The Basics: Glossary, Overview, Total Comfort System
Planning: Advanced Design, Costs, Efficient Furnaces
Components: Ductwork, Thermostats, & Filters
Operation: Problem Areas, Maintenance, Retrofitting
Issues: Carbon Monoxide, Duct Cleaning, Experts
New Stuff: Heat Pumps, Combo, Hi-velocity, Integrated
Other Resources: Suppliers, Contractors, Forums, Book
1. The Basics: Glossary,
Overview, Total Comfort System
Glossary Of HVAC Terms
An air handler is not just a highly vocal politician. Trane, a well-recognized name in the HVAC industry, has a good
glossary of the many trade terms used in the heating industry.
The Warmair website provides a basic explanation, with diagrams, of the different parts of a forced air heating
system and an overview of how it works.
Total Comfort System
SMACNA, an international trade association, lists things to consider when selecting a complete comfort system. Although
a few US terms are used this is still very relevant for BC.
Advanced Design, Costs, Efficient Furnaces
Advanced Space Conditioning
If you really want to understand good overall system design, Building Science Corporation has an online booklet
describing full HVAC systems for high performance residential buildings.
Heating Cost Calculator
The Canadian EnerGuide website has an online calculator to help you or your customers decide which system and
energy source may be the most cost-effective in the long term.
Consumers' Directory of Certified
GAMA has an online search page where you can enter certain criteria and run a search to get the Efficiency
Ratings and other technical information for all different types of Furnace Heating Equipment.
Ductwork, Thermostats, & Filters
The Sustainable Building Sourcebook offers these guidelines for designing and installing good quality ductwork systems.
It includes tips for different types of ducting products.
Set Back Thermostat Savings
Do you ever wonder how much can be saved by setting back a thermostat? Warmair has a quick online calculator you
can use to figure this out for different temperature settings.
Furnace Filter Selection
This CMHC information sheet helps you understand and select from the multiple types of filters available, based on their
abilities stop different kinds and sizes of particles.
Problem Areas, Maintenance, Retrofitting
Room Heaters & Wall Furnaces
Terasen Gas has an overview of these compact and economical systems that can be used for the heating of problem
areas and/or individual rooms of a home.
Heating System Maintenance
Here is some pretty good detailed technical information from the University Of Missouri website. It covers maintenance
issues and procedures for each system component.
Retrofitting HVAC Systems
This detailed Best Practices Guide For Residential HVAC Retrofits is offered online from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories.
It comes recommended by NAHB.
Carbon Monoxide, Duct Cleaning, Experts
Carbon Monoxide Tips
TSSA, the Technical Standards & Safety Authority in Ontario provides information on CO including recognizing
symptoms, actions to take, prevention methods, and testing procedures.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association represents this relatively new industry and has some good consumer info that
cautions against being oversold on duct cleaning.
Free Online Expert Services
The All Experts site offers up a section on HVAC where you can ask questions from what look like some very
experienced people, many of who are retired HVAC industry contractors.
6. New Stuff: Heat Pumps,
Combo, Hi-velocity, Integrated
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Geothermal systems are becoming more popular. Here is a NAHB technical report with a good overview of these
systems, as well as links to other heat pump resources online.
As usual, Dr. Joe Lstiburek provides a critical review as he recommends combo systems for certain applications and
points out some challenges for production builders.
Mini-Duct & Hi-Velocity
These systems can solve problems when space is limited as NAHB points out in this report that briefly explains
operation, benefits, limitations, costs, and lists the manufacturers.
The future of home comfort systems may be the integration of space heating, hot water and ventilation as
demonstrated on this eKocomfort website.
Resources: Suppliers, Contractors, Forums, Book
Find A Product: Buyers Guide
Canadian HPAC magazine has an online buyers guide and wholesale directory if you want to find a supplier of any type of
product used in forced air heating systems.
Find A Contractor
There are two trade associations that provide lists of trained and certified heating and ventilation contractors. TECA is
the BC based forced air and ventilation trade association. HRAC Is A National Trade Association
HVAC Mechanic has good trade forums on its site. There are lots of items here and they provide a method for you to
search through them if you are looking for a specific topic or item.
Builders Guide To HVAC
This NAHB book is written for small and medium volume builders. It covers HVAC system selection and specifying.
For Today: On
At present we have a society based on having and owning. What we need is a society based around being and giving.
– Mike Scott