Heating and cooling systems have become a standardized way of dealing with varying climate and weather patterns, like air-conditioning that keeps us cool during summers and heating systems that keep us warm in the winter season. Home heating and cooling systems are less complex compared with commercial and industrial heating and cooling systems. Many homeowners find that they can cut costs and keep home cooling and heating systems working efficiently with proper and regular maintenance and care. That being so, it is essential to know the basic functioning of heating and cooling systems to help us understand the components and the part they play.

Both cooling and heating work on the basic premise that heat moves from a warm object to a cool object, just as in the case of water that flows from higher levels to lower ones. Hence, air-conditioners remove heat from the air to make your home cool while heaters put warm air into your home.

Heating and cooling systems have three basic components:

1. Source of cooled or warmed air

2. Means of distribution to the space that requires to be cooled or heated

3. A control mechanism to regulate the system

Sources of cool and warm air often use the same control and distribution systems, i.e. hot and cool air flow through the same air duct and regulation is done by the same thermostat. If the system malfunctions, one of these three basic functions may be at fault.

Cooling and heating systems need fuel for energy; air-conditioners function on electricity while heating systems can use fuel oil or gas besides electricity. In summers, the system works to remove heat from the inside to the outside while in winters it transfers heat from the outside to the inside.

In the early days, the heat produced by the furnaces heated water and produced steam which was circulated into home interiors through ducts and pipes embedded in the ceiling, floors and walls. Modern home air-conditioners channel the cool air into the interiors of a home directly from the unit itself.

There are different types of heating systems mainly, I. Central heat and ii. Direct heat

Central Heat includes boilers, furnaces and heat pumps while Direct Heat includes fireplaces, electric space heaters, gas-fired space heaters, wood and pellet stoves.

Many of us have heard about ductless cooling and heating systems and seen some of these units in operation in office buildings, restaurants and other public spaces. There are many advantages associated with ductless systems.

Some of the advantages that are highly visible and produce tangible results and benefits like:

• Offering highly flexible solutions – by providing an alternative to inefficient space heater and window units, ductless cooling and heating systems provide hot and cold air directly into the spaces required and lead to better temperature control.

• Savings in costs – inefficient systems lead to spiraling electricity bills but since ductless systems operate on less power, are smaller than traditional heating and cooling units and provide the required air directly, there is less loss and more efficiency.

• Improved air quality through multi-stage filtration which calls for less maintenance

• Easy and quick installation – only a few hours as compared to days and weeks for ducted systems