How Does Your HVAC System Work?

How does your HVAC system work

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is vital to keeping your home at a comfortable temperature all year long. Unless you live somewhere with perfect temperatures year-round (Kansas is not that place), your HVAC system is vital to not only your home’s temperature being comfortable, but also your health and well-being. In extreme temps, like we tend to see in the height of summer and winter, your home being warm or cool is extremely important. Your system also filters out particles and debris and adds or removes moisture, which is why you need to change your air filters at least every 3 months but check them monthly, especially if you have pets in your home. So, how does your HVAC system work? We’re going to break down the basics of how your home stays at the perfect temperature, and how you can make sure it stays that way during all four seasons.

At a basic level, your system draws in cool air through the ventilation system, heats the air, and then pushes it through your home via the ductwork, or when cooling, it will cool the air and distribute it through your ductwork. While it might seem simple, there are a lot of working parts that make your system work. When looking at heating your home, there are different options. The two most popular are furnaces and heat pumps.

Furnaces will only heat your home using a heat exchanger and blower. The heat exchanger heats the air using fuels like natural gas or propane,  and the blower will distribute the heat through your home’s ductwork. There are furnaces that use only electricity if you don’t want a gas furnace. Your furnace will typically be found in a garage, utility room, or closet. Since most systems use gas of some sort, it’s important that where your furnace is stored you have the door to the room vented.

Heat Pumps are similar to an AC unit and can heat or cool your home. These systems use compressed and condensed refrigerant to absorb heat from one area and transfer it to another. In the cool months, it will trap the heat from the air outside, or the ground, and transfer it into your home, and in the cooler months, a reversing valve will switch the direction of the refrigerant flow to cool your home. These don’t burn fuel like a furnace and are found outside, so there are no pilot lights or exhaust vents. If you have a heat pump, you will most likely not have a separate AC or furnace.

When it’s time to beat the heat and cool your house, your AC unit is there for you. Your air conditioner uses a refrigerant that is used to cool hot air from inside your home. The hot air passes through a cold evaporator coil, and the refrigerant is turned into a gas and absorbs the heat to send it back to the outside unit that returns the hot air to the outdoors, and the refrigerant is returned to its liquid form to repeat the process.

So, how do your systems know when to turn on to heat or cool your home? A programmable thermostat regulates your home temperature and activates the part of your HVAC system that needs to work. Once the air in your home reaches the desired temperature, the thermostat tells the system to turn off. Your thermostat will most likely be placed in an easy-to-access location in your home. Some thermostats will let you set a schedule for your system to run so if you’re out of your house during the day your system will be off until a specific time when it will turn on so your home is the temperature you want when you get home. There are also smart thermostats that let you control your system from anywhere in the world through apps.

If you need your HVAC system repaired, or replaced, or if you’re looking for new installation Wichita Heating and Air is here to help. Our Certified Trance Specialists are friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. We service Derby, Wichita, and the surrounding areas for all of your local HVAC needs.