Throughout history, people have done all they could to manipulate air to make indoor living spaces more comfortable. In ancient Rome, hypocaust systems pushed heated air up from under raised floors through a system of air ducts, heating rooms like saunas and public bathhouses. The mechanized rotary fan was invented to cool rooms in ancient China during the Han Dynasty.
Invention of The HVAC Unit
In 1902, the first drawings of what would come to be known as the modern air conditioning system were submitted by an engineer named Willis Carrier.
Two years later, he applied for a patent on his invention, then called an "Apparatus for Treating Air." In 1911, Carrier developed the Rational Psychrometric Formulae, widely considered to be the most important document ever prepared about air conditioning.
The document discussed topics such as relative and absolute humidity and dew-point temperature, making it possible to design air conditioning units to fit specific needs. Today the Rational Psychrometric Formulae is sometimes referred to as the Magna Carta of Psychrometrics.
Modern Day HVAC System
The HVAC systems we know today are made up of several parts all working together to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
Let’s take a look at the components that make up your HVAC system. The thermostat is probably the HVAC component you interact with the most.
Whether it is manually operated or programmed in advance, your thermostat lets your HVAC unit know to kick into gear when the temperature in your home becomes too warm or too cool. The furnace is the component responsible for keeping your home warm during winter. It houses the heat exchanger, which pulls in, heats, and pushes out air through a system of air ducts to warm your home.
Also housed in the furnace, is the evaporator coil, which performs the opposite function as the heat exchanger. The evaporator coil is the component that cools your air during the summer. Outside of your house, you have a sizeable condensing unit that is connected to the evaporator coil via refrigerant lines.
The final components in your HVAC system are the ductwork and the vents. These components are responsible for carrying the warmed/cooled air from the furnace and depositing it in different areas of your home.
Are You Living With an Old Air Conditioner?
Most HVAC units have a lifespan of about 15-20 years, after which time you may begin to experience a lot more problems.
Of course, with all the other things that go on in a span of fifteen to twenty years, it can be hard to remember exactly how old your unit is.
If you're lucky, your HVAC unit might have the manufacture date printed on the manufacturer's nameplate tag.
If it is not, you can usually find the date hidden within the serial number of the unit. It's important to know the age of your unit because after a certain age, repairing your HVAC unit can become very expensive, and it may be more prudent just to replace it.
If you are in need of a replacement AC unit, call Air Comfort Service, Inc. today at (314) 480-3384. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about replacing your HVAC unit in the St. Louis area!