Heating Systems Basics

SKU: RVI-11497Duration: 20 Minutes

Heating systems are one of the many ubiquitous conveniences of modern life. For many of us, central heating systems have always been a part of our lives. We only seem to notice heating systems when they are malfunctioning. Yet it took inventors and scientists to discover and understand heat transfer to then apply these principles for us to depend upon reliable heating systems. It behooves design engineers, operators and maintenance personnel to have a basic understanding of a few heat transfer concepts to ensure proper operation of heating systems. This course will discuss three types of heat transfer: convection, conduction and radiation. It will show how heating systems operate utilizing these forms of heat transfer acting in concert with each other. The operation of hot water and steam boilers along with electric heater will be examined. Finally, a brief explanation of controls for heating system will be presented.

Course Details


Training Time: 20 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the two types of heat used in a commercial Variable Air Volume Systems
  • Differentiate between open- and closed-loop piping systems
  • Identify the two types of energy used in a commercial hot water boiler
  • State the purpose of a thermostat on a hot water boiler
  • Describe how a heat exchanger works
  • State the purpose of a steam trap in a steam boiler
  • List the steps to take in determining if an electric resistance heater is working

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What is latent heat?
Latent heat is the heat required to change a solid to a liquid or a liquid to a vapor without changing the temperature of the substance.

What is an aquastat?
An aquastat is a simple thermostat in a residential hot water boiler used to maintain water at a constant supply temperature.

What is conduction?
Conduction is the transfer of heat through a solid object.

What is convection?
Convection is the heating of a liquid or gas which then moves by natural or mechanical means which in turn heats more of the fluid.

What is a BTU - British Thermal Unit?
A BTU is the Imperial unit equal to the amount of energy to heat one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

The most basic control for a residential hot water boiler is a simple thermostat, often called an aquastat, used to maintain water at a constant supply temperature. Controls for a commercial hot water boiler can be complicated and will not be covered entirely here. An energy-saving control called a reset schedule changes the thermostat set point based on a few factors including the outside air temperature. As the outside air temperature rises, the hot water supply temperature is lowered. Not only does this reset save energy, but it also minimizes overheating of conditioned spaces. Not technically a control device, steam traps are an essential accessory that provides a necessary function of proper operation and energy efficiency. A steam trap is designed to allow only condensate to pass. the steam cools and condenses, it releases the latent heat. Any steam that enters the condensate return is a waste of energy not available for comfort heating. Also, steam in the condensate return line can damage the condensate return pump. Building Control Systems are computer control systems that monitor and control all aspects of the HVAC systems. This includes room thermostats, boiler water temperatures, reset control, outside air temperature monitoring, and sequencing operation of HVAC equipment.
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