Basics of an HVAC System

Whether it is the unbearable summer heat or the freezing cold of winter, we heavily rely on our HVAC systems. These systems keep us comfortable and relaxed, no matter what the weather is outside. However, only a few people understand the basics of an HVAC system and how it works.

There are several components and parts that go into the operation to ensure your comfort. In this guide, we will discuss all the basics of the HVAC system in your home.

What Is An HVAC System?

An HVAC system works to ensure proper cooling and heating indoors. The purpose of using an HVAC system is to provide a comfortable temperature inside the home, irrespective of the weather outside. During the cold months, homeowners will enjoy a warm environment, and vice versa.

Basic Components Of An HVAC System

Several complex and delicate components are present in an HVAC system. All of these components play essential roles in ensuring the comfort of your loved ones at home. Here are the boilerplate notes on each.

  • Refrigerant

It is a crucial component of HVAC system. Without the refrigerant, the system will not be able to function properly. The purpose of these liquids is to absorb heat from your home and supply cool air inside.

In a heat pump, this refrigerant can also absorb heat from outside and supply warm air during winter.

  • Condensing Unit

A condensing unit is a part of an HVAC system that contains a compressor and condenser coil. The compressor of the system pressurizes the working fluid and sends it to the condenser coil. The heat is released in the coil and the refrigerant condenses to liquid from gas. The liquid is then moved to the evaporator coils of the system.

  • Evaporator Coil

An evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air in the building. It is located inside the building and is linked to the condenser unit. The refrigerant from the condensing unit flows through the evaporator coil and pulls heat from the air. This heat travels to the condenser coil and is then released outside.

  • Air Handler

Air handler is a major component of an HVAC system. It is a large air-handling unit that contains a fan and a blower motor, along with heating and cooling coils. The air handler moves air throughout the home to maintain the desired temperature.

  • Thermostat

The thermostat is a vital component connected to the heating and cooling system. monitors and controls the temperature inside the home. It does so by controlling the airflow through the air handler.

  • Heat Pump

From the name, you could think that it can work only as a heating system. You would be wrong if you did so. A heat pump works to both heat and cool a home.

In summer, the heat pump removes heat from indoors and passes it outside, exactly like an air conditioner condenser. But for heating during winter, rather than producing the heat, it simply removes heat from outside and passes it indoors to keep you warm.

  • Ductwork

The ductwork of an HVAC system is a network of pipes and tubes. The purpose of air ducts is to evenly distribute the air from the HVAC system into the room or home.

How Does An HVAC System Work?

An HVAC system circulates air inside the home through a series of fans, vents, and so on to ensure comfort. The system is designed to both cool and heat the air, depending on the season and the needs of the home. The system pulls in air from outside. And this air is then heated or cooled to the desired temperature.

The air is then pushed through the ducts and into the home, where it is distributed to each room. To hold the set temperature on the thermostat, the system will turn on and off as necessary.

How To Maintain An HVAC System?

HVAC systems will lose efficiency and your utility bills will skyrocket if not maintained properly. Here are some tips that might come in handy to ensure your HVAC system operates at peak efficiency –

1. Replace air filters regularly

Replacing air filters in your HVAC system regularly is something you should not put off as dirty air filters will make the entire system work harder and lose efficiency. So, make sure to replace the filters with new ones once every three to four months.

2. Clean the condensers and heat pumps outside

Condensers, heat pumps, and other outdoor units need to be cleaned occasionally to ensure they are running efficiently. Clean the unit yourself or take professional help to get rid of any dirt and debris accumulated on the exterior unit.

3. Check refrigerant levels

If the refrigerant level is low, it can cause the HVAC system to work harder than normal and lower its efficiency. Have a qualified HVAC technician check and refill refrigerant as needed.

4. Inspect the air ducts

As time passes, the air ducts get clogged with dirt, debris, and many more. For regular maintenance and ’s experienced HVAC technicians recommend timely air duct inspection and cleaning. This will help to ensure proper airflow and reduce energy costs.

What Is The Overall Cost Of Installing An HVAC System?

The overall cost of purchasing and setting up an HVAC system is dependent on many factors. This includes the size of the system, labor costs, brand, efficiency, and so on. However, the typical cost of installing a heating and cooling system in an average home ranges between $5000 to $10,000.

Summing Up

To ensure comfort inside the home in both warm and cold seasons, there is no alternative to HVAC systems. Even though most of us have heating and cooling systems installed in our homes, we often do not have any idea about the basic operations of the components. Now that you are aware of the HVAC basics, we believe that system maintenance will become easier for you.