Heating and Cooling our Homes

Outdoor Air Conditioner

Outdoor Air Conditioner

Hi. I’m Denise. Thank you for watching my video. Today I want to talk about heating and cooling our homes. Well, many American homes have a furnace like the one behind me inside.

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Right now, I’m down in the basement of a home so this furnace is in the basement and it not only heats the home but it also cools the home. There’s an air conditioning unit here as well. This machine also has a humidifier with it which puts moisture into the air. And the reason for that is because when the furnace puts warm air throughout the house, that air is often very dry, so we add moisture to the air with the humidifier to make the air more comfortable for us. So, let’s take a look at this furnace.

Here’s a furnace. It is a pretty big machine and you might be able to hear it running right now. Right now the air conditioner is on, so it’s kind of loud down here in the basement, but upstairs in the other parts of the house it’s not loud. This part here is the humidifier. Water is sprayed inside there and then adds that water or that moisture to the dry air which then goes through the house. The air is pushed into the other parts of the house through these ducts up here on the ceiling. So you can see the furnace is there. There’s an air duct there, that metal thing there. So it goes along the length of the ceiling of the home and then it’ll go up and push the air into the upper floors of the house.

The air is then pushed through these vents. This vent happens to be at the base of the wall. Sometimes the vents are on the floor, but both the cold and the warm air will come right out of here and heat whatever room the vent is in and the whole house is either heated or cooled that way. To control the temperature, we select the settings here. We can either increase the temperature or decrease the temperature by pressing on these arrow keys.

Actually, the air conditioner is outside the house, but the cold air runs through the same system as the hot air for the furnace, so the same vents are used, the same air ducts. Let’s take a look at another furnace. There’s one behind me here. It’s larger than the one we just saw, but let’s take a look at this one.

This furnace runs in the same way as the other one. It’s just larger. It’s a newer furnace. It runs on natural gas and the last one we saw also runs on natural gas. This one also has a humidifier which is right here. So, again, just water is sprayed into this, this box here and that adds moisture to the warm air that’s coming out of the furnace. This house also has an air conditioning unit which is outside. I’ll show it to you soon. And the cold air runs through the same ductwork as the hot air with this furnace. Again, this one’s pretty big. This white pipe going down here, that’s just for the excess water to run out, the excess water from the humidifier. So let’s go around this furnace. It is really big. You can see the back of it over here. If you do have a furnace in your house, which most homes do, of course, you have to regularly change the filters in it. It’s really easy, but that is a little bit of maintenance that you have to do with your furnace. And we’ll take a look at some of the ductwork here. So we can see some of the ductwork. The air runs through these ducts and is forced out through the vents in the upper floors of the house. Some furnaces don’t run on natural gas. Instead, they may use propane or oil as their energy source.

Here’s a finished part of the ceiling. You can see that, I hope that you can see that the ceiling comes down a bit and that is because there is ductwork in there. (This) is a vent in the floor. This is where both the hot and the cold air come out. So whether it’s the furnace running and then the hot air’s coming out or the air conditioner is running and the cold air comes out, it all comes out here. Some people like to put these, something like this, a plastic cover there to direct the heat into the middle of the room, but most vents don’t have that.

This thermostat is used for both the furnace and the air conditioner. You can set the mode right here to choose heat to heat your house or cool to cool your house. Right now it’s set on cool and you can adjust the temperature by using these arrow keys. So, again, this is just the thermostat. It works for both the air conditioner and the furnace.

This is the air conditioner. This is outside the house. You should be able to see the side of the house here and some bushes, so we are outside. The air conditioner has a refrigerant in it which cools the air and then the air is sent into the house using the same ductwork that we saw earlier. And as I said, the cool air goes through the same vents.

Whole house air conditioning, or central air, is expensive and not everyone has it. Some people use window air conditioners or fans. Ceiling fans are very popular. Of course, many people just open their windows!

This is a hot water tank. This heats water for use in the house and this tank is actually filled with hot water. There are some controls down here at the bottom, and once the water is heated, once a tap is turned on in another part of the house, the water goes up through one of these pipes here. I don’t know which is the, which one is going up and which one is coming down, but the hot water moves through there and then it comes out in whatever sink or faucet that somebody’s using elsewhere in the house. Sometimes you may hear somebody say that the hot water has run out. That means that all the hot water in the tank has been used and if they want more hot water, they have to actually wait until it’s heated again.

Here’s the hot water tank here and, again, it’s just like the one in the last house. It’s just a little bit bigger and a little bit newer. But hot water is stored in here and then whenever anyone turns on a hot water tap anywhere in the house, the hot water comes from here and is sent to whatever faucet they’re using, whatever tap they’re using. This also runs on natural gas.

This house has an additional feature down here near the furnace. This is a water softener and what it is is, it’s a just a bin here that has salt in it and the reason it has this salt is to soften the water. This house has hard water which means it has too much calcium in it, and the salt in this container here will soften or lessen that salt (calcium). It will soften the water. If you don’t soften your water, then you can get calcium carbonate built up in your pipes, in the pipes of your house, and it’s not very good for the pipes, so people in areas where the water has high calcium content will usually soften their water with salt.

Thanks for watching. Bye.


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