How Much Do You Really Know About HVAC?


By: Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

Image: By National Institute of Standards and Technology, via Wikimedia Commons

About This Quiz

Nobody likes to be uncomfortable. That's why HVAC was invented! It's the reason we don't have to go jump in a pool or cover up with 18 blankets to keep a reasonable temperature. Although you use it every day, do you really know how the systems work? Get ready to test your knowledge on the world of HVAC!

Do you know what radiation, convection and conduction are? Do you know which part of your system should be replaced or cleaned out regularly? Do you know what the purpose of HVAC is? Don't sweat it, your HVAC knowledge will help you through this quiz!

Do you know what a packaged system or a humidifier is? Do you know what acronyms like "PSI" or "BTU" stand for? Do you know what the name of the code that all HVAC professionals must follow is? If these don't make you sweat, then can you tell us what might hinder an air conditioner's effectiveness? Try to keep your cool while answering these questions!

Maybe you've tried your hand at fixing an air conditioner, or maybe you just know a lot about the trade. No matter where your knowledge comes from, it will be put to the test here. Take the quiz to see how much you know about HVAC!

What does "PSI" stand for?

"PSI" stands for pounds per square inch. This is used in relation to both force and pressure in relation to the air in a certain space.


What does an air handler connect to?

Air handlers connect to ducts which carry the air from the handler to where it needs to be. It will also bring any air back to the handler. It does a lot of quality control on the air as well with the amount it lets out and takes in.


What is hydronics?

Hydronics in short is water-powered heating and cooling. In this process, cold water stays cold in a chiller and warm water is kept in a boiler. It can sometimes be done through steam as well.


Is it true or false that air conditioning is important for the elderly?

This is true. Hot days can be very dangerous for the elderly, so they need some relief from the heat at times. Air conditioning is important in keeping them cool and hydrated.


What is natural ventilation?

Natural ventilation is using the outside resources in order to ventilate a room. This includes letting fresh air from the outdoors come inside.


What does the “H” in HVAC stand for?

The "H" in HVAC stands for heating. The full acronym stands for "Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning," which is also a description of all of the things that HVAC professionals can work on.


What is one common way to heat your home?

Central heating is often a popular option for heating homes. It can work by heating up air and circulating it through the area, or even through the use of heating up water!


What does "BTU" stand for?

"BTU" stands for British Thermal Unit. This is the unit that is used to measure the heat. Did you know that heat and energy units go hand in hand?


What has to be right in order for the air system to be effective?

The size of an HVAC system can really affect its power on the area. If it's too small, it may not heat or cool down the area as one that is fit for that size of room might.


Is it true or false that a portable air conditioner must be installed by an HVAC professional?

This is false. Portable air conditioners can be bought and installed by any adult. They can often use the outside air to cool down smaller areas or rooms.


What is the purpose of a dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is used to evaporate the humidity out of the air. This is another way to make sure that the air in your home is of a better quality as well.


Who designed the first HVAC system?

Willis Carrier was the pioneer of HVAC when he invented the first system in 1902. His invention proved to be beneficial in the hot areas of the United States, allowing them to be more comfortable places to live.


Is it true or false that good ventilation can minimize the spread of disease?

This is true. Good ventilation can do a lot for your health. Just like it can minimize dust, it can also prevent the spread of disease.


What in your HVAC system needs to be changed regularly?

The air filter is an important thing to replace on a regular basis in your HVAC system. This will allow it to keep doing its job, which is catching all the bad stuff that comes through the air.


How can ceiling fans keep a room warm in the winter?

Ceiling fans can can keep a room warm in the winter due to the fact that the hot air rises. When its turned on, it circulates it throughout the room.


What is a packaged system powered by?

Packaged systems are powered by electricity. These systems can create heat as well as cold air, or they can come as individual systems for each purpose.


Is it true or false that getting regular checkups on your system can keep it running its best?

This is true. Just as we should get regular doctor check ups, our air systems need check ups too. Maybe not as frequently, but its still important!


What term is used for sections of a building that control the air in the small areas?

Zoning includes sections of a building that are used for air control purposes. For example, you could control the air in the living room, and in the kitchen, allowing you to vary the temperatures.


What is the purpose of HVAC systems?

HVAC systems are used to make air quality better through ventilation, as well as keep the building at a suitable temperature. HVAC systems can improve the overall comfort of a building through temperature.


What is a geothermal heat pump?

A geothermal heat pump is a ground-based heater that quite literally takes the heat from the ground to create warm air. This can be a lower cost option for keeping your home cozy in the winter and cooler in the summer!


Radiation, convection and conduction are all ways to do what?

These are all processes of heat or cooling transfers. Their purpose is to circulate the warm or cold air all around the space in order to make it effective.


What controls a humidifier?

A humidistat is similar to a thermostat, although it controls the humidity of a room. This is done through the humidifier, which can help out the full HVAC system in the long run.


Which of the following might radiant heating heat up?

Radiant heating is used to heat up floors through the use of radiation. The heating method can change however, using the process of hydronics, or they can be electric powered.


Is it true or false that the first air conditioned home was designed in 1913?

This is true. The first air conditioned home must have been thought of as a luxury in 1913! It was installed in the United States in the state of Minnesota.


Ventilating minimizes what?

Ventilating is in use to minimize the amount of dust and bacteria that is transferred through the air. It is an important part of an HVAC system and does a great deal to keep people in the building healthier.


What is it called when heat is being added to a certain area?

The term for this is "heat gain". Heat gain can happen due to a variety of different reasons such as your own heater, or even through the heat of the sun as it shines on the building.


Is it true or false that radiant heat is very effective at heating up a room?

This is true. It may not seem like it since the system directly heats up the floor, but don't forget that heat rises! The heat from the floor can quickly heat up the entire room as it rises up.


Is it true or false that HVAC systems take up some of the most energy in most buildings?

This is true. Often, you may forget about them as they keep us comfortable, but HVAC systems are always doing their job. Their job also takes a lot of energy, which in turn can be a little costly.


Is it true or false that running a fireplace can reduce the work of the heater?

This is true. Running a fireplace will help heat up a room or area quickly, and it means less work for your heater to handle. Why not throw a log in the fire every now and then? Be sure to control the airflow from other areas of the house, though, to increase efficiency.


What does a zone damper do?

A zone damper controls the air in a room by blocking it. The damper can easily put a stop to unwanted air in a certain area to control the climate of the room.


In America, what code must HVAC professionals follow?

The Uniform Mechanical Code is an important one for all HVAC professionals. The code gives professionals the knowledge they need to safely and properly install systems in all kinds of different buildings.


Which of the following is not an efficient way to heat your home?

Direct sunlight can't help you when it comes to night time! Electricity, gas and oil are all more efficient ways of heating up your space. They all have pros and cons, however, so it's important to look into them.


What type of substance is a refrigerant?

Refrigerant is a type of liquid which is used in HVAC systems. It has the ability to both cool and heat up in order to give off the proper temperature.


What does "DH" stand for?

"DH" stands for district heating. This means that the heat is confined to one location where it serves its purpose.This type of heating is permitted to be used in both residential and commercial spaces.


Air conditioning used to be measured in what?

Before switching over, ice power was the way you measured air conditioning. As crazy as it sounds, ice power was determined by the ice needed to create the temperature that the room was at.


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