Home General A Beginners Guide to Understand the HVAC System

A Beginners Guide to Understand the HVAC System


The HVAC system is a modern age wonder that lets your home stay cool and dry during the blazing hot and muggy summers, and warm and cozy during the chilling winters. All you need to do is flip a switch or tap a button on the remote control. While it was considered a luxury earlier, it has gained wide popularity and consumer base now and the market is likely to proliferate further in the coming years.

The HVAC market is rapidly evolving with technological advancements to use solar power during peak energy demands. Smart thermostats and ice storage cooling system will further help in saving expenses on electricity.

If you do not know what exactly an HVAC system is comprised of, let us help you get a fair idea about the system through this article, to help you understand the fundamentals.

HVAC, which stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, is a heating and cooling system for homes and offices, among other facilities. This HVAC system has nine components, including the furnace, evaporator coil, condensing unit, heat pump, heat exchanger, thermostat, refrigerant tubes, ductwork, and vents.

  • The furnace is the biggest part of the HVAC system, and it is usually placed in the basement of the house or the facility. It is the main component involved in heating the air to circulate it around the place. The air is heated by using a heat source, then the motor blower spreads the air into the ducts.

There are different types of energy sources used in the furnace. The most common and known ones would be natural gas, electric, propane, and oil.

  • The heat exchanger is an essential part of the furnace. Many people misconceive furnaces as fireplace-like equipment with flames heating the air.

In reality, the process becomes a little bit complicated with the heat exchanger doing the magic.

After heating the air and removing the fuel elements, the air is then circulated in a sealed container to warm air. This process is taken care of by the heat exchanger.

  • The evaporator coil and condensing unit are the cooling components in a furnace, the exact opposite of the heat exchanger. The evaporator coil work in synergy to cool the air in the house.

The evaporator coil has refrigerant liquid circulating through a series of coils. The indoor warm air is taken in by fans and passed through the return ducts to the evaporator. Then the cold evaporator coil absorbs the heat from the air and sends the cool air back for circulation in the house.

The refrigerants are then sent to the condensing unit to dispel the heat from it. The condensing unit also has fans that block outdoor heat from entering inside. The refrigerants, when cooled, are sent back to the evaporator coil.

  • Refrigerant tubes are metal tubes that connect the evaporating coil and condensing unit. They connect the indoor and outside units.
  • The thermostat is a component people might be most familiar with. It is a small wall mount device through which the user can set the temperature and either start the cooling or the heating system, as per their preference.

Thermostats have gone through a lot of significant technological developments in recent years, which has helped in the launch of variants like programmable thermostats, Wi-Fi programmable thermostats, and smart thermostats. These HVACs give you functions to set the thermostat to automatically maintain temperature according to your preferences, even from your phone.

  • Ductwork is also an important part of the system. Ductworks include the ducts and vents that are used to circulate the cooled or heated air throughout the house.

Good quality ducts and vents are necessary for proper air circulation, and frequent checks for leaks or obstructions should be done to maintain the flow.

  • A heat pump is very common in HVAC systems. It circulates fluid in the system and utilizes the difference in temperature from inside and outside to maintain the heat and cold of the house.

There are three different types of heat pump systems air source, geothermal, and water source.

Some Tips for Maintenance of the System

It is important to ensure that the HVAC systems work efficiently so the cooling and heating systems maintain your desired temperature. It will also help you extend the life of the system, minimizing any long-term damage.

You can follow the tips mentioned below to maintain the proper working of the system.

  • Changing the filters regularly is one of the easiest ways to maintain a clean airflow in the house.
  • Clean your condenser unit or heat pump once every season.
  • Having the system professionally checked and cleaned will help in solving potential problems.
  • Clean the area around the outdoor unit of leaves and debris.


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