It takes a variety of HVAC parts to make up the whole system that keeps your home comfortable in all seasons. A weakness in any link in this chain can affect the entire process. Like a symphony, when all components play together well, the result is pleasing. When just one part is out of tune, however, household comfort, energy efficiency and even safety may be compromised.
Here are just some of the critical HVAC parts that work together to ensure reliable, affordable cooling and heating.
It’s the heart of your air conditioner. This powerful motor located in the outdoor condenser unit compresses circulating refrigerant so heat extracted from the air inside your house can be released outside. The compressor is the most expensive single component in the cooling system.
Furnace Heat Exchanger
This component transfers heat generated inside the combustion chamber into circulating household airflow. It’s also a very critical safety component because it prevents combustion byproducts, including deadly carbon monoxide gas, from entering the house. Per most local regulations, a cracked heat exchanger means the furnace must be shut down until proper repairs are made.
Installed inside walls, up in the attic, or down in the crawl space, most houses have at least a hundred feet of ductwork that distributes conditioned air to all rooms. The most common issue with aging residential ductwork is leakage: ducts in the average house leak about 20% of circulating air. Pressure-testing ductwork and sealing duct leaks is recommended to restore system performance and keep operating costs low.
Evaporator and Condenser Coils
Refrigerant passing through the evaporator coil inside the indoor air handler extracts heat from the house and carries it to the condenser coil, which disperses the heat into outdoor air. Dirty coils directly impact cooling performance and efficiency. Coil cleaning is part of cooling system preventive maintenance which should be performed annually by a qualified HVAC service technician.
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