HVAC FAQs – Guide to Buying, Installing, and Maintaining Your Equipment

Useful technical information about purchasing, installing, and maintaining heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems

Getting The Best From Your HVAC Equipment

We present these HVAC FAQs as a guide to keep clients informed about air conditioning systems. For over 30 years, Technoton has provided quality air conditioning products and services to a wide spectrum of clients in Nigeria, covering the building, manufacturing, oil & gas industries and various corporate organizations.

While this is not an exhaustive list, we will endeavour to update it regularly. Do feel free to contact us for any other information you require. Here are the FAQs:

What is HVAC?

HVAC is an acronym which stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVAC systems provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality.

How does Air Conditioning work?

Air conditioners take heat from inside and send it outside through an integrated system of five parts:

  • Refrigerant: Water, air, ice, and chemicals used to remove heat from a space
  • Evaporator - Receives the liquid refrigerant and changes it to gas
  • Condenser - Facilitates heat transfer
  • Expansion valve - Regulates refrigerant flow into the evaporator
  • Compressor - A pump that pressurizes the refrigerant to change it back to liquid from the gaseous state

Air conditioning and refrigeration systems are similar in operating principle; both provide cooling through the removal of heat. Heat can be removed through radiation, convection, or conduction. Water, air, ice, and chemicals are conduction media which are generally referred to as refrigerants.

To sum it up, these refrigerants convert easily from gas to liquid and back again while transferring heat from the air inside a home or office to the outside.

Reference: https://home.howstuffworks.com/ac2.htm

What is a Compressor?

A gas compressor is a mechanical device that increases the pressure of a gas by reducing its volume. In air conditioning systems, the compressor applies pressure to the heated refrigerant gas and pushes it to the condenser.

What is an Evaporator?

An evaporator is an important component in air conditioning and refrigeration systems. It works with other components to remove the heat and supply cooled air into a space.

What is a Condenser?

A condenser is an heat exchanger used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems to condense a fluid from its gaseous state to liquid.

What is an Expansion Valve?

An expansion valve is a component in refrigeration and air conditioning systems that controls the amount of refrigerant flow into the evaporator.

What is an AHU?

An AHU, or air handling unit, is a device used to regulate and circulate air as part of a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

How important is Air Quality?

"Air quality is the degree to which air is suitable or clean enough for humans, animals, or plants to remain healthy." - Collins Dictionary

Air quality systems can greatly improve your comfort & health. While a number of air quality features come standard with many new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; others can easily be integrated with installed systems where they exist.

Pay attention to the following factors when considering an air quality system:

  • Purification
  • Filtration
  • Humidity control
  • Ventilation

Contact us to discuss your air quality requirements.

Does the outdoor air quality affect the air we breathe indoors?

Yes, it does. Our environment releases contaminants from burning fuels, sewage, and other pollution sources into the air. These can affect indoor air quality when particles move into rooms through open windows or doors and could create adverse health effects. All Air cleaners supplied by Technoton protect against these risks.

What is a Ton?

Tons, or Tons of Refrigeration, is the cooling capacity of an air conditioner or refrigerator equal to 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTU) per hour. 200 BTU per hour denotes the amount of heat required to melt 1 ton of ice in 24 hours.

What is Horse Power?

The horse power (HP) is a unit in the foot-pound-second (FPS) or English system. It is sometimes used to express the rate at which mechanical energy is expended.

A power level of 1 HP is approximately equivalent to 746 watts (W) or 0.746 kilowatts (KW).

What is the difference between Ton and Horse Power?

Ton of refrigeration is an S.I. Unit while the horse power is an Imperial unit. 1 Ton = 4.7 HP = 3.52 KW

What is a VRF system?

VRF stands for Variable Refrigerant Flow.

A VRF system comprises of a single outdoor unit connected to multiple indoor units to provide cooling to various spaces. The setup is accomplished using a certain combination ratio depending on the particular equipment manufacturer.

More information here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_refrigerant_flow

What is a Chiller?

A chiller is a machine that removes heat from a liquid via a vapor-compression or absorption refrigeration cycle. This liquid can then be circulated through a heat exchanger to cool equipment, or another process stream (such as air or process water). The chilled water is used to cool and dehumidify air in mid- to large-size commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiller

What is Precision Closed Control Unit?

A precision closed control unit is a special type of air conditioner used mainly within datacenters and server rooms where precise control of temperature and humidity is critical.

What is Direct Expansion system (DX)?

