How Do The Components of Your Heating and Cooling (HVAC) Systems Work

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of entering an air-conditioned home on a hot summer day or walking into the warmth of your home after a long day of winter’s cold. Thanks to your HVAC system, both of these experiences are possible. To continue experiencing comfort and clean air in your home or business, it helps to have some knowledge of your HVAC system components. You don’t need to be a professional technician to understand how your system works. But knowing the parts that make up your HVAC system can help you identify problems before they become worse. Here is a helpful breakdown of components, their function, and who you should contact if problems arise.

Know Your HVAC System Components

Working in conjunction with each other, the components of your HVAC system provide your home or office with a desirable temperature. Issues with a single component may result in inefficiencies that lead to larger energy bills or dangerous build-up of gas. Here are the components on a typical, conventional home HVAC system:

  • Thermostat
    Whether you want to turn the temperature up or down, the thermostat controls when your AC or furnace turns on. Your thermostat can detect the temperature within your home, similar to a thermometer. After detecting the temperature, the thermostat will make adjustments to reach the desired temperature. Thermostat technology has come a long way from a simple dial. Today’s models can be programmed to automatically turn on when you are on your way home or whenever you want it.
  • Furnace
    When chilly temperatures hit, you’ll want this HVAC system component to be fired up and ready to go. The furnace is in charge of heating the air distributed throughout your home or office. Depending on the type of fuel source your furnace uses, the incoming air is heated by natural gas or electricity.
  • Heat Exchanger
    As your furnace works to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, the heat exchanger inside the furnace is the HVAC system component heating the air. Using burners or coils inside a combustion chamber, the heat exchanger warms air within it quickly. Then, the blower motor blows air over heat exchanger cells, where it’ll be distributed through vents and registers. Since heat exchangers can use natural gas, it’s important to ensure it remains sealed. A cracked heat exchanger could spill harmful gas, such as carbon monoxide, into your living areas. Regularly scheduled maintenance can go a long way to keep your home safe and cozy.
  • Blower
    The blower motor’s main job is to power a fan that pushes air through your ducts. The blower is an essential piece of equipment because you would have no way of distributing treated air without it. If this part of your system is malfunctioning, you would know because your home wouldn’t reach the desired temperature as fast.
  • Indoor Evaporator Coil
    The evaporator coil is responsible for cooling the air being circulated throughout your home. You can find the evaporator coil typically on top of your furnace. When your thermostat is sensing too much heat, it will trigger the fan on the furnace to kick on. As air is being pushed by the blower motor, the air passes through the evaporator coil transferring the heat to the outside. In addition, it removes the humidity from the air.
    Outside Condensing Unit
    Have you ever wondered what the metal unit outside your home does? Well, the condensing unit is responsible for keeping your home cool on hot days. Your condensing unit works by transferring heat from inside your home and rejecting it to the outside. It does this by the movement of the refrigerant in the copper lines that connect it to the indoor evaporator coil.
  • Ducts
    While some parts of your HVAC system work to heat up or cool down air, the ducts are the passageways the cool or hot air travels through. For the most part, you never see the ducts in your home as they are typically located within walls. How can you tell if there are problems with your ducts? Small leaks can result in foul odor, strange noises when HVAC systems are on, or moisture build-up. If you notice these problems with your duct, call Air-Rite.
  • Vents
    Heated air and cooled air must pass through vents to reach each room in your home or office. Another easy way to keep the air passing through your vents clean is wiping down your vents as they accumulate dust and debris. Issues with your vents can typically be handled on your own, unlike other HVAC system components.
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HVAC Maintenance

While some of the issues above can be handled by you, such as monthly filter check and filter replacement as needed. Other problems with your HVAC system must be addressed by a professional. Especially in the case of changing seasons, having a professional look into your HVAC issues gives you peace of mind knowing you’re prepared for inclement weather. Don’t hesitate to have your systems checked even if you have small issues or none at all. At the very least an inspection can give you peace of mind and help you avoid larger bills later on

Call Air-Rite for Your HVAC Clean and Check!

Be proactive about HVAC maintenance. Schedule an inspection with the professionals at Air-Rite. We’ve provided exceptional services to the Chicagoland area, including Naperville, Burr Ridge, Wheaton, Huntley, Aurora, Vernon Hills, to name a few.

Let our technicians help you stay comfortable no matter what the seasons bring.

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