HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. HVAC systems are indispensable to indoor comfort. Having an efficient heating and cooling system ensures the well-being of all Bay Area residents. If you already have an HVAC system running at home or are planning to invest in one, it is useful to know what home HVAC systems consist of and how they function.
This will not only help you troubleshoot in case of any malfunctions, but also save you from any frauds, scams or misinformation being passed around by HVAC technicians. You will also be able to maintain your system better. As there are many types of HVAC systems available in the market, you can also make an informed choice once you know how they function.
These are the main parts of a residential HVAC system.
The condenser is located in the outdoor unit of your HVAC system. It is responsible for heat transfer. The condenser includes the compressor, condenser fan motor, coils, and control board. The refrigerant in the system absorbs heat and cools the air that is then circulated around the house through the ductwork.If the fan in the condenser does not work, the refrigerant in the coil will not cool down. The air conditioner will end up blowing warm or no air.
2. Evaporator coil
The air handling unit present inside your house is where the evaporator coil is located. When the refrigerant gas reaches the evaporator through copper pipes that run from the condensing unit, the gas is in liquid state. As warm air passes over the cool evaporator coil, the refrigerant is turned back into a gas that absorbs heat from the air.
A faulty blower motor, which is part of the evaporator coils is usually the issue if the AC is not giving out any cool air. The blower fan sucks in warm air, passes it over the evaporator coil, and returns cool air to your room. If the motor malfunctions, no air will pass over the coils and they can freeze. This is harmful to your system and an expensive issue to repair.
Most central heating systems have a natural or propane powered gas furnace. Electric furnaces are also available. A gas furnace has the following components – a gas valve, ignition switch and burner, blower, heat exchanger, and exhaust outlet. Flame from the burner sends heat to the heat exchanger. Here, heat is given to the cold air taken from the room. The warm air is then circulated around the house by the blower and fan. Furnaces are usually located in the basement or attic of the house.
The thermostat is often called the ‘brain’ of your HVAC system. It is responsible for relaying messages to the system about temperature changes and switching On and Off. The thermostat senses ambient temperature and intimates the system to run. When the desired temperature is reached, it conveys to the system to shut down. The thermostat starts a new cycle when the temperature changes again.