What Components Make Up Your HVAC System?
The cycle your HVAC system makes to keep you comfortable
Did you know that in order to work on an air conditioner you must be an authorized dealer of that brand? If someone who is not a trained professional were to work on your system it would completely void an warranty you have on that system, potentially costing you thousands in repairs! There is good reason for it, heating and cooling systems are not that simple…
Professional HVAC technicians go through years of training to gain experience on the best ways to treat or replace an HVAC system. We realize not everyone is an A/C pro. In fact, many people don’t have the first clue what makes up their HVAC system. Well here is your lucky day. We have made for you a simplified version of the cycle your HVAC system makes, the parts that make up the system and a little information about each one.
#1 The Thermostat
We will begin with the most recognizable component of your HVAC system: the thermostat. Your thermostat is the device used to tell your HVAC system what it needs to do: run or shut off. It all depends on what temperature your thermostat is set to.
Today many people are choosing to upgrade to a programmable thermostats because they save you big money in the long run. They do this by allowing you to set or program the times that you would like your air conditioner at a certain temperature. For example, many of us have 6 to 8 hour span of time when no one is in the house. During this time it would be wise to keep the A/C turned to hotter temperature to avoid paying to cool an empty house. You can even adjust the temperature of your home from your smart phone, allowing you to save money from where ever you happen to be.
#2 The Air Compressor
The compressor is the heart of the air conditioning system. This is the area where the refrigerant is condensed and recirculated back into the indoor air handler. The air compressor is located in the unit outside within the condenser. It is the first place refrigerant will travel to in its journey to cool your home.
#3 The Condenser Coil
The charged air from the compressor then travels through a network of tubes filled with refrigerant that removes heat from the heated gas refrigerant and converts the refrigerant into a gas form again. This network of tubes is called the condenser coil and is located within the outside unit also. It is basically a place in which the refrigerant condenses from a liquid to a gas form as it is cooled.
#4 The Condenser Fan
Another very recognizable component to your system is the fan. It is located in the outside unit and it pulls air through the condenser coil for heat dispersal. The outside unit fan may get covered with debris or begin to have plant life growing on it. Be sure to keep this fan clear of anything that could hinder its performance.
#5 The Air Handler
Your air handler is the area that the blower (indoor) fan pushes the conditioned air throughout the duct system and then throughout the home. It is located inside your home and holds the evaporator coil. It is also where one would normally would have an quality air purification system installed. Having a purification system put into your air handler is the best way to get the coolest, cleanest air possible.
#6 The Expansion Valve
The expansion valve sits at the evaporator coil and is responsible for converting the gas refrigerant into a liquid. The liquid state of the refrigerant is its coldest so it can remove heat from your home quickly.
#7 The Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil is also a network of tubes, but they are filled with liquid refrigerant that removes heat and humidity from the air in the house. Basically this is where the refrigerant transforms from a gas back into a liquid form. As the refrigerant enters its liquid state, it gets very cold and cools the air that will be distributed into your home.
#8 The Condensate Drain Pan
As the cooling cycle is taking place your air conditioner produces a significant amount of water as a by-product because of all of the heating, cooling, and evaporation that is taking place. The condensate drain pan is attached to the evaporator coil by a series of pipes to catch all of this water and prevent it from leaking into and ruining other aspects of your home.
In a central air conditioning system, the pipes that carry this condensate water need to periodically be flushed to prevent them from getting stopped up with the algae and similar growth. During a preventative maintenance call these pipes are flushed to prevent any major repairs from happening.
#9 The Duct System
Your ducts are located in your home’s attic and they are the passageway that conditioned air travels through in order to distribute air throughout the home. Attached to your ducts are vents which the air flows out of. It is important that your ducts are sealed properly and that they remain clear and free of debris or those particles will be blown out into your living space.
Call the Professionals
As you can see there are quite a few essential parts to your HVAC system, some more complicated than others. If you ever have any questions or if your A/C is causing you concern, give us a call. With our rapid response time we should have you up and running by the end of the day!