You depend on your vehicles for transportation, so maintenance is important. You schedule regular auto tune-ups, right? Most homeowners depend on their HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system for year-round comfort.
Savvy property owners get HVAC tune-ups, too! In fact, here in Southeast Texas, living without air conditioning can be dangerous to those who suffer from respiratory illness.
Parts of the HVAC System
Understanding the basic, working parts of your car helps with maintenance and repairs; the same is true of your HVAC system.
When properly maintained, the parts of the HVAC system work together to deliver clean, comfortable air to every room in your home.
- Condensing unit – This is the unit outside your home or property where refrigerant gas is cooled by exchanging heat with outside air. The gas is “condensed” into a liquid form and sent to the evaporator coil. The liquid again becomes a refrigerant gas that is sent back outside. This is part of the cooling process.
- Ducts – Ducts are installed at the time of construction and are usually located above the ceiling. They are the transportation paths for your warm/cool air.
- Evaporator coil – These are part of the furnace but are located outside the furnace unit. These are activated when cool air is needed.
- Furnace – This is the large appliance usually stored in a closet or the garage. Furnaces can be one of two types: single-stage or two-stage. Their efficiency ratings are most important: The lower your energy efficiency, the higher your heating/cooling bills.
- Heat exchanger – This is inside the furnace and is activated by the thermostat. It is triggered when warm air is needed.
- Refrigerant lines – These are the metal (usually aluminum or copper) tubes that carry the liquid to the evaporating coil and back to the condensing unit. It is part of the cooling process.
- Thermostat – This controls the heating/cooling function of your HVAC system. The physical unit is small and usually located on a wall inside your home.
- Vents – Vents are usually metal and can be located in the ceiling near the ducts or on the floor. They are the rectangular metal pieces with slats for air direction control.