of high pollution. 

Air Conditioning

The air conditioning system obviously keeps your house cool throughout the warmer months, but did you know that air conditioning units keep the humidity level in your home at comfortable levels? Typical humidity levels inside the house are usually between 30 and 50 percent. If the humidity levels are too low, you might be more susceptible to airborne viruses such as the flu. This can also affect and dry out the skin, causing eczema flare ups in those who have dry skin. If the humidity is too high, dust mites and mold can be more prevalent, which could cause problems with allergies or asthma. AC solutions most popularly consist of window units, ductless units, or whole house units. 

What System is Best for Me?

To understand what kind of HVAC system works best for your home, you must consult with an expert. If you live in the Madison, AL area, let the experts at Valley Heating and Cooling help. Their goal is to serve you with the best systems that provide fresh, clean air. They can help you figure out what your home already has, what it might need, and what will be most efficient and cost-effective throughout the year. If you are interested in learning more, you can schedule an appointment with an experienced technician today.