We’ve all experienced those icy mornings when the walk from the car to the office feels like a journey to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. On those days, getting through the doors of the building feels like coming home at the end of a long day – no matter what we may think of our jobs.
These are the days to be grateful a heating ventilation engineer was involved in our office building’s design.
As recently as 2004, there were between 65,000 and 85,000 people using the term “heating ventilation engineer,” or a related term, to describe their jobs. Tasked with maintaining the air quality and climate control of enclosed spaces, heating ventilation engineers – or HVAC specialists – must maintain safe, healthy and comfortable conditions in the buildings for which they design systems, making sure the people who live or work in those buildings don’t get too hot in summer or too cold in winter.
Here’s a brief list of the tasks a heating ventilation engineer is charged with.
Heating. Heating ventilation engineers can design, install and maintain central heating systems, which often include boilers or furnaces. They may also design other types of thermal control systems, such as geothermal heat pumps (which use the temperature of the Earth to heat homes and buildings). A heating ventilation engineer will be adept at placing and installing ductwork and radiators.
Air Conditioning. Perhaps ironically, every heating ventilation engineer will likely, at one point or another, be charged with removing heat from structures. The simple name for this is air conditioning. Many of the most efficient and effective air conditioning systems cool entire buildings with a minimum of electricity; Heating ventilation engineers are hard at work trying to make the refrigeration cycle, which is responsible for the cooling effect provided by air conditioners, more efficient.
Ventilation. Without proper ventilation, we would – to be blunt – suffocate. Without the proper ventilation a heating ventilation engineer provides, skyscrapers and other tall buildings wouldn’t be very comfortable places to work. But that’s not all – these engineers must also make sure the air quality throughout buildings is uniform and safe. A talented heating ventilation might also work on ventilation and air quality systems in vehicles, like submarines, airplanes and spacecraft.
Efficiency. A good heating ventilation engineer is always looking for ways to make HVAC systems work better and use less energy. By studying the principles of thermodynamics and their applications to new systems, engineers hope to create new heating and air conditioning devices that are less expensive and more environmentally friendly.