How Does an HVAC System Work?

Your heating and air conditioning system, also known as HVAC, is a primary mechanical feature of your home.  But not all HVAC systems are created equal, so in this video in our ShopSmarts series, we’re going to give you some inside intel on how they work, the different components, and how to best maintain the system so it functions properly.

For homes that have a shared ductwork HVAC system, this is commonly known as a split system HVAC, in that the heating unit and air conditioning unit are housed independently yet have a common distribution network of ducts.  The furnace and evaporator coil typically might be housed in a basement or crawlspace.  The air conditioner will feature a condenser that sits outside (bringing air directly into the system), while an air handler that distributes the conditioned air through your ductwork might be housed in an attic.

There are also what’s called ductless HVAC systems, which are configured so that the condenser still sits outside yet the refrigeration lines run directly to a wall-mounted unit inside a respective room.  This is a great option for room add-ons or in homes where running ductwork isn’t possible.

Service and maintenance are vital when it pertains to HVAC systems.  Steps such as replacing air filters or cleaning off outside condensers between seasons are just some of the DIY methods you can use to maintain your system.  For more extensive maintenance, you can enlist a local HVAC contractor to inspect the system and perform any repairs or adjustments.  If you go this route, you’re going to want to verify the contractor has NATE certification.  This stands for North American Technician Excellence and it is an industry certification that ensures the technician is qualified to do the work needed.

Your heating and air conditioning system, also known as HVAC, is a primary mechanical feature of your home.  But not all HVAC systems are created equal, so in this video in our ShopSmarts series, we’re going to give you some inside intel on how they work, the different components, and how to best maintain the system so it functions properly.

For homes that have a shared ductwork HVAC system, this is commonly known as a split system HVAC, in that the heating unit and air conditioning unit are housed independently yet have a common distribution network of ducts.  The furnace and evaporator coil typically might be housed in a basement or crawlspace.  The air conditioner will feature a condenser that sits outside (bringing air directly into the system), while an air handler that distributes the conditioned air through your ductwork might be housed in an attic.

There are also what’s called ductless HVAC systems, which are configured so that the condenser still sits outside yet the refrigeration lines run directly to a wall-mounted unit inside a respective room.  This is a great option for room add-ons or in homes where running ductwork isn’t possible.

Service and maintenance are vital when it pertains to HVAC systems.  Steps such as replacing air filters or cleaning off outside condensers between seasons are just some of the DIY methods you can use to maintain your system.  For more extensive maintenance, you can enlist a local HVAC contractor to inspect the system and perform any repairs or adjustments.  If you go this route, you’re going to want to verify the contractor has NATE certification.  This stands for North American Technician Excellence and it is an industry certification that ensures the technician is qualified to do the work needed.