HVAC systems are a critical component of modern life. It’s important to understand what they are, and how they work. Some of the best home appliance protection systems do include HVAC systems.
These systems are made up of a combination of equipment that heats and cools air in homes and commercial spaces. This includes air conditioners, furnaces, ductwork, vents and filters.
A thermostat is a small, yet essential part of an HVAC system. It senses the temperature in an area and turns on or off the heating and cooling to maintain a set temperature.
A thermometer inside the thermostat converts a measurement of air temperature to an exact degree on the digital display. A microcontroller then reads this number and activates or deactivates the heating system.
A programmable thermostat is ideal for those with a structured schedule and a desire to save energy costs by maintaining specific temperatures at a time that suits them best. Your local HVAC professional will help you choose a model that meets all of your lifestyle and home comfort requirements.
Furnaces use either natural gas or electricity to heat a home’s air. They then blow that hot air throughout a house via ductwork. A furnace also has a flue that vents out combustion waste to prevent carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide build up within the home.
Unlike older systems, newer furnaces typically have an automatic pilot light that doesn’t need to be relit every time the thermostat calls for heat. This saves on wasted heating fuel.
A professional energy audit may help you determine if your HVAC system is properly sized or if insulation and air leaks need attention. This will inform your decisions about replacement.
The ductwork in a house distributes the heated or cooled air produced by the HVAC system throughout the home. Ductwork systems work cyclically, with return ducts pulling air back to the HVAC equipment for filtration and heating/cooling, and supply vents blowing that conditioned air into living areas.
Cracks and holes in ductwork cause conditioned air to escape before reaching rooms, so leakage must be sealed. This can help reduce energy costs.
If you notice dust buildup by the ducts or an increase in allergies or sneezing, it could be a sign that the ductwork needs attention. Ask the home inspector about duct design, sizing, and insulation.
The air handler distributes the warm and cool air that is formed by the furnace or heat pump to each room in the home. It’s usually located in the attic or basement.
The evaporator coils inside the air handler suck up and release refrigerant that can both heat and cool the air. It has an air filter that needs to be changed regularly to ensure that the unit doesn’t have to work as hard to suck or release air.
Heating and cooling costs account for half of a homeowner’s energy bills, so it’s important to understand how your HVAC equipment can impact your home’s energy usage. By educating yourself on capacity, efficiency, brand, and models, you can make an informed purchase that will benefit your home for years to come.
An air conditioner’s evaporator coil is a key component for cooling. The evaporator coil extracts heat from the air inside the home’s ductwork and then cools it before redistribution throughout the house. This is a heavy-duty part that is built to last for the life of an HVAC system, but over time it can experience wear and tear that requires replacement to maintain optimal performance.
Dirt and dust can accumulate on the evaporator coil’s surface, hindering air exchange and reducing efficiency. Refrigerant leaks can also occur, causing a domino effect that eventually leads to reduced cooling and high energy bills.
The compressor is the “heart” of your HVAC system. It presses and pumps the vaporized refrigerant that air conditioners use to remove heat from the air in your home. Without a functional compressor, your air conditioner simply can’t work.
Compressors are able to do this by mechanically reducing the volume of gases to raise their pressure. This process can be performed using positive displacement, centrifugal or rotary vane compressors. The type of compressor your HVAC contractor uses depends on the system and the size of your home. They may choose a single-stage, two-stage or variable-speed compressor.
A line set is the piping that connects your outdoor air conditioning unit (condenser) and indoor air handler. It includes a smaller pipe, known as the liquid line, and a larger one, called the suction line. JMF line sets are insulated and available in various sizes, types of insulation and lengths to meet your installation needs.
Insulation keeps these lines protected from sunlight, wind and moisture, extending their lifespan and promoting better system performance. The insulation also protects your home from pest intrusion and thermal energy loss. Regularly inspect the
insulation to ensure it is in good condition and replace it if necessary.