General Info


General Info



Our class description of a system:

"A collection of personnel, equipment, and methods organized to accomplish a set of specific functions."


  • HVAC, or Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, Systems control the temperature and humidity ratio within a structure.  Smoke control and pressure differences can also be controlled by an HVAC system.  The most important aspect of the system is to keep the occupants comfortable.


  • Our three systems control these properties in different ways.  All three differ in the way that they produce heat and distribute it.  They will be discussed in greater detail on the following pages.


  • Continuous Air Volume Systems are an excellent choice for accurately heating and cooling large spaces.


  • Geothermal Systems use water conduction to heat or cool a structure.  Pipes flow from the building to hot or cool areas, bringing the heat or coolness inside.


  • Hypocausts control the temperature by pumping hot air from a fire beneath the floor, which then evenly spreads the warmth throughout the room or building.


  • A brief comparison of the Primary and Secondary Systems within each of these:


General Comparison

  • Geothermal uses conduction instead of convection to heat/cool and area.  Its cost varies depending on which loop is implicated.  The operating cost for geothermal is relatively low.  CAV systems generally have a medium initial cost as well as operating cost.  CAV systems also take up a lot of space and weigh a lot.  Finally, hypocaust systems are not used today due to safety factors, they generally take up a lot of space, have low efficiency, and have a high operating and initial cost. 


Parameter Chart

  • More details explanations are located with each section
System Temperature Range Humidity Range
CAV 32-104 degrees F 0-95%
Geothermal 40-105 degrees F outside air is negligible, maintains approx 50%
Hypocaust approx 100 degrees F max 100% with heated pools




Home | General Info | CAV | Geothermal | Hypocaust