While most people are familiar with their home’s thermostat, many do not know about the furnace or heat pump. They’re not sure how these components work or what they do. Your home’s HVAC system is very important so you’ll want to learn as much about it as possible. If you’re planning to enter the HVAC industry, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with these components as soon as possible. So, what are the most important HVAC system components of all?
Breaking Down The Most Important HVAC System Components
Below, you’ll learn more about these components and their purposes.
If your home has an HVAC system, it is going to have a thermostat and you likely use it each day. Most people are familiar with the thermostat since it is mounted on their walls and they use it to adjust their home’s temperature. Over the years, thermostats have changed significantly. In the early days, it was only possible to use the thermostat to turn the system on and off or adjust the temperature. Today, you can program the thermostat so it’ll adjust the settings accordingly.
You’ll also find smart thermostats that monitor your behaviors and change the temperatures accordingly. According to many experts, smart thermostats can help save money. Either way, the thermostat will determine the temperature inside of your home. Once the desired temperature is reached, it will send a message to the other components telling them it is time to shut off. When the temperatures become too hot or cold, the thermostat will let the system know so it can begin warming or cooling the home again.
The furnace is going to be one of the most important components of any HVAC system and it is usually the largest. In most cases, your furnace will be placed in your attic, cellar, or closet. The furnace is going to heat the air which will then be distributed throughout the home. The furnace can use a variety of heating methods to heat the air. For instance, it might use combustion, solar energy, a heat pump, or electric resistance. Either way, the furnace is going to serve the purpose of heating the air before it is sent inside of the home.
Your heat exchanger is located inside of the furnace. When the thermostat notifies the furnace, the heat exchanger will turn on and it will begin producing warmer air. This component will draw in cold air and heat it before the hot air is circulated and sent into the home. Without the furnace and heat exchanger, you would not be able to heat your home sufficient during the winter. Regardless of type, all furnaces have a heat exchange and this component is responsible for heating the air. Any problem with the heat exchanger could result in a carbon monoxide leak.
This can be very dangerous since carbon monoxide can be deadly and it is odorless and odorless. It is wise to use a carbon monoxide detector in your home so you can protect your family from such problems.
While you don’t see the ductwork often, it is easily one of the most important components of your HVAC system. If something goes wrong with the ductwork, you’re going to experience major problems immediately. For instance, the air will escape from the ductwork preventing your home from reaching the desired temperature. There are various types of ductwork that you can install in your home including steel, fiberglass, or flexible plastic. Also, the ductwork can be installed in the crawlspace or attic.
If an animal gets into the attic or crawlspace and damages the ductwork, it is pertinent to fix this problem as soon as possible. You also need to make sure that you clean your ducts regularly since dirty ducts can lead to numerous problems.
The ducts and vents are very similar. However, you have to understand that the vents connect the ducts to your home. You see the vents when you walk around your home. These rectangular outlets allow the warm or cold air to enter your home. They’re often made using metal that can handle high and low temperatures. Depending on the type of system you’re working with, they may be placed on the ground or the ceiling. Regardless, you know that they’re going to serve the same purpose of allowing the air from the HVAC system to enter your home.
Furthermore, you may be able to adjust the flow of the air by manipulating the vents. You can shut off the vents to stop the air from entering certain rooms and vice versa.
Refrigerant is very important since it helps change the temperature of the air. Your system will contain refrigerant lines and they’re responsible for carrying and transporting refrigerant to the condenser. It will transport the refrigerant in a vaporized form before it is returned in liquid form. The lines are thin and narrow and they’re made from tough metal. Most of the time, they’re made of aluminum or copper.
Your HVAC system’s condensing unit is placed outside of your home and it will be linked to the evaporator coil. Also, you should know that this unit is going to contain refrigerant gas. After the refrigerant has been cooled and transformed into a liquid, the condensing unit will send that liquid to the evaporation coil. Then, the refrigerant will be transformed into a gas again.
Ultimately, the warm air needs to be blown into the ductwork and vents before it can reach your home. This is where the blower motor enters the picture. This powerful motor will power a fan and this combination is going to transport the air into your home through the ducts. Combustion will stop then the blower motor will end. This ensures that all of the warm air is able to enter the home before the fan stops. Then, the motor will enter a standby mode and wait for the heating cycle to start over. Some blower motors are variable speed meaning that they can operate at different speeds.
This provides more control over the flow of the air. Variable-speed blower motors can help reduce humidity and noise levels in the home making them a better choice than the conventional alternatives.
Your HVAC system may seem simple since you only tinker with the thermostat each day. When you want to adjust the temperature, you can mess with the thermostat. You do not understand that this sets off a chain of events that cools or warms the air before sending it into your home. The process is far more complex than most people imagine. Now that you’ve learned about these components, you’ll have a better idea of what has happened when something goes wrong.
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Evaporator coils play a major role in the cooling and heating processes. The component is installed inside the air handler, the unit inside the home. HVAC units are complex systems that utilize refrigerant to cool the interior of homes and businesses. The system pushes the refrigerant through small valves or nozzles until it is evaporated. Once the refrigerant becomes a gas, the HVAC system will begin to cool or warm your home.
The HVAC removes warm air from inside your home via ducts. This air passes over the evaporator coil, so it cools off. Once the air reaches a specific temperature, it will then be pushed back into the home via flex duct and floor or ceiling registers (vents). At this time, the ambient temperature in your home will begin to decrease. This will begin the process of sending the refrigerant gas back to the condenser coil, restarting the cooling cycle
Condensation – moisture or water that collects on cold surfaces – will begin to build up inside the HVAC unit as the warm air makes contact with the evaporator coil. This process causes the humidity level to drop inside your home, so it is more comfortable.
Like air conditioners, heat pumps have evaporator coils. During the winter months, the heat transfer process is reversed. This allows the unit to warm the inside of your home by utilizing the warmth from the outdoor air. Since the humidity level drops inside your home, you and/or your family may experience dry eyes and nasal passages. These symptoms can be eliminated by utilizing a humidifier, which will add more moisture to the air.
The main issue with condensation buildup is mold. This may be the result of a leaky refrigerant line, which will also lead to an icy buildup on the evaporator coil. This can happen in both the summer and winter seasons. When this occurs, your HVAC system will not run as efficiently as a properly functioning unit. If you notice mold growing inside of your HVAC unit, you should not delay getting help from your local HVAC company.
If the issue is not remedied in a timely manner, it will cause the airflow to become obstructed. A total malfunction will eventually be in the works if the problem is ignored for too long.
All HVAC systems utilize filters to capture contaminants like dirt and dust. These contaminants can damage the HVAC system in the case of a buildup. The filtration system captures these contaminants, preventing them from entering the HVAC system. It can also keep the air quality in your home healthy and your HVAC system running efficiently. It is recommended to change the HVAC filter at least every 30 days.