What Is HVAC And What Does It Stand For?

Throughout the United States, there are millions of houses, which have air conditioners. Although window air conditioners can help to some degree, they’re substantially inefficient, when compared to a complete heating and cooling system.

What exactly is HVAC? Most Americans understands the basics, but they’re not completely aware of the technology and its complexities. Within this comprehensive guide, you will learn everything there is to know about HVAC technology and the people, who work within the field.

HVAC Definition

Before going any further, you should get a basic understanding HVAC. HVAC is a technology, which is primarily utilized to control the environment within a home, apartment or vehicle. The underlying purpose of the HVAC system is to create a comfortable environment, while maintaining acceptable air quality.

While the majority of people associated HVAC with homes, such equipment is also utilized within vehicles, hotels, healthcare facilities, office buildings, and commercial establishments. Once you’ve learned the full HVAC meaning, you’ll have greater insight into the technology, its purpose, and how it achieves it goal.

What Does HVAC Stand For?

what is hvac

If you have ever considered a career as a heating and air technician, you have probably wondered about the true meaning of HVAC.What does HVAC stand for? HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.

When someone says HVAC they are basically referring to the machines and technology that are used throughout homes and offices to regulate the environmental factors to improve the comfort.

For instance, HVAC technicians are hired to create an ideal environment in residential and commercial establishments. They could also be hired to regulate the humidity level of a workplace office.

HVAC techs are specifically trained to work with heating, ventilation, air conditioning, or refrigeration in commercial or residential applications.

You will find a number of different companies that specialize in either commercial or residential heating and air, while some of them do specialize in both. Most companies that offer both residential and commercial services are usually large companies.

The History Of HVAC

Many inventions were created by a single individual. With HVAC, this simply isn’t the case. Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning is actually a compilation of inventions and discoveries from various individuals, including Nikolay Lvov, Willis Carrier, Michael Faraday, and Reuben Trane.

The very first air conditioning system combined multiple inventions from the aforementioned individuals, as well as many others.

It was built in 1902 by Alfred Wolff and was used by the New York Stock Exchange. That same year, Willis Carrier developed the process AC unit. It was installed inside of a building for the Sacketts-Wilhems Printing Company.

The technology continued to evolve over the years. In 1906, the term “air conditioning” was coined by Stuart W. Cramer. Cramer developed a process, which used moisture and ventilation to manipulate the air in his factories. By controlling the humidity, he was able to make textiles much easier to process.

In 1914, the Minneapolis home of Charles Gates become the first private residence to have an air conditioner. 31 years later in 1945, Robert Sherman of Massachusetts developed the first in-window air conditioner. The air conditioner was capable of cooling, heating, humidifying and dehumidifying the air.

Sherman’s window air conditioner also utilized a system, which filtered the air. Today, HVAC units are found within the majority of homes in the United States. In fact, it would be unimaginable to consider the alternative.

What Does It Take To Become A HVAC Tech?

Working in the heating and air conditioning field can be rewarding. However, it is not just something that you are going to be able to jump right into.

First off, you are going to be required to have a high school diploma or GED. This is required because a fundamental knowledge of math, science, and shop classes will be required throughout the HVAC field.

Next, you are going to have to decide between an apprenticeship and a vocational school. A vocational school will usually consist of 2 years in-school training. While you are attending the school, you will learn the basics of the field and have the opportunity to become licensed.

However, an apprenticeship program is a little bit different because it actually offers on-the-job training and you will get paid for it.

An Hvac apprenticeship is a paid program that usually last anywhere from 3 to 5 years. This option is a great chance for you to earn a little money while you are learning about the field.

While there are a lot of apprenticeship programs available there is a big demand for students that have a certification from a vocational or technical school. Obtaining a certification from a vocational school is a great way to stand out from the rest of the competition on the job market.

Keep in mind that all HVAC techs are going to be required to obtain an EPA license. This licenses give you the ability to work with refrigerant or Freon.

Do You Want To Be A Commercial Or Residential Tech?

There is a lot more to the HVAC world than just deciding that you want to be a heating and air tech. You are going to have to decide what type of tech you want to be. Do you want to work in the commercial or residential field? Before you decide you need to know that can be big difference in the two.

If you choose to be a residential tech you will get to work in areas that are in or around where you live, but you will often times find yourself working in crawlspaces and attics. Whereas, a commercial tech rarely has to go in attics or crawl spaces, but a commercials tech will oftentimes be required to travel out of state to work.

This means that you will probably end up staying overnight in different states during the week. A residential tech will be able to arrive home at the end of day.

Most commercial techs do end up making more money at the end of the day, but this field is also going to require more learning and training.

Ever Expanding

Some technologies have been unable to withstand the test of time. This is simply not the case with HVAC. Since HVAC equipment has become smaller and much more affordable, it is being installed in more and more homes throughout the country.

Recent studies have concluded that the HVAC equipment market will continue to expand over the coming years. In 2013, the market generated approximately 91 billion dollars. That number is expected to rise to 155 billion by the year 2022.

This include all different types of HVAC equipment, including boilers, furnaces, heat pumps, unitary heaters, and humidifiers. The report also covered residential and commercial applications.

Nonetheless, the report is foretelling. The demand for HVAC equipment will continue to increase and the need for skilled HVAC technicians will remain high. Therefore, anyone living in the United States would be wise to consider entering into the HVAC field sooner rather than later.

What Could Impact Your HVAC Unit’s Performance?

Your HVAC unit is absolutely essential. During the summer, this equipment is there to keep you cool. During the winter, it can be used to warm up your home and prevent you from freezing. Unfortunately, there are a variety of things that can negatively impact the performance of your HVAC unit.

And, this equipment is one of the biggest energy consumers. So, if your HVAC unit isn’t working properly or is forced to work overtime, your energy bills will soar higher.

First and foremost, you need to realize that your home’s insulation can play a big role in determining how often your HVAC unit is used. If your home is properly insulated, you won’t have to use the unit so frequently, since the warm or cold air will be entrapped inside.

Also, be sure to check your windows and doors. If you notice a draft, you’ll need to fix it immediately to prevent the air from escaping.

The ductwork is also vital. A rip or tear in the duct will greatly diminish the performance of the equipment. Get faulty ductwork replaced as quickly as possible.

Finally, be sure to setup a schedule for cleaning and maintaining your HVAC unit. If the filters become too dirty, your home’s air quality could be diminished while the air flow could be inhibited. Make sure you replace the filters frequently.

Be sure to clean your home thoroughly to prevent dust, pet dander and dirt from entering your ducts. Scheduling a complete duct cleaning once every year or two years is recommended and will keep your system working at the optimum level.

HVAC Technician Pay/Salary

HVAC technicians have the opportunity to work for top climate control companies and earn top scale pay. Many of these companies will offer hourly wages, while others will offer an hourly wage, with piece rate. Piece rate provides employees the opportunity to earn a fixed rate for each action performed.

For instance, HVAC installers will receive piece rate for each system installation. Not only does this pay rate encourage technicians to devote more time at work, but it will also give them opportunity to expand their education.

Employment Benefit Packages

Most HVAC companies offer full-time employment, since climate control services is in demand all year long. As a HVAC journeymen working in the American Southeast, you will experience slow down for about 2 months. The employee benefits are unaffected by this, since you are classified as a full-time employee.

This will be the perfect time to go on a vacation with your family or schedule an annual dental exam. Most HVAC companies offer 401K, medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, with tuition assistances for those employees that are interested in expanding their career.