A DX system is a process whereby cooled air in a room or space is directly being passed over by the cooling coil of the refrigeration plant into the room or space.

What is FCU?

A Fan Coil Unit (FCU) is a simple device consisting of a heating and/or cooling heat exchanger or ‘coil’ and fan. It is part of a HVAC system found in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

What is Dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is an appliance which reduces the level of humidity in the air, usually for health or comfort reasons, or to eliminate musty odour in a room.

Dehumidifiers help to protect our health by reducing excess moisture in the air and preventing the growth of disease-causing spores and germs in rooms and buildings.

Why do I need to maintain my HVAC system or air conditioner regularly?

Regular preventive maintenance keeps your HVAC system or Air Conditioner operating at peak levels as intended by the manufacturer.

You also stand to gain cost-savings in energy utilization, and unplanned replacement of parts or the entire unit when ill-managed systems.

Ultimately, carrying our regular maintenance on your air conditioning system helps to improve indoor air quality.

In addition to changing the filters, what other maintenance activity should I do on my heater or air conditioner?

While you should contact a qualified service technician to carry out maintenance on your air conditioner, the following DIY steps will keep the unit performing optimally:

  • Keep ground-mounted outdoor units clean. They must be free of debris, clutter, or weeds as these can reduce the airflow to the units.
  • Use caution with weed trimmers around the unit to prevent damaging control wiring.
  • Keep pets away from the unit for urine can cause expensive damage.

For professional HVAC or AC maintenance, contact us for all your heating, ventilation, and cooling needs.


What regular maintenance should be done on HVAC equipment?

Regular maintenance will typically include the following:

  • Cleaning the internal & external units of the equipment
  • Lubricating all moving parts that require lubrication
  • Replacement of worn out parts
  • Replenishment of the refrigerant gas if required
  • Any other maintenance task as prescribed by the contractor
How often should maintenance be done on an HVAC system?

Maintenance schedules are normally specified by manufacturers. The interval between maintenance can also be determined by frequency of usage, environmental conditions and years of usage.

Contact us for a free evaluation of your HVAC system to determine a suitable maintenance schedule.

What are the sizing capacities of HVAC systems?

The sizing of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems is based on BTUH - British Thermal Units Per Hour. Air conditioners and heat pumps are also rated in tonnage.

12,000 BTU = 1 ton. Residential systems can range from 1 to 5 tons.

How do I know if my AC is big enough for my home, office, or space?

The capacity of the Air conditioning unit is of utmost importance. It is necessary to avoid under-performance (insufficient cooling) or over-performance (increased energy bills).

At Technoton, we thoroughly assess your requirements and specifications to determine the right AC capacity sizing. We will provide you an appropriate recommendation after this assessment.

Do Your Air Cleaners or Air Purifiers defend against air-borne bacteria?

Our range of Air Cleaners and Air Purifiers use specially patented filter technology to catch 99.97% of all air-borne bacteria. They serve excellently in homes, nurseries and classrooms, churches, hospitals, open-plan offices, restaurants, and other public spaces.

Air Quest products defend against germs including viruses that spread rapidly every day in indoor environments. Our super silent and extremely efficient air-filtration products not only help to protect against these harmful germs, they also ensure that the germ particles are not released back into the air you breathe.

My outdoor air conditioning equipment is situated in the sun. Should I build a shade over it?

Outdoor air conditioning equipment is made for outdoor installation in the weather, rain or shine. Constructing a shade is not advisable as it may restrict the air flow to the outdoor coils.

This will result in more costs to cool your home or office and will probably shorten the lifespan of your unit due to recycling of heated air.

Does Technoton offer flexible purchase options for HVAC systems?

Technoton Ltd offers a wide range of flexible payment options. Please contact us to discuss the plan which works best for you.

What factor(s) should we consider when searching for a good HVAC Contractor or Technician?

Purchase, installation, maintenance, repair and replacement of HVAC equipment is expensive. Due diligence should be carried out before selecting a contractor to handle any of these aspects. Ensure that the contractor has qualified and experienced technicians who are properly trained to handle the particular unit(s) you require services for.

Always work with reputable, certified companies who employ certified service technicians by manufacturers for your services.  As an example if your air conditioner contains alternative refrigerant, the service technician should be properly trained to handle it.

At Technoton our technicians are well-trained with over 30 years of excellent service delivery. We have a track-record of providing cutting edge HVAC services to our clients all across Nigeria.

For more information, please call +234-906-000-0172 or +234-818-888-6701 or send us a message.