CPS Heating and Cooling explains what an HVAC system is and how they work.

Most buildings where people are expected to work and live have some type of HVAC system.

HVAC is an acronym for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

In General

Everything that has to do with maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature, humidity level, and air quality is part of an HVAC system.

The best Metrowest HVAC contractor offering full-service heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.Break It Down

An “HVAC system” is unique to every building, and it’s designed by integrating several commonly interchangeable pieces of equipment into a building to perform specific functions.

In the following sections, I give working definitions of the various equipment used to carry out each function of an HVAC system.


Home heating equipment can run on oil, natural gas, electricity, and propane.

The equipment used to produce home heat are called furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps.

Most homeowners in the United States heat their homes with either furnaces or boilers, according to U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE).

Furnace tune-ups in Boston residential and commercial heat systems.

Furnaces heat and distribute air through ducts to vented areas in the house.

Boilers heat water. Steam boilers distribute heat through pipes to radiators, and hot water boilers deliver heat through baseboard radiators and radiant floor systems.

Heat pumps are another popular, energy-efficient way to heat your home. They also cool and dehumidify, as well, and I discuss that under Cooling.

Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from one place to another. Moving heat is more energy efficient than generating heat.

A heat pump can provide equivalent space conditioning at roughly 25% less than the cost of operating a conventional heating system, according to the DOE.

In this blog post, I talk about heat pump trends in the Northeast.


Air conditioners cool your home in a similar way to your home’s refrigerator cools itself.

Refrigerators transfer heat from inside the refrigerator to the outside (your home). Likewise, air conditioners transfer heat from inside the home to the outside of your house.

Air conditioner repairs, AC installation, and AC service in Metrowest Boston

In this blog post, I talk about 4 common mistakes people make tuning-up their air conditioner.

Ductless mini-split-system heat pumps (mini-splits)

Use an exterior, single-unit compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit to cool, heat, dehumidify, and purify indoor air.

Ductless mini-split heat pumps in Boston apartment heating and cooling

Ductless mini-splits are a smart choice for additions, finished basements, and apartments and condos because there no ductwork needed.

Click here to learn more about ductless mini-split systems.


Ventilation is an often forgot about, yet very important, component to the energy-efficient strategy for a house or building.

The living space of your home should be ventilated at a CFM rate (a standard measurement of airflow) calculated like this: 3% of the conditioned floor area + 7.5 (# of bedrooms + 1), according to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

The three basic ventilation strategies include natural ventilation, spot ventilation, and whole-house ventilation. Buildings with successful ventilation solutions typically combine one or more of these strategies, says the DOE.

This link brings you to a blog post I wrote on symptoms of unhealthy indoor air quality. Duct cleaning, preventative maintenance, and HVAC service in Boston


Advances in energy-efficient HVAC equipment are constantly evolving the way we approach managing the indoor environments we live and work in. Find a nearby HVAC contractor who can help you find the best heating and cooling solutions for your home.


CPS Heating and Cooling

You can always call on your extended family of dependable heating, cooling, and air quality experts at CPS Heating & Cooling.

If you are in need of more information or would like to schedule a free consultation, you can reach us at 508-460-6691 or fill out this form.