Understanding the Components of an HVAC System

A functional heating ventilation & air conditioning (HVAC) system is essential for proper home maintenance & understanding its components helps maintain it properly. Learn about oven motor & fan, compressor, condenser & more.

Understanding the Components of an HVAC System

A functional heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is an essential part of proper home maintenance and the first step to proper HVAC maintenance is to learn the different components. The oven motor and fan, compressor, condenser, expansion valve, evaporator coil, heat exchanger, fan motor, combustion chamber, and thermostat are all important parts of an HVAC system. The oven motor and fan are two main parts of a home air conditioning system. The compressor is the “heart” of air conditioning and does most of the work.

However, many system problems do not originate with the compressor. When you suffer a premature compressor failure, it often means that there is another problem that has gone unnoticed. The air conditioning in a commercial HVAC system is very similar to that of a residential unit. Its purpose is to dehumidify the air and eliminate heat.

It is important to remember that the air conditioner itself does not cool the building, but rather works with many other subsystems to regulate the temperature. The condenser is the heat exchanger that serves as the hot side of the air conditioning unit. It removes heat from the building and transfers it to the outside. The gaseous refrigerant then becomes a liquid refrigerant.

A heat pump can also have a condenser, in which case it works to collect heat from outside. The expansion valve is an essential part of the condenser's function. It removes the pressure of the liquid coolant so that expansion can take place, converting the substance of a liquid into vapor. The expansion valve provides precise control of the refrigerant flow in the evaporator coil.

Of all the different parts of the air controller, the evaporator coil is the one most likely to need maintenance or replacement. The evaporator coil contains the cooled refrigerant received from the compressor. As the fan air moves over the coil, heat is removed from the air in the treated area. Chillers come in air-cooled and water-cooled varieties. Its function is to remove heat from the liquid that passes through the pipes of the structure. In an air-cooled chiller, the condenser coils are cooled with air driven by a fan, and the unit is usually located outdoors.

Heat exchangers are responsible for heat transfer. They move heat from one place to another and are used for both heating and cooling. An air conditioner uses a chemical liquid called a refrigerant to move heat and convert it into cold air that is blown through ducts and vents into a room. In gas ovens, the exchanger heats the indoor air using the flue gases from the furnace and distributes the hot air throughout the space; the exhaust gases are vented through an outdoor chimney to prevent poisoning. Understanding how each of these parts works together and how to spot problems can help you keep your central air conditioning system performing better, year after year. It's increasingly common to see HVAC spelled as HVACR, which extends the original definition to include refrigeration. Finally, the fan motor is responsible for moving hot or cold air through the ducts of an HVAC system.

This important component contains strong stainless steel with temperature-resistant alloys to prevent cracks and other damage, and some models have a special duct to allow cold air to enter the heat exchanger faster and make you feel comfortable quickly. The fan in your air conditioning system blows hot air out of your home through the return ducts and onto the evaporator to cool it down, then distributes the cold air through the ducts and into the rooms of your home. The thermostat is another important part of an HVAC system. It is often overlooked during maintenance but it plays an important role in regulating temperature in your home or business. You can clean your condenser with a hose or have your HVAC technician perform this task during regular maintenance visits. These problems make heat transfer less efficient, lower indoor air quality, and could damage your air conditioning system. Your AC system brings refrigerant to a series of small nozzles or expansion valves which spray liquid refrigerant so it can evaporate from liquid to gas faster. Rising utility costs mean that new HVAC systems must be optimized in terms of cost and efficiency, delivering same results with less energy and money. Understanding how each part works together and how to spot problems can help you keep your central AC system performing better year after year.

Learning about your heater and AC makes it easier to find and troubleshoot problems as well as repair or replace parts. Here's an overview of six main components of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system: oven motor & fan, compressor, condenser, expansion valve, evaporator coil & heat exchanger, fan motor & combustion chamber, thermostat.

Mollie Pelle
Mollie Pelle

Extreme writer. Award-winning zombie enthusiast. Proud social media geek. Lifelong social mediaholic. Friendly music buff. Friendly music expert.