Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning 101

Understanding air conditioning systems can be intimidating to the average homeowner or business owner. For those who aren’t mechanically inclined and are clueless about what it takes to heat and cool your home, we’ve gathered some basic information in order to help you to understand what’s beyond the thermostat.

Common Types of HVAC Systems for Commercial and Residential Applications
Whether your brand is Carrier, Trane, Goodman, Amana or other AC brand, systems generally fall into the following types of categories.

Central Air Conditioning – HVAC System with separate heating and cooling components
Heat Pump Systems – HVAC System in which refrigerant flow is used to both heat and cool a dwelling.
Ductless Split System – Also known as a Mini-Split. Ideally used in home additions, smaller spaces or where there is inadequate space for required ductwork.
Package Systems – All-in one heating and cooling system. Most commonly used for commercial buildings.

Basic elements of an HVAC system

HVAC Systems perform by take advantage of chemical properties, electricity, thermodynamics and mechanical processes in order to maintain control of air temperature and humidity. The following are some basic elements that are generally included as parts of an HVAC system.

  • Thermostat – Controls the temperature and operating mode of the system.
  • Refrigerant – A chemical compound which allows for heat transfer in an HVAC system. Also known as “freon”.
  • Condenser – Designed to dissipate heat carried by the circulating refrigerant.
  • Compressor – A pump which pressurizes the refrigerant allowing it to flow between the coils.
  • Evaporator – Usually located within a sealed duct in an attic or closet. When the system is set to “cool”, air flows over coils that contain the refrigerant.
  • Ductwork – A sealed pathway which allows for air circulation throughout a dwelling.
  • Fan motors – Drives air circulation in an HVAC system.
  • Furnace – When the system is set to “heat”, heating elements activate or natural gas burners ignite, depending if the furnace is electric or natural gas.

Hopefully, this information has helped you to gain knowledge and to understand some of the industry jargon that’s used by our technicians in the field. Of course, if anything is unclear, just ask and we will answer questions you may have about your system.