How Does an HVAC Really Work?

Discover the inner workings of an HVAC system and how it operates. Trust Sandium for best air conditioning service and expertise in a central air conditioning system.

Updated on Oct 22, 2023
5 min read
How Does an HVAC Really Work?

HVAC is short for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is vital for people living and working in the Bay Area. This system is used in almost all commercial buildings and majority of residential places. HVAC systems provide a means for environmental comfort. They are becoming increasingly popular in new constructions since they use fresh air from the outside for better indoor air quality.

Ventilation in an HVAC system refers to the process of exchanging or replacing air within a space. This helps in improving indoor air quality by removing smoke, moisture, odor, dust, heat, carbon dioxide, airborne bacteria, and other things. It also allows for oxygen replenishment and temperature control.

How Does HVAC System Work?

All three functions in an HVAC system are interrelated. This is especially when providing thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality. The heating and air conditioning system in any house is one of the most complicated and extensive systems. You will know soon if it stops working.

There are nine components in an HVAC system. These are described in detail below:

1. Air return

The air return is that part of the HVAC system that marks the starting point of ventilation cycle. The air return sucks in air, draws it through the filter, and then passes it within the main system. You should dust the returns frequently since dust and debris can quickly build up on the filters.

2. Filters

The second part of the air return component that draws in air is the filter. You should regularly change filters to keep the system in good shape.

3. Exhaust outlets

Exhaust outlets are another important component in the HVAC system. These are responsible for expelling hot air from the system. You should check the vent stack or chimney flue regularly for tune ups, if required. It is best to get a professional to do this.

4. Ducts

Ducts are the channels that are responsible for allowing heated and cooled air to pass through. You should have your ducts cleaned every 2 – 5 years to keep everything in working condition.

5. Electrical elements

This is a tricky part of the HVAC system. Unfortunately, most problems originate here first. You should check for dead batteries in the thermostat and tripped breaker if things are not working as they should.

6. Outdoor unit

This is what most people think of when talking about HVAC systems. The outdoor unit has the fan that is responsible for providing air flow. You should keep the outdoor unit clear of vegetation and debris. You can experience major problems if a plant gets sucked in the outdoor unit.

7. Compressor

The compressor converts refrigerant from gas to liquid as part of the outdoor unit. It then sends the liquid to the coils. You should check the compressor if something is not working as it should. Faulty compressor can result in complete system failures.

8. Coils

Coils are responsible for cooling the air as it passes through the refrigerant in the outdoor unit. You should annually check the coils. You may want to check the refrigerant levels and filters as well if the coils are freezing over.

9. Blower

Blower is responsible for drawing in warm air through the main unit section. Your system will be more durable if air moves efficiently through it.

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