What are the Different Types of Climate Control Systems?

B. Turner

Climate control systems are used to provide heating and cooling in residential and commercial buildings. These systems are part of the building's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, and are typically installed and maintained by specialty contractors. There are a number of different types of climate control systems that may be used, depending on the size and function of the building, as well as the needs of occupants or residents.

A halogen space heater.
A halogen space heater.

HVAC systems are used to improve building comfort, increase productivity, and to preserve building components over time. Effective climate control systems not only improve the well-being of occupants, but also help to keep moisture and humidity levels in check. While excess cold or heat can lead to burst pipes or warped furnishings, unchecked moisture and humidity can cause mold or rot.

Climate control systems are part of the building's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, and are typically installed and maintained by specialty contractors.
Climate control systems are part of the building's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, and are typically installed and maintained by specialty contractors.

Maintaining proper temperatures and conditions within the building requires specialized equipment and maintenance. In larger structures, central heating and cooling systems use a series of ductwork to transfer air throughout the building. The air is cooled or heated in a furnace or air handling unit, then distributed to each room through vents or grills. In smaller buildings, individual heating and cooling units may be used. These systems may consist of simple space heaters or through-wall air conditioning systems.

Some central heating systems use boilers to heat water or air that is then used for warming a home or building.
Some central heating systems use boilers to heat water or air that is then used for warming a home or building.

Effective climate control systems must also address ventilation requirements. Inadequately ventilated buildings will have poor air quality and may even suffer from condensation and other moisture issues. In both large and small buildings, ventilation can be natural or mechanical. Natural ventilation systems include air intake louvers, operable windows, and loosely constructed building components. While these systems are affordable to operate, they tend to result in poor energy efficiency levels overall.

Mechanical ventilation systems are tied into HVAC equipment and duct networks. Fresh air is brought into the building using intake fans or louvers, and is passed through heating and cooling units. From there it travels through the ducts into each room. A separate set of ducts removes stale exhaust air from each room and transports it back out of the building.

Most climate control systems in larger buildings are monitored using performance management software. These performance monitoring systems allow operators to control heating and cooling levels using a computer program. Ventilation and humidity levels can be adjusted, and air quality is automatically monitored for carbon dioxide levels and other contaminants. Building performance monitoring helps the building owner to balance energy efficiency, comfort, air quality and maintenance in one simple system.

Unchecked moisture or humidity may lead to mold growth.
Unchecked moisture or humidity may lead to mold growth.

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Discussion Comments


My car has a lot of gadgets that I don't use, but I love the automotive air conditioning and climate control system. This is so much better than constantly adjusting knobs and vents.

All I do is determine whether I want heat or air, set the temperature I want, and leave it alone. I can also set each side of the car, and the front seat is separate from the back.

No longer do I have to listen to the kids complain about being too hot or too cold. This is the first car I had with a system like this, and I got spoiled with it pretty fast.


My daughter lives in an old apartment that doesn't have central air conditioning. In the winter time her heat is from a radiator which is hard to control.

Many times it is so hot in her apartment that the only way she can get any relief is to open up a window. This isn't very energy efficient, but otherwise she feels like she is suffocating.

She put in a window air conditioner to help with the heat and humidity in the summer. She is almost ready to graduate from college and is looking forward to living in a place that has a furnace and a modern central air conditioning system.


One of the biggest things I like about my climate control system is the ability to program the air or heat to come on at a certain time.

When I am away from home all day long, I don't need to run the air or furnace at the same temperature as I would if I was home during the day.

This way, I have it set to come on about an hour before I get home, so the house is at the temperature I want it. Not only is this comfortable for me, but is energy efficient, and helps lengthen the life of my central air unit.


I have a lot of allergies, and I haven't yet live in an apartment with a climate control system that can filter the air well enough to keep me from sneezing. I always have to purchase separate air purifiers and place them in a few rooms throughout my apartment.

I'm hoping that whenever I purchase my own home, I'll be able to invest in a really nice climate control system. It's a pain replacing the air filters for my external air purifiers!


@strawCake - That's a good idea! I would love to be able to monitor my climate control at home more closely.

Anyway, I never realized how important something like an HVAC is for preventing the growth of mold. I was reading up on mold awhile ago, and literally all mold needs to grow is a moist environment. That's it! And mold can be huge problem for both the home and for the health of the people who live there.

It seems sensible to invest money in your climate control system so you don't end up having to pay money to clean up mold in your home later on!


I think these days, most people are really concerned about the energy efficiency of their climate control systems. I know in my area, energy is pretty costly. So if your climate control system is working harder than it needs to be (or if you simply run your air conditioning too much), you could end up with a hefty electric bill at the end of the month.

I wish houses had the same kind of performance management software large building have for their climate control system! That way it would be easy to be comfortable and energy efficient at the same time.


@kylee07drg – Another thing I have noticed about homes with window air conditioning units is that they seem to have a lot of humidity inside. I don't know if this is because of the drip produced by the air conditioner or what.

My sister's house is cooled by window units, and she has started using a dehumidifier to take care of the problem. Mildew was starting to grow around the windows and baseboards, and the dehumidifier has taken care of the problem.

I'm like you. I wouldn't know what to do without my central HVAC system. I hope I never have to move into a place where window units will be necessary.


I never knew that HVAC systems were designed to remove stale air from inside a building! I guess I just assumed that the new air coming in freshened up the old somehow.

It's good to know I'm not breathing the same old air all the time. Maybe this is why my allergies aren't any worse than they are.

I use an air filter that is supposed to capture allergens and pollen and prohibit them from entering the room. Since I changed the air filter last week, I have noticed a big improvement in my condition. After I put the new filter in, the old, allergen-filled air must have gotten sucked out by the HVAC system.


I know a lady who lives in a shaded valley and never has to turn on her air conditioner in the summer. She uses a natural ventilation system that works because of all the trees in her yard that keep the area cool.

I'm sure that her house is not as cool as it would be if she used the air conditioner, but it stays cool enough to satisfy her family. Her sons play football and her husband works construction, so they are all used to extreme temperatures. The well-ventilated house probably feels wonderful to them, after a day in the hot sun.

She simply opens up her windows, which were placed in a way to allow for maximum air flow through her home. On breezy days, she says it can get downright cool in there. Even on days with little wind, it stays comfortable.


I have several friends who have to use those air conditioning units that sit in a window. The problem with this type of system is that it only cools the room it is in, so they have to have several units.

Also, it can get expensive to cool every room in their house this way, so they usually only buy a unit for their bedroom and their living room. They just leave the doors open in the other rooms and hope the cool travels there.

Every time I visit a home cooled this way, I am thankful for my central HVAC system. They can't afford to cool the guest room, so I don't stay overnight. I couldn't tolerate the heat and humidity, after having become accustomed to central air.

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