Many people often struggle with how to operate their heating and cooling units to save on costs. This is understandable, considering that 50% of energy consumption in the home goes towards heating or cooling costs
To understand how your heating system works, you first need to understand how heat is transferred through the air. Most homes today use central heating systems that feature a furnace and an air conditioner. The furnace delivers warm air to your home, while the air conditioner delivers cold.
How Do Heating and Cooling Systems Work?
There are several types of heating and cooling systems used for domestic purposes. These include furnaces, boilers and heat pumps (among others). Furnaces and heat pumps are two of the most common types of systems used in North American households. How do they work? Furnaces are physical units that heat air and deliver it through a system of ducts and vents in your home. After air is warmed in the furnace, it is distributed around the home via a blower fan.
A heat pump works in much the same way, except that it’s capable of reversing the process during summer and winter. During summer, a heat pump moves heat from inside the home to the outdoors. In turn, the air conditioner delivers cool air to your home. During winter, the opposite happens. Air from outside is channeled through a heating system, where it’s then delivered inside your home.
For furnaces or heat pumps to work effectively, your home needs to be properly insulated. This is because warm air can leak during the winter (through your roof, walls, and windows). As a result, your furnace or heat pump will be overworked, and you may end up paying more just to stay warm. The same is true during summer, where leaking cool air from the home overworks your AC and drives up utility consumption.
Mechanisms of Heat Transfer
Once warm or cool air is supplied to your home, there are 3 main ways through which the heat enters your body. For heat transfer, conduction, convection and radiation are the 3 main processes involved. Conduction refers to heat transfer through two physical objects. It is what causes your roof, windows and walls to leak warm air in the winter or cold air in the summer (if they’re poorly insulated).
Radiation is a heat transfer method that occurs through light. You will often receive heat in your home through radiation, especially with under-insulated roofs and windows.
Convection is a method of heat transfer that involves rising hot air. As warm air rises in the home, it comes into contact with your skin and makes you feel warm. Gravity furnaces rely on convection to have warm air rise.
Contact First Quality Roofing & Insulation Today
Poor insulation creates air leaks, which make it harder for your HVAC system to heat and cool your home. If you’ve detected air leaks in your home, contact us at 702-262-7847 today.