Explaining HVAC: Learn What Your System Consists Of

August 4, 2015

Chances are you may not completely understand how your home HVAC system works. This knowledge, however, can help you in identify HVAC problems and potentially do some basic maintenance yourself. A great starting point is learning about the different components that make up your system. Here is a guide explaining HVAC components.

HVAC Components HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. This encompasses the three main components of the system that work together to provide a comfortable indoor temperature, humidity control and a high level of air quality. Let's look at each component separately.

Heating The heating component uses a heating appliance such as a furnace, heat pump or boiler to heat your indoor air. Most furnaces and boilers burn fuel to produce heat, while some furnaces draw electricity to produce heat. Heat pumps absorb heat from the ground or outside air and transfer it to the indoor air. They also have different ways of distributing heat. For example, furnaces and heat pumps use ductwork to circulate warm air. Ductless mini-split heat pumps are special types of heat pumps that use indoor registers instead of ductwork to deliver warm air. Boilers are used in radiant heating systems that distribute heat through hot water tubing or electric heating coils.

Ventilation The ventilation component of your HVAC system deals with the movement of air. Supply systems pull fresh air from outside and feed it into your home. Exhaust systems do the opposite, removing stale air from the home. Some systems do a combination of the two, and others work to recover energy and/or control humidity. Whole-house ventilation makes use of the ductwork, air return registers, supply registers, blower assembly, vents and other stand-alone equipment.

Air Conditioning There are many types of air conditioning systems to choose from. These include central air, ductless mini splits, portable units and heat pumps. All of these feature a similar process for cooling your home. Your A/C system circulates a refrigerant that is converted to a gas as it absorbs heat from your home. The heat is taken to the compressor where it is expelled, creating a cooler home. Now that you understand your HVAC system, you can operate and take care of it better. If you want to speak to experts that can help in further explaining HVAC components, related issues and maintenance tips, contact us at Lozier Heating & Cooling. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock"