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Know Your HVAC Components & How They Work

It pays off to know the components of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and understand the role of each part in keeping your home cool during summer and warm during winter.


Keeping your house warm for the cool winter breeze is the job of your furnace. It heats the air to be distributed in the different parts of your home. You can have electric baseboards, gas forced air furnace or a boiler installed depending on the design of heat distribution in your home.


The most visible part of your HVAC system is usually the thermostat. You can either have a manually operated or a programmable thermostat to keep your home at a desired temperature. It controls the temperature of your home and triggers the heat exchanger in case warm or cool air is needed in the house.

Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is the one responsible for the production of warmer air for the cold season. It pulls in the cool air, heats it, and circulates them via your ducts and through the vents. It is usually located inside your furnace housing.

Evaporator coil

Opposite to the function of the heat exchanger, the evaporator coil cools the air for your summer comfort. It operates just like the automobile radiator to produce cool air which is then circulated through the ductwork. It is found on the top or side part of the metal covering in the exterior of the furnace.

Condensing Unit

The condensing unit is filled with refrigerant gas installed on the outside of your home. It pumps the liquid refrigerant to the evaporator coil to be evaporated into a gas once more.

Refrigerant Lines

The refrigerant lines are narrow tubes made out of heat and cold resistant metals that carry refrigerant substances in the form of gas into the condensing unit then back to the evaporator coil in liquid form.


Ducts are commonly made of lightweight aluminum making it easy for HVAC contractors to install. However, there are also those which are made out of steel, flexible plastic or fabrics. Ductwork is a system of ducts that delivers the air cooled or warmed by the system to the different parts of your home.


Filters strain pollens, dust and other particles to provide you with clean air quality. Just make sure to change them regularly to avoid health risks.

As a homeowner, it is important to understand how your heating and cooling system works. Ensuring that your components are always at their highest performance is equally important. You can schedule for a regular maintenance with your trusted HVAC contractor or you can have DIY cleaning to keep your components running well.

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