this old house, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning review-chapter eleven

The final chapter of “This Old House, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning” concerns itself with the use of HVAC systems in homes. An explanation of HVAC is offered and the many types of HVAC systems are discussed. Evaporative coolers are also discussed with recommendations given for installation types.

Heat pumps are explained and how to install geothermal heat pumps. Maintenance of these systems is explained along with recommendations for tonnage and manufacturer.

The following tips are offered to keep a home HVAC system maintained.

  • Keep air filters changed or cleaned.

  • Keep the indoor coil clean.

  • Keep the outside coil clean.

  • Keep the outdoor unit free from debris.

  • Clean the fan blades.

  • Check fan belts for deterioration.

  • Keep fan motors lubricated.

  • Cover the unit during winter.

  • Seal all gaps.

  • Keep the drain pan and drain clear.

  • Test and keep the system charged with refrigerant.

  • Maintain appropriate air flow.

  • Maintain all registers free of blockage.

  • Keep all ducts clean.

  • Inspect for duct leaks and seal them.

  • Maintain the duct insulation at code.

  • Clean the humidifier.

  • Keep the thermostat calibrated.

  • Provide shade for the outdoor unit.

The authors discuss the pros and cons of buying a new system vs a used one. At the conclusion of the chapter and book, the authors give tips and suggestions to think about when hiring an HVAC contractor.

This Old House, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning was written in 1994. Some of the manufacturer’s suggestions and statistics have changed along with HVAC systems offered. However, the practical tips offered and various areas of HVAC explained remain relevant to the present time.

The authors are highly skilled at what they do. They combine knowledge, experience and humor to inform the reader regarding HVAC systems and the systemic problems related to their installation and maintenance.