HVAC– Knowing Your Equipment and Keeping Safe

November 4 2014

James Patten


We all use HVAC equipment at one point or another, but not all of us are experts in this field. We rely on HVAC equipment to keep our premises warm, cool us down or improve the standards of ventilation, but this doesn’t mean that we all need to know how to install such a system. However, having a working knowledge of a heating system can often be useful, so here are some basic considerations relating to the composition of a heating system, and also the safety issues at stake.

HVAC Composition

Most heating systems are formed from a number of commonplace components. These components are as follows:

Pipework – the pipes in a HVAC system are used to ferry heated or chilled water and air to wherever it is needed, and can also be relied upon to deliver air for ventilation purposes too.

The Boiler – hot air or steam is distributed from the boiler of a HVAC system, and pipes and radiators are used to channel this heat (along with modern systems like circulators and heating coils).

Cooling Coils – chilled water is pumped around cooling coils in order to be expelled into the wider environment. When air is blown over the cooling coils, it takes on the temperature of the latter.

Pumps – Pumps are a mainstay within HVAC systems, and are used in a very similar manner to pipes, allowing chilled or heated air to be taken to exactly where it’s needed.

Extraction Fans – one of the fundamental roles of a HVAC system is to extract stale air currents, and extraction fans do just this, ejecting ‘bad’ air outside the building so it can’t build up.

Controls – lastly, and perhaps most obviously, all HVAC solutions have some form of control panels that allows the devices to be adjusted or altered to suit the current climate.

HVAC Faults and Safety

The useful thing about a working knowledge of a HVAC system is that you can begin to identify the problematic area of a system when something goes amiss, and this allows the whole maintenance process to be carried out far more smoothly. One thing to bear in mind is to always call in a Gas Safe registered engineer for such work, as you really don’t want a heating system messed with otherwise.

According to the Gas Safe regulations, there are several categories which are used to designate unsafe situations. These are as follows:

Immediately Dangerous – an immediately dangerous situation presents an instant risk to life or property if the gas supply isn’t cut. Instant work is therefore required.

At Risk – at risk situations harbour recognised faults that could soon lead to problems. No further faults would be required to present a threat. Once again, the situation would need to be made safe.

Not to Current Standards – plenty of situations don’t meet with accepted safety standards. It’s always a good idea to upgrade whatever is necessary, even if no problems are readily apparent.

Concern for Safety – this is essentially an interim status that incorporates any situation where an engineer has been called out to review a suspicious installation.

Here at Heritage Heating and Cooling, all of our maintenance and installation work is carried out by professional Gas Safe engineers, and even if you have no idea about what your heating system needs, or where a problem is located, we can help. We’ll also be able to offer you a wide variety of the latest heating solutions from leading brands like Powrmatic, so if it’s an upgrade you need, we’re the ideal place to come. For further information contact us now by calling 01509 814 123 or send an email to info@heritageheatingandcooling.co.uk.

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