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Not everyone is familiar with the different types of HVAC equipment that exist to make heating and air conditioning possible. As time goes on, HVAC equipment changes for the better, usually being more cost effective or energy efficient. Knowing some of the basic pieces and their functions could help create a better understanding of how an HVAC system operates.
Not all HVAC systems are the same, but many of them contain the same parts that are needed to work together as a system. Whether you have the ability to do it yourself or you need to contact an HVAC specialist, these parts that are consistently working together to keep the overall system running smoothly. Let’s do a rundown on some HVAC equipment.
There are two types of HVAC coils in a typical HVAC system; a condenser coil and an evaporator coil. The condenser coil aids in heat exchange, and just like it says in the name, it condenses the hot refrigerant gas by being pumped outside and put under pressure to turn into liquid. The condenser coil then helps to release the heat, and the refrigerant comes back inside to the evaporator coil. The evaporator coil, usually found in the air conditioner, is where the household air goes through to be absorbed and turned into cold air. This air is then blown through the ducts.
An air handler is an indoor metal box used for both heating and cooling. It contains the blower, which is what sends the air through your home, as well as the evaporator coil. Depending on the size of the HVAC system, it’s available in different sizes and different speeds. It’s one of the most important parts of the HVAC system. It’s how your cool air and warm air reaches you.
Refrigerant lines are the metal tubes that the refrigerant runs through on its way to the evaporator coils. Refrigerant is what causes the cooling. The condensing unit vaporizes the liquid into gas and goes to the evaporator coil as liquid. These tubes can handle many temperatures, from normal to extreme.
The furnace is a large unit, usually hidden away in a basement or a closet. The furnace is the HVAC system’s heat supplier. Heat is sent from the furnace to all the ducts of the home. There are different types of furnaces with different types of heat sources. For example, a gas heating furnace uses gas and oil.
Single Stage Furnace vs. Two-Stage Furnace
The single stage furnace has an on and off function, allowing the user to have full control. The two-stage furnace works through the thermostat. The thermostat is used to determine whether hot air or cold air is needed. The two-stage furnace is beneficial for saving energy because the furnace turns off on its own when the temperature reaches an appropriate level.
A heat exchanger is found in every furnace unit. It’s a very important part and it should be kept clean. First, the thermostat activates the furnace. Then, the heat exchanger goes into action. Cool air comes into the heat exchanger, which is pulled from the rooms of the home or building, and is heated to be distributed back in.
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A thermostat is the controlling component of the furnace. It senses the temperature and alerts the furnace. Most of them are placed so that they can be easily accessed and changed by those occupying the home or building. Depending on preference, they can be programmed or manually set. A programmable thermostat is beneficial for controlling the temperature during all times of the day. A programmable thermostat can even help to save money and energy.
Ducts, or ductwork when referring to the system of ducts, are usually made of aluminum and often placed within the ceiling when the home or building is built. Ductwork is responsible for transferring air to different areas of the home. It’s important to keep the ducts insulated.
A vent is a rectangular opening in which the air transferred from the ducts is released. The metal used to make the vents is able to handle both the cold and hot air temperatures that pass through. Take a look on or near your ceiling. They’re most likely there.
Not all vents are referred to as vents. Some have specific names. An example of one is a supply register. It’s a small rectangular vent that brings the warm and cold air. The opposite of this is the return vent. The return vent is larger and made to, you guessed it, return the air. It gets returned to the HVAC system to go through the process of being warmed or cooled again.
There you have it; more behind heating and cooling than you probably wanted to know. As long as your home is receiving the proper heating and air conditioning, you may not think twice about the workings behind it. Now when you’re at home or any building enjoying the comforts of one or the other, you’ll be knowledgeable about what equipment is making it possible.
If you don’t feel as though your HVAC equipment is working how it’s explained above, it may be time for an HVAC repair.