How Does Your HVAC System Work?

Two HVAC systems.

Heating and cooling systems have a lot of moving parts, so breaking them down one by one will help you figure out what's going on in your house. Learn about the anatomy of your heating and cooling system, to understand how it functions.

Thermostat: The thermostat is the most visible part of your HVAC system, and it's also the one you'll interact with the most. It can be adjusted manually and configured to keep your home at your preferred temperature and is usually mounted on easily accessible walls. The thermostat activates your HVAC system to circulate air as required when the ambient temperature becomes too hot or cold.  Furnace: The furnace is the main component of your HVAC system, and it can be very large—it will take up the most space of all the other elements. The furnace heats the air, which is then spread through ductwork or passageways to various parts of your house. Solar energy, heat pumps, electric resistance, and combustion are all used as heat sources in furnaces.

Evaporator coil: When the thermostat is set to a lower temperature, the evaporator coil is used to cool the air. This chilly air is then circulated around your residence.

Condensing unit: This unit is located on the exterior of your home and contains refrigerant gas. The condensing device pumps the liquid refrigerant to the evaporator coil, where it is converted back into steam.

The outlets that help distribute heated and cooled air from the duct system into the different rooms of your home are known as vents. They're usually located near the ceiling and have angle slats that guide air downward. It's important that these vents don't get clogged.

Refrigerant lines: These lines transport refrigerant in the form of gas to the condensing device. This gas is converted to a liquid and then returned to the evaporator coil.

These are the fundamentals of how HVAC systems operate. You'll come across a few different setups when shopping for a new HVAC system.

HVAC Systems Types

Understanding the various types of HVAC systems will help you save time when weighing your choices and gain a better understanding of how HVAC operates. Before you go shopping, narrow down your options and get a better picture of what you'll need to make yours run smoothly.

Split heating and cooling system: This is the most common form of HVAC system. It has elements inside and outside the building. It usually consists of an air conditioner that cools refrigerant outside your home and a furnace with a fan or coil inside. These systems have ductwork, which distributes air within your home's numerous spaces. Special accessories, such as air purifiers, cleaners, and humidifiers, are available with newer, more energy-efficient split systems.

Ductless split system: As the name suggests, this system does not require ductwork to operate. A ductless mini-split, also known as a ductless heat pump, is a good choice for retrofitting homes with non-ducted heating systems. They're also a smart choice for rooms where delivery ductwork isn't possible.

By regulating valves or dampers inside the ductwork, zoned HVAC systems allow you to cool or heat different areas of your home. These dampers are used to obstruct airflow selectively. Since zoned air systems allow you to monitor which areas are heated or cooled at particular times, they can save you a lot of money.

Humidity control: Most modern systems have humidity control as an option. Depending on your environment needs, humidifiers and dehumidifiers may be added. When your HVAC system is on, these systems allow you to automatically monitor the humidity levels in your home. Humidity, as well as high temperatures, can be a concern in certain parts of the world. Have you heard about the weather forecast? "It's 90 degrees outside, but it feels like 100." That can be attributed to the presence of humidity. It's important that your air conditioning system delivers more than just cold air; it should also provide you with a comfortable overall climate, which is often only achieved by humidity control.

Select the appropriate machine size: Bigger isn't always better, particularly when it comes to HVAC systems. Don't buy a bigger unit than your house needs. The machine can cycle through its rounds too fast if it is too heavy for the amount of square footage it is cooling. Excess condensation, mold, rot, and, of course, reduced comfort are all possible outcomes. Request assistance from your contractor in assessing the proper sizing.

Contact us today and find out how Five Star can help you!

